Regional Musicians Get boost from Caribbean Export Development Agency

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Performing artistes from the Caribbean region were given a great new platform to showcase their talent. This comes with the introduction of the Caribbean Rhythm Showcase (CRS), a virtual outlet through which their work can be seen and appreciated with the hope of taking their careers to the next level.

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 EU, under the 11th EDF Regional Private Sector Development programme.

According to S.H. Allyson Francis, services specialist at CEDA, the wider aim of Caribbean Rhythm Showcase 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. 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.”

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

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So how exactly did the Caribbean Rhythm Showcase work?

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 27 selected to participate in the showcase are required to register on the CRS website and submit a performance video for assessment. The acts selected were featured in the showcase recorded and shared on Youtube.

Jamaica’s Headline Entertainment was selected to execute CRS which aired on various platforms on December 20, 2021. Jerome Hamilton, managing director of Headline Entertainment 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 was honoured to be afforded the opportunity to produce this showcase of regional talent by Carib Expo. In addition to showcasing the talent we have invited buyers from different countries to participate. We hoped this 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. 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,” said Hamilton.

Caribbean Rhythm Showcase (CRS), is one of several initiatives coordinated by CEDA to support regional creative sectors.

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