Soca, zouk, bouyon, reggae, ragga and dancehall on the menu of the OECS Virtual Concert

Photo: Screenshot

Bringing hope to Member States and strengthening solidarity with frontline workers in the fight against the COVID-19 pandemic by using the power of the region’s music was the main objective of this major virtual concert with 20 artists, entitled “Building Hope through the Power of OECS Music”, scheduled for Saturday June 13 at 7:30 pm on Facebook and Youtube and organized by the OECS Commission. A nice initiative but with a lot of technical problems…

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Photo: Screenshot

Many Internet users attended this large free gathering of some 20 artists from several islands that make up the Organization of Eastern Caribbean States (OECS).

This beautiful evening was intended to show listeners and viewers in the Caribbean region and other parts of the world the talent of our authors, composers and performers and to recognize their contribution during the critical period of the global Covid-19 epidemic.

The organizers had invited artists – some of whom are internationally recognized – representing different musical genres (soca, zouk, bouyon, reggae, ragga and dancehall) in these Caribbean islands.

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Photo: Screenshot

About twenty artists and several musical genres

Singer and songwriter from Dominica, Michele Henderson; reggae singer and songwriter from Anguille, Omari Banks; Reunionese singer and zouk star in Martinique where she has lived for many years, Orlane; new singer-songwriter from Martinique, Stella Gonis; one of the singers of the famous band Zouk Machine from Guadeloupe that promoted this music throughout the world, Christiane Obydol; ragga-dancehall singer born of parents from Guadeloupe and Dominica, Admiral T; reggae and dancehall artist from Dominica, Colton T; soca stars from St. Vincent and the Grenadines, Hance John and Fireman Hooper; soca stars from Grenada, Lil ‘Natty and Thunda; soca stars from St. Lucia, Ricky T and Shemmy J; Dominica’s famous bouyon band Triple Kay Global; Soca Monarchs Trevon Pollard from Montserrat and Dennis Menace XL Roberts from Antigua and Barbuda; soca queen from Antigua, Claudette Peters; reggae star Dujon Caesar with new star Charnelle McMaster from St. Kitts and Nevis; soca star from British Virgin Islands, Martino Mark.

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A neglected decoration – Photo: Screenshot

A live with many technical problems

Three hosts were chosen to present this unifying show which was broadcast on social media platforms Facebook and Youtube : Leroy “Wadix” Charles from Dominica; Natalie Clarke from Antigua and Barbuda; and Hollywood Hp from Saint Lucia.

The event was produced by Herric Horne of Island Network of St. Vincent and the Grenadines and Marva Williams of the Dominica Festivals Committee with the support of a team from the OECS Commission.

Internet users sent a multitude of messages to salute this beautiful initiative which, unfortunately, was spoiled by many technical problems (frequent interruption in the Internet connection, very poor sound, etc.) but, some will say, it is the vagaries of technology…

In all honesty, you had to be brave to watch this concert until the end and many are asking how the OECS, an international organization, could have produced such a “terrible thing”, anyone in his garage would have done better…

We hope that this moment of culture allowed the participating artists to get to know each other better because we are islands separated by a few kilometres and yet we do not know each other well. Who knows, maybe one day a big OECS Festival will physically bring everyone together…