Debate, both for and against, has broken out on Facebook about a threat by Barbadian entertainers to boycott local radio stations and deejays that do not play at least 50 per cent Bajan music. The arguments surround the quality and quantity of the local music, as well as just how far one should be pushed to be patriotic.
“Just because a song has a few hundred hits on YouTube or Bajantube doesn’t make it a hit,” pointed out Chris Hassell. “If an artist spends $2,500, it shouldn’t be that a radio station has to fulfil some imaginary quota just so they can recoup their investment via COSCAP [Copyright Society of Composers, Authors and Publishers]. The radio station has a bottom line as well. Look, I want to hear more local music, less Jamaican sounding DJs and would toss out the souljaboyesque nonsense off the airwaves as well. But that doesn’t mean I want to listen to ‘I juk she’ and ‘Wuk up pon it’ songs all day either. Good quality music will always rise to the top. Focus on the craft and less on the blame game.”
Emma St John argued that there should be an alternative for people, like herself, who would not wish to listen to calypso, reggae and dub 50 per cent of the time.
“I enjoy Y103 because my taste in music runs along the lines of what they play. Why not create a local music only station? I like our local rock/alternative bands, but do they have enough music combined to fill 12 hours per day and not have to hear the same songs on repeat all day long, every day of the week?”
However, Sean Carter pointed out that Bajan music went way beyond calypso, reggae and dub.
“We have quality artistes and recordings in all genres of music –– Marisa Lindsay, Nexcyx, Philip 7, Cover Drive, Debbie Reifer, Elan Trotman, 1688 Orchestra And Collective, Arturo Tappin, Toni Norville, Nicovia + Larix, John Yarde, Malissa Alanna, Indrani, not to mention Hal Linton, Shontelle Layne, Ri-Ri –– and I’m positive that I’ve left out lots of others. And then there are all the back in time local hits and artistes that we hear every November.”
But Dario Daniel has questioned whether Barbadians could listen to local music 75 per cent of the time.
“A lot of you just want to sound patriotic for your friend on Facebook, especially the artiste. Yes, we have quality music produced here in Barbados, but at least 40 per cent would be deemed crap. Let’s have another challenge; let the producers stop taking the money of some of these people who say they have good lyrics and tell them the truth. If half of you here owned a radio station you would have to run it as a business. There is not a large demand for only local music, so none of you weren’t pursuing this 50 per cent dream. The station has to make money; not lose it.”
A possible solution to the problem, according to Daniel Polonis, is for entertainers to pool their resources and acquire a broadcast licence for their own radio station.
“I choose my radio station based on their format. I personally don’t want to hear about wukin up . . . headboards and bumper shaking . . . either . . . . I don’t see this boycott being effective. Just my opinion,” Polonis added.
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