I was recently in Trinidad, and I must say even though I was on company business I had a good time discussing other stuff that had nothing to do with the reason why I was there. I met some new faces and they all had various things to say as far as Barbados goes.
One of the first things that I was made aware of was their love for Chefette. Talking about the golden tasty pieces of chicken made the lady telling me bat her eyelids and smile from ear to ear. She seemed to be reliving the moment as a huge smile engulfed her entire face. She had spent one month here and also spent most of that time with the Chef and his flavour and felt the taste was unique to Barbados.
I met a Chinese man serving in a restaurant who wanted to know if Trinidad or Barbados had the best tasting Chinese food. I managed to learn that because of the various areas of China they came from, the flavour tended to be different. What was a plus too was the fact that in this restaurant, all the cooks were Chinese so consistency was a common factor.
I managed to gain a few more reasons why I love Barbados so much. We don’t have large long snakes wandering into our front or backyards. There is never the surprise of an iguana relaxing in my lettuce or cabbage patch, or waking up to find my dogs battling some strange four-legged creature. Those for sure are just reasons for loving here in Barbados. Outside of the odd mongoose, rat or toad there is the African snail. Between them they take each other out and what does not can be with a bit of salt or a glue trap.
Flying fish was another topic thrown my way. A gentleman elaborated on his love for flying fish cutters but figured he will no longer get them Barbadian style since the fish are in Tobago now. I informed him that they had returned for Easter with a Tobagonian accent.
What also kept popping up was the music from years back. Spice, Krosfyah, Square One, Coalishun, Troubadours and Splash Band were the groups rolling off this man’s tongue. The Bajan invasion was still fresh in his mind and I must say in mine too. No mention was being made of the present music scene in any positive way. I was constantly being told that Barbados had the best music and we had the best groups and we had our time.
Crop-Over is just about here and after hearing the music out of Trinidad and Tobago, it is us Barbadian artiste who will aim to emulate the Trinidadians. There are no more invasions and furthermore there is even less of our own music invading our own airwaves. Is it because of less music being produced or because the music is of lesser quality?
I have my opinion, but it is up to us as artiste to produce quality music no matter what and not be concerned with quantity. The fast food music is taking over quickly and has been for a few years now. We have allowed other regional acts to squeeze us out like a constrictor.
We have been fighting fire with gasoline and being a bit timid to get aggressive and get our music back at the top, we are moving like snails. Radio stations are about making money, not making local careers. If we are to be heard we need to write and produce tasteful and catchy music. We have to force their hand as far as playing our music.
Make locals want to hear us and flock to see performances, and make it all memorable. I will say it now and forever that fast food music will not live on and it will not be the music to make the rest of the Caribbean respect us or want to emulate us.
We need to do it from now, and make this season one to remember for all the right reasons. Have something to bargain with or the radio stations will not be playing us. For sure it isn’t going to happen because we are local, so let it happen because we did something great!