For the first time in the history of Barbados, the sweet pulsating songs of soca will be coming from the little ones in the form of a Junior Soca Monarch competition.
Producer of the event and owner of Arik Creative Services Inc Chrystal Cummins-Beckles will be working with Trident 10 Television in pulling this one off. The television competition will be aired on the new Crop Over TV International viewing platform.
Auditions for the eight to 18-year-olds will be held at CMC on July 4 but closed to the public. However, at least two people will be allowed to accompany the children. The best of the best in the industry will be judging them including performing artistes Nikita, Blood and Jus D.
The children will be singing for 90 seconds to a song that already exists or an original. Cummins-Beckles said that they are pushing for original music, but the audition stage is all about the participants performing a cover with or without a backing track.
“Here is the honing and the grooming ground for these kids who want to pursue arts and soca as a career. We have good, credible people on the panel and people who will be doing a workshop.”
During the workshop, youngsters already involved in soca will pass on knowledge to those performing in competition. “They need to understand everything, holistically. So they will do a bit of production – they will understand the studio process leading up to the semi finals and finals. For those who may not have songs, we will bring in song writers. It is all about grooming the children into the artists that they want to become.”
She said that talented young ones are sometimes left out because they don’t see the Junior Monarch competition as a soca platform; it is seen as the outlet for social commentary.
“What happens to the children in the schools is that they may be singing constantly but it is ragga soca or power soca but nobody hears them. So here is the time now for that [exposure]. We have COVID-19 happening so the children have more time on their hands. They can be creative and come out and try it.”
The competition is all about growth; Cummins-Beckles made it clear that after each performance the judges will have a conversation with the contestants.
“They will critique them in a very positive way, even if they don’t advance and want to try again next year. They would know what to do and those who audition can be a part of the workshop process.”
Cummins-Beckles is encouraging everyone to sign up regardless of if they have been on stage before.
“Even those who are writers, if you have an interest in soca music, be it ragga soca or power soca, we want you to come out. This is all about networking. If a child can write poetry or sing, we want them to sign up and come and have a blast and learn more about the culture.”
Young producers who would like to be a part of the historical and education process have been asked to reach out for the possibility of partnership. (PR)
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