Push for more local music
A GROUP of local artistes is uniting to get local radio stations to start playing more local music and move towards a 100 per cent local music frequency.
With two members so far, musician Marlon Fox Murrell and singer Erskine Kullurd Proverbs, the group is well on its way to compiling signatures across the island’s 11 parishes with the aim of presenting a petition to Government.
Copies of that petition will also be taken to radio station managers.
The two said they had already got nearly 200 signatures yesterday morning in one area – Sheraton car park – and noted that many of those signing were passionately in support of more local music on Barbados’ radio stations throughout the year.
“In just a few hours in the car park, people said they were honoured to sign. Bajans would complain but once someone steps forward, they will rally behind you,” said Murrell.
He added that “CBC is often complaining about losses, but if you are a state-owned entity giving away the taxpayers’ money by allowing royalties to go to Vybz Kartel and other foreign artistes, of course it will lose money! Culture has to be that station’s focus. Culture sells tourism, which is the lifeblood of the economy. Sigh!”
Proverbs, remarking that the petition coincided with artistes uniting for the restoration of the Empire Theatre, said: “We have the proof here that people want the local music to be played, and we will get more signatures.”
The two, who have a combined 20 years in the music business, also noted that the lack of airplay discouraged artistes from producing and created animosity between those who were DJs or affiliated to stations and got their music rotated and those who were general producers.
“How can you build an industry with monopolies? When you check a Rihanna album and see various producers including Kanye West and Timbaland, you know the music will sound fresh and different and everyone’s getting a slice of the pie. Here, we have soca music sounding the same way because of the monopoly of producers,” reasoned Murrell, who owns the Foxhole Studio and plays guitar with High Grade.
He also revealed that he would soon be infusing spouge into some of his recordings in an attempt to produce a unique Barbadian sound.
“If Barbados had pushed spouge some more, by now we would have had derivatives of it; the same way that reggae evolved out of ska. We would’ve had a thriving industry like Jamaica’s which, incidentally, Jackie Opel helped to develop,” Murrell added. (RJ)