Categorized | National News

Carnival steps it up with artist development workshop

Sony music chequeThe Bahamas National Festival Commission (BNFC) is pleased to partner with Sony Music Entertainment for the staging of an artist development workshop – The Recording Industry 101 – for contestants in the Bahamas Junkanoo Carnival Music Masters Song Competition.


This once in a lifetime opportunity will give Bahamian musicians an inside look into the inner workings of record labels and contract negotiations, a skill that will be needed for the lucky winner of the competition. Talent Manager Damon Jones, a partner at New Legacy Media, will also lead a session in the workshop, sharing insights from the perspective of artists in contract negotiations. Jones is currently representing Sammi Starr, 2015 Music Masters Champion, in negotiations with Sony.


“The Bahamas National Festival Commission is all about creating opportunity for Bahamians in the creative sector. This is just another example of how we are putting the Government’s investment to work to empower Bahamians,” said Roscoe Dames, BNFC Chief Executive Officer.


“This year we stepped up our investment in the Bahamian musicians in an immense way with a number of new artist development initiatives, including the production of music videos and the artist development workshop. Sony is the biggest player in the music game. They have a relationship with the Bahamas, as they have Baha Men signed to their label. We are using Bahamas Junkanoo Carnival to nurture that relationship so we can create more opportunities for Bahamians,” said Dames.


With the eight finalists chosen for the finals Music Masters Competition, the competitors are bubbling with excitement for their final performances on Friday, May 6 at the mega concert.


Hearts were racing and hands were sweating at the Grand Bahama Carnival Kickoff as the winners were announced. These lucky finalists are: Fanshawn Taylor, Jive (2 songs), Lady E (2 songs), Colyn McDonald, Sammi Star, Eboni, Terelle Tynes-Wilson and Avvy.


Dames said the BNFC is proud of its record of investment in Bahamian musicians, especially understanding that the music industry thrives when artists are producing good music prolifically.


The Music Masters Song Competition inspired the production of approximately 240 new Bahamian songs over the past two years, of which the Commission professionally produced 45. Dames said he is confident that each year the competition will continue to spur on the production of great new music, in keeping with the BNFC’s mandate to rejuvenate the music and entertainment industry in The Bahamas.


The mastered music for the competition this year was produced by Julien Believe working with the BNFC’s music consultant Ira Storr. The body of music in this year’s production represents a fusion of the various genres of musical rhythms. In particular, however, the work heavily incorporates the powerful sounds of Rake ‘N’ Scrape and Junkanoo, especially the pulsating drumbeat that Bahamians are familiar with.


The music videos are playing on local Bahamian TV as well as internationally through Tempo TV and online. Title sponsor BTC is heavily promoting the content through their new FLOW TV product that streams across the Caribbean.


“The music videos showcase the talent of our artists in visual form as opposed to just hearing the records on the radio. You can see them live and in living colour in video form and this is what is going to be on television over the next couple of months,” said Dames.


Bahamian musician, Dyson Knight, thinks that the level of investment being placed into the artists is an opportunity of a lifetime. Knight is not in the Song Competition, but he is signed to the Sony label with Baha Men, and he performs with Visage, who is booked to perform on the mega stage on Friday night of Bahamas Junkanoo Carnival.


“I’m truly happy for what this means to the emerging artists. Many are experiencing this level of production being put into their work for the first time. This is the best that some of them have ever heard their music and being able to work with a higher caliber of producers and see a new level of their potential is a priceless investment into their creative growth,” said Dyson.


The Movi Group filmed eighteen music videos over the course of five days. The team was a mixture of professionals highly experienced in video production.


“If the competition continues to build the way it is building now, it is going to draw a lot more public attention, and people are going to want to listen to the songs and get to know more about the artist. It can definitely change a contestant’s life,” said Sammi Starr, 2015 Music Masters Champion.


“Of course it’s going to propel someone’s career, and if they keep the relationship with the record company, that’s always good,” said Sammi Starr.

For more information about Bahamas Junkanoo Carnival 2016 visit


Written by Jones Bahamas

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