Caribbean artistes get much needed boost from CEDA

S.H. Allyson Francis.  Headline Entertainment
S.H. Allyson Francis.
Headline Entertainment

Performing artistes from the Caribbean region are being given a new platform to showcase their talent, according to Kingston, Jamaica-based Headline Entertainment.

It said this comes with the introduction of the Caribbean Rhythm Showcase (CRS), a virtual outlet through which artistes’ work can be “seen and appreciated with the hope of taking their careers to the next level.”

Headline Entertainment said in a statement that this initiative is being developed by the Caribbean Export Development Agency (CEDA), the regional trade and investment promotion agency focused on building a resilient Caribbean by providing cutting-edge and high-impact support to the private sector, with funding from the European Union (EU), under the 11th EDF Regional Private Sector Development Program.

According to S.H. Allyson Francis, services specialist at CEDA, the wider aim of CRS is “to build out the creative economies of the region so that they can become greater contributors to the gross domestic product of the individual countries.”

“The execution of this Caribbean Music Showcase is imperative to the development and exposure of our regional artists,” she said. “As music exports continue to grow internationally year after year, the Caribbean possesses the talent and creativity to capitalize on the digital music space.

“Caribbean Export supports the need for this digital pivot, as it is crucial to innovate with our existing exports and identify alternative avenues in the music industry,” added Francis, stressing that CEDA is committed to providing sustainable development support for regional talent.

“In addition to showcasing our regional artistes, the business-to-business meetings with buyers, promoters, production and distribution companies, publishers, major record labels and music industry executives within the European, United States, Latin American, Asian and African markets will help our artistes gain business, increase exports, create jobs, and generate foreign exchange,” Francis continued.

“At Caribbean Export, we are committed to providing the necessary support to help build the capacity and showcase our regional music practitioners,” she said.

So, how exactly will the Caribbean Rhythm Showcase work?

Headline Entertainment said the organizers made “a regional talent call to artistes throughout the region whose genre of choice is soca, reggae, dancehall, Caribbean pop, rap, cadence-lypso and zouk.

“Approximately 100 responses were received, of which 25 selected to participate in the showcase are required to register on the CRS website and submit a performance video for assessment,” it said. “The acts selected will be featured in the showcase.”

Headline Entertainment said it has been selected to execute CRS.

Jerome Hamilton, managing director of Headline Entertainment which will execute the Caribbean Rhythm Showcase. Headline Entertainment

Jerome Hamilton, managing director of Headline Entertainment, said he is “excited at the opportunity to work with new and emerging talent from the region and assist with the development of artistes and economies.

“Headline Entertainment is honored to be afforded the opportunity to produce this showcase of regional talent by Carib Expo,” he said. “In addition to showcasing the talent, we are, in turn, inviting buyers from different countries to participate.

“We hope this will lead to a greater level of exposure to the variety of Caribbean music, so they see that there is a wide range of talent out there, not only reggae and soca,” Hamilton added. “We are hoping as well for some possible connections from the very artistes themselves who are part of the showcase, so they can find a way to collaborate on different projects.

“We just hope this augurs well for the future of the artistes, the music of the region and the economies,” continued Hamilton, stating that CRS is one of several initiatives coordinated by CEDA to support regional creative sectors.

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