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Vision for music and mas

NATANGA SMITH, [email protected]

Vision for music and mas

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South Central is celebrating 11 years this month and chairman Richard Haynes Jr saysit is has not been aneasy feat.

“We now know what we are doing. We have gone through all the learning paces. We have three entities under the South Central umbrella which are South Central Marketing that focuses on marketing for corporate Barbados; there is South Central Entertainment which has the roster of the artistes and DJs and so on; and the new baby of the bunch, South Central 1 which is the turnkey operation that basically offers everything for an event such as a wedding, or other function.”

Haynes, who is also one of the names and face behind the Grand Kadooment Baje International, said that entity had celebrated 20 years and was holding its own with rebranding every couple years. He is now looking to build on South Central.

Haynes, Philip Young, Shadia Marshall and Dwayne Beckles make up the small outfit behind South Central and a large teamin cyberspace

“My degrees are in marketing and business. When I started Baje, it was just about summer parties. I came home after studying and started working. The company I was with closed down and I had just started building my home. I had two children at the time and I had big-people bills. It was a choice of finding another job or doing it on my own.”

He picked option number two and opened an advertising agency.

“It was supposed to be a traditional advertising agency, but being a one-man shop I realised that people were not seeking out my services. Plus there was so much red tape to go through; so I decided to do a marketing company instead. And South Central was born.”

The name came as a tribute to his dad Dr Richie Haynes who was in politics and in charge of St Michael South Central constituency, and the younger Haynes lives in the South of the island – Christ Church.

The company was a fusion of entertainment and marketing and the team worked seven days a week.

“We offered radio, TV and print marketing and media plans; also endorsements through my artistes and top end jingles.

“Initially I went too heavy into the entertainment role. I had over 40 artistes and DJs on my roster. Too much to handle, so I had to let some go,” he said, citing names such as Bo Bo, Hypasounds, Buggy Nahkente, Ayana John, gospel artiste Sheldon Hope and more.

“When we first got into the business, we wanted to work with as many artistes as possible, in particular young artistes; help develop them and so on.

“But the reality of the industry is that there is very little support for the industry in place, compared to the other financial industries and so on.

“So we had to scale down and switch up things, and streamline our strategy and work on artistes who have maximum potential, if they’re the young ones, or the ones who already have a brand and can benefit through South Central by refreshing their brand.

“We went a little more from the goodwill company, to the serious business company.

“Because at the end of the day, if the company can’t make money and make strides, then we can’t do anything for anybody,” Haynes explained, adding that it was basically about what made dollars and sense.

What Haynes looks for in clients are multi-talents such as Daddy Bubbles who has been with him for some time now. The South Central unit can boast having monarchs such as Mikey and Rupee, queen of soca Alison Hinds, as well as emerging talent such as Nikita, Marzville (who was signed as an R&B artiste in 2012), Shanta Prince, Hardware, Verseewild, King Bubba, Rhea Layne, Jamal Slocombe and Kamalu Parris.

It recorded Machel and Patrice Roberts out of Trinidad and Tobago, as well as Red Plastic Bag, TC, and Edwin and his mum.

Haynes is especially proud of being one of the marketing forces behind Slam Radio which started eight years ago.

“They trusted me with their entire project. It started out in the living room of Habib Elias’ house where we started discussing it. He let us provide all the DJs, and to market the company we designed the logos and so on.”

Haynes said these were the kinds of projects he likes to get involved in, such as the Sky Mall rebranding and the Viva Water launch. He said the company was a unique brand, but also had a unique way of doing things, which saw it carving a niche, which included it also handling the entire Crop Over 2011 as in radio, TV, print, media management and the 2012 Cohobblopot.

“I want my four children to see that they can be entrepreneurs. I hope they will take over South Central. It has been difficult to convince corporate Barbados that we can do the work. For some reason there is still that divide that sees us not getting that confidence in us to give us the work, but we embrace challenges.

“I focus also on getting our bills paid; so I have to find new ways and products to keep revenue coming in. Baje International is known everywhere so I want the same for South Central. I want it to be one of the best advertising agencies to come out of the Caribbean; one of the best music companies to ever come out of the Caribbean. Big shoes to fill but that is my vision.” (NS)