Regional musicians to get boost from CEDA through new talent platform

Services specialist at CEDA, S.H. Allyson Francis

KINGSTON, JAMAICA — Performing artistes from the Caribbean are to be given a new platform to showcase their talent 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.

According to a release, this initiative is being developed by the Caribbean Export Development Agency (CEDA), the regional trade and investment promotion agency focused on building the resilient Caribbean through “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 services specialist at CEDA, S.H. Allyson Francis, CSR aims to build out the creative economies of the region so they can become greater contributors to the gross domestic product of the individual countries.

“As music exports continue to grow internationally year after year, the Caribbean possesses the talent and creativity to capitalise on the digital music space.”

Allyson Francis

“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 capitalise on the digital music space,” she said. “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.”

Reiterating that CEDA is committed to providing sustainable development support for regional talent, Francis said that “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, CSR 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,” she continued.

Jamaica’s Headline Entertainment has been selected to execute CRS which will be aired on various platforms on December 20.

“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.”

Headline Entertainment’s Jerome Hamilton

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

CSR organisers recently made a 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 were selected to participate in the showcase. They are required to register on the CRS website and submit a performance video for assessment. The acts selected will be featured in the showcase.