As the Barbados Music Awards (BMAs) get under way this year under new management, event founder Ronnie Morris said it had made a significant contribution to Barbados’ entertainment and tourism industries in its 11 years of existence.
In an interview with Barbados TODAY, Morris, who in 2006 launched the BMA to honour past, present, and upcoming Barbadian musicians, complained the awards’ contribution to the entertainment industry was not fully appreciated despite having exposed many local artistes to international recording labels, resulting in lucrative deals for some of these artistes.
He added that sales also increased for those listed as BMA winners.
Morris said the BMA once attracted 600 mostly high net worth foreign attendees, who in some cases had connections to the music industry, and some of whom had bought properties on the island.
He said the show had had even greater impact on the tourism industry when it was held around the same time as the now defunct Barbados Jazz Festival, and together those two shows had provided a significant boost to visitor arrivals in January, not only in terms of the numbers, but the calibre of the visitors they attracted.
Morris, the Entertainment Coordinator at Sandals Barbados, said he decided to turn the show over to new management because it was “time to move on and take up new opportunities in [my] life”.
He also said the event was not a lucrative one, and “if it was based on a financial decision, it wouldn’t have been done”.
He said new owner Anthony Nadur, who officially took over on the night before the 2016 edition, was associated with COSCAP and his “heart was in the right place” regarding the local music industry.
Efforts to reach Nadur regarding plans for the 2017 edition of the BMAs were unsuccessful.