The state of the so called Music industry in Barbados has been the same for the last 40 years, and will remain so for another 40, if the musicians themselves don't do something for themselves.
I am not going to go into all the reasons why things have remained the same , what I will attempt to do is put forward some suggestions as to what steps can be taken to correct certain things.
First though Just a bit of history about this authour, so that people understand where I am comming from.
I have been involved in music from about age 6, when I started learning the piano, went on to grade five studying in those days the Royal school of music exams and the trinity school of music and theory.
Left the formal music at about age 15 , joined a band for a couple of years , then studied sound engineering in canada for a year, came back to BIM and worked for some of the top bands through the years as engineer and road manager,eventually forming my own sound company with some others people and establishing a couple of recording studios.
So I have a pretty good working knowledge of the scene in Bim.
Well I decided to write this blog after I picked up the Nation Newspaper on the weekend of the 8/03/09 in which there was an article of some of this Islands most talented artists and musicians, washing cars to raise money to finance their next Crop Over album, don't get me wrong I have nothing against washing cars or people helping themselves, but tell me which other group of professionals do you see doing similar things or having to go cap in hand just to try to make a decent living? I don't see laywers, doctors, accountants,masons,carpenters sanitation workers,nurses having to do the things that people in the music bussiness having to do, we are still looked upon as some kinda third class people that are only there to be exploited for when others want to enjoy themselves and have a good time.
Think about it what would you people do when you have a fete if there was no music ,or what would the radio stations play, what impact would a movie have if there was no music, pretty dull world I think.
Any way getting back to the sad state of affairs in Bim, here's what I think we can start doing , first the musicians , engineers, sound and production people need to get together in some kind of formal body , I won't say union, as that has been tried and failed , but there is strength in numbers, once we have managed to set up this orginaziation ( i will expand on these points a bit later)
we then need to educate our membership first and then the generall public as to the true value of our worth to society,having acheived this in some meseaure , we then approach one of the established unions to have them represent us as a body , as it would make more sence to have the backing of a larger body whose job is the bussiness of running a union.
We can then begin to lobby the various private sector agencies that the musicians and entertainers deal with (ie hotels and places of entertainment,) for better terms and conditions for our services.
We can also lobby Goverment to try to get them to implement certain incentives and set critiera and give some direction to some of the entities that are granted numerous tax consessions at the tax payers expence, to lean towards lending more support to the local musicians and entertainers by employing them and using their products ( assuming that these products are of accepectable standard ) which will help create employment and actually create a real industry and raise the standard of entertainment in Bim.