The stage is set and all systems are go for Saturday’s final of Season 2 of the Baje to the World competition which Trinidadian soca artiste Fay-Ann Lyons said could serve as a blueprint for other contests across the region.
During a walk-through of the stage at Golden Square by organisers and stakeholders on Thursday, finishing touches were made as months of competition challenges, developmental workshops and other activities draw to a close.
Joining organisers on the tour, Lyons, who will take the winner under her care when they get the opportunity to tour with her and her band internationally, said the competition which was created by the Community Development Department in the Ministry of Youth, Sports and Community Empowerment could be imitated in other regional countries.
“I strongly believe that something like this has the potential to have a ripple effect across the Caribbean. I do not think this product will be limited to just Barbados. I am seeing where this could be a template for other countries now to look at expanding their competitions and not having it be short-term investments,” she said.
“When you look at a competition and you just look at winning the first prize, that is a short-term investment…. You win, you are here as a local hero and that is it. A long-term investment is when you create the opportunity for that particular win to be manufactured into something bigger – meaning the person can now decide that they want to be an artist, they want to actually branch off into some arm of the music industry.”
Lyons noted that although song originality will not be an important factor in Saturday’s final, the winner will have the chance to create their own music, and their success in the industry would depend strongly on how their fans respond to their original works.
“You need legitimacy, you need to actually give your fans something, so when you wow them on stage with a song, we want you to wow them in real life with you, by giving them material that is from you, so that your fan base now can continue.
“That now solidifies the stance that Baje has put into making the competition something more than just ‘let’s crown a winner and then we look forward to next year’. It means now that they are going to have a vested interest in the winner for an entire year,” she pointed out.
The Baje to the World finals will stream on CBC TV 8, Baje to The World and the National Cultural Foundation YouTube and Facebook channels, as well as on radio stations CBC 94.7, 98.1 THE ONE, VOB 92.9, and HOTT 95.3. (SB)