Producers of annual music awards show say they are coming out of the red

Despite almost being shut down due to “colossal” debt and other financial challenges, the annual Barbados Music Awards is on the rebound.

Executive producer Ronnie Morris told Barbados TODAY this afternoon that Gold Coast Records Inc. – the replacement company for the now defunct Timeless Barbados Inc – has been able to break even on the 2015 BMAs held on January 11 at the Lloyd Erskine Sandiford Centre.

Coming against the backdrop of a circulated list of High Court civil judgments against him, his business partner Russell Rock, and the former Timeless Barbados Entertainment Agency and Timeless Barbados Inc, Morris said they have not only been able to honour all financial obligations from the last awards, but were working with the businesses they owed to clear their debt.

Ronnie Morris
BMAs executive producer Ronnie Morris

“We are on the rebound, despite efforts by some people to bury us six feet under,” Morris declared.

He disclosed that while it cost his company $300,000 to produce the recent BMAs, future events were assured through partnership with a Jamaican investor whose company is based in Trinidad and Tobago.

“The investor has contributed most of the seed money for the BMAs. We have been able to use a [new] business model to clear our debts, to chip away at our debts. We have 85 per cent cleared our debts,” Morris added.

The executive producer also noted that Gold Coast Records Inc was on a sounder footing than the old entity and could now boast of additional sponsorship backing from Canadian enterprise Sync Audio.

He also expects that income from the February 21 and 22 Queens of Gospel Concert at the Wildey Gymnasium would be able to wipe out all remaining debts owed to the various commercial operators.

He told this newspaper that the present Government had in the past three years become more involved in the awards, adding that the previous administration had also given its backing.

Morris said he had positive talks last week with Minister of Culture Stephen Lashley, the Barbados Tourism Marketing Inc (BTMI) and the Barbados Tourism Product Authority (BTPA).

“There have been active efforts by the Government to support the Barbados Music Awards. I am never going to cancel the BMA because Gold Coast Records is doing well,” he declared.

He also disclosed that he was looking to have Barbadian music sold in mainstream retail stores, such as Walmart and Best Buy, in the United States by the end of this year.

The 35-year-old promoter also informed Barbados TODAY that music industry executives would be flying into the island especially to scout out three of the local artistes performing at the upcoming Queens of Gospel show – Neesha Woodz, Toni Norville and Laurianne.

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