The judges have spoken and tomorrow, Jamaica will welcome a consortium of Caribbean artistes to participate alongside some of our local talent in the Caribbean Rhythm Showcase hosted by the Caribbean Export Development Agency (Caribbean Export) in cooperation with the European Union.
The artistes will perform their original music from a myriad of Caribbean genres including Reggae, Dancehall, Pop, Soca, Afro Beats, Neo Soul Beats as well as Caribbean fusion for the second annual staging of the Caribbean Rhythm Showcase.
“The music sector presents numerous opportunities for sustainable, inclusive economic growth and diversification in the Caribbean and after the resounding success of the first edition of the Caribbean Rhythm Showcase, we are excited to again provide a platform for the region’s artistes in various genres, to share their culture and creativity with international industry executives,” said Allyson Francis, Services Specialist at Caribbean Export.
A total of 20 emerging acts originating in and around the region were selected from more than 250 submissions in the preliminary round. Among those selected for the showcase are: – soulful Reggae fusion singer Indie Allen from Jamaica, named by popular digital streaming platform Pandora one of the ‘Caribbean Artiste to Watch’ for 2022 and Trinidad and Tobago Soca star with close to two million subscribers on YouTube Aisha Noel, known for her breakthrough single ‘Nobody Be Safe’.
Jamaica has three other artistes representing the country in the Reggae, Dancehall and Afrobeats genre, that is Lex MD, Kraff and PinkFox respectively. Also in the West Indies, coming from the Dominican Republic is Mariela ‘La Marimba’ Velazquez. The Bahamians Ava Symone Barrett and Khia ‘KEEYA’ Poitier are bringing Caribbean Pop flavour.
The Eastern Caribbean islands are all represented in the final cut. Trinidad and Tobago also has Dania ‘DANIA’ Duntin and Jiselle ‘Jiselle Singer’ Singh in the Caribbean Fusion category. Rounding off the group, artistes from there is Arien Seaton from Antigua and Barbuda, Rhea ‘SugahRhe’ Ellis from Barbados, Colton ‘Colton T’ Thomas from the Commonwealth of Dominica, Ryan ‘Riggy Atmosphere’ Riggs from Grenada, Erica Edwards from St Kitts and Nevis, Javid ‘Jay-R’ Rouse, Krystian Mark and Derron ‘Magikal’ Rouse from St Vincent and the Grenadines, and Jesse ‘Justos’ Nelson from Saint Lucia. There is also Jackie. ‘Jaxx’ Hanover.
It will be a test of talent, creativity, delivery and perseverance as these promising talents meet up in the ‘Music Capital of the Caribbean’ and already the Skool Band members, who will be taking the finalists through the rehearsal period in preparation for their performances in front of a judging panel on Sunday, September 18, are keyed up to work with them.
Skool Band leader Desi Jones revealed that rehearsals have already started. “We’re locked in rehearsals to prepare ourselves ahead of the arrival of the artistes. I am quite impressed with the pool of talent and we look forward to backing each of the acts as they perform their original songs,” asserts Jones.
This year’s dynamic judging panel is comprised of Mickey Dread from Barbados, DJ Umba from Trinidad and Tobago, Luke Boyea from St Vincent and the Grenadines, Henry Luc of Haiti and a trio of Jamaicans including Steve Locke, Collin Hines and Mickey Bennett supported by Caribbean Export and Headline Entertainment representatives.