Veteran calypsonian Stedson Red Plastic Bag Wiltshire is eager to see the Crop Over brand grow. In fact, he says it is high time Barbadians step up to the plate and show the world who we really are.
Following a studio session with fellow artistes for a project with Mo’ Lava Entertainment, RPB told Bajan Vibes he believed Crop Over had the potential to grow into a world festival, but much more work needed to be done.
“My wish is that this festival become our biggest festival. We still have a lot of work to do before we get more visibility. Once we recognize how important it is, I think that we would want to put our culture on display. It’s really who we are.
“It’s a big money earner as well, and I think that’s important; and I think it’s high time we step up and show the world who we are,” he said.
For this to happen, RPB said the stalwarts in the industry like himself too should look to guide the younger ones.
“. . . But it is important for them to listen. I think most of them would want to listen, and we would love the opportunity to just sit with them and have conversations regarding the construction of songs. I believe the way we approach the content is going to be important every time, if we want our songs to go beyond the festival.
“If we want the world to look in on what we are doing, we have to make sure the songs are broader than wuk-up and wine,” he cautioned.
However, Bag did praise the artistes for what they were doing, acknowledging the festival was growing to some extent.
“I hope that after last year the level of music that we were able to put out for the last two years . . . we can continue. I want to see Crop Over grow; I want to see it hit the world stage. I want to see Crop Over become a world festival. We have what it takes to do it; we just have to take it more seriously,” he stressed.
To this end, the ten-time calypso monarch said he was still very concerned about some of the music being produced in the country.
“The music is being driven by the festival. You have to turn it around. The music must guide the festival. Right now, the festival is guiding the festival. The songs that we are producing are all fete, and wine and jam, and wuk up and go down. It should be more than that. They should be addressing social issues.
“I’m hoping that we can move away from producing music just for the festival and produce good music that will last outside the festival. I think we should continue to encourage the young people,” RPB said hopefully.
However, he told Bajan Vibes he has heard some really nice music so far for the season. “I have heard some good songs, and they are a lot of good songs which have not yet been released. I’m pretty excited about the prospects with regards to the music. I hope that more youngsters again put out music.
“We have a way of bashing young people, and saying they are not singing this or that; and that they are singing bashment and so on, but when you really check it, 95 per cent of the music that is produced is produced by the young people of Barbados. So you have to encourage them.
“I believe that they are dancing to a different drum, yes, but we have to understand that it’s a reflection of what is going on in the society,” the veteran artiste argued.
And RPB already has one Sweet Soca crown in the bag, and, this year, once all goes well, he will be looking to take the second, on admission he has a strong love for the groovy type of music.
“For sure, I’m not going to be in the Pic-O-De-Crop competition. I have had some wonderful years in the Sweet Soca competition; I love the sweet soca songs! So who knows? I may take on that this year again.
“I want to put out a few songs. I’m hoping that by the end of this week I can put something out. I am still recording and I am looking forward to releasing something.
“I always get excited about Crop Over.
My entire adult life was about Crop Over and performing. So I am excited,” the lyrical master said.