Last Saturday, the Dome Mall in Warrens, St Michael played host to the Honey Jam auditions for the 2017 programme.
A panel of 11 judges, including Mahalia, Faith Callender, Simon Pipe, Empress Zingha, Barry Hill, Tamara Marshall, Rhesa Garnes, Ingrid Holder, Andre Clarke, Sun Rokk, and Honey Jam concert host Caroline Reid were impressed by what they heard and are now looking forward to seeing the chosen artists on the big stage.
“I really enjoyed the auditions – a lot of interesting vibes, styles and techniques,” said Pipe. “We saw some very creative artists and amazing voices.”
Judge Mahalia, the front woman of local band 2 Mile Hill, said what she saw gave her much hope for the future of music in Barbados.
“It was very inspiring and actually opened up our eyes a little bit more to the wealth of talent Barbados has, which is undeniable,” she said.
Sun Rokk added: “I thought the talent was amazing. I saw a lot of artists I had never seen before. I think this is a great initiative.”
Honey Jam founder Ebonnie Rowe said she too was pleased with the level of talent at the auditions, which featured “brand new artistes, along with some alums, as well as artistes who had tried out in earlier years and weren’t chosen but took it as an opportunity to improve and came back stronger”.
“This is a positive youth initiative that we are happy to offer again in the face of sponsorship challenges,” she said.
Honey Jam alumni Rhea Layne was thankful for the opportunities the programme had provided her and other artists.
“I love to perform, so it’s always fun to return as an alum. The networking opportunities and the amazing workshops offered are great and I’ve made so many contacts and had awesome experiences,” she said.
Producers such as KB Sharp of Hit Island Studios and artist manager George Thomas were also on hand to scout talent and said they saw a few artists with excellent potential to develop successful careers.
The lineup will be finalized by the end of this month, and then between October and November, the artists will attend a vocal and performance workshop, a songwriting workshop, and a music business workshop along with other experiences and opportunities, culminating with the concert on November 18 at the Hilton Resort.