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A call is being made for Saint Lucia's calypso and soca artists to release new material despite Carnival being cancelled this year.
On the local scene, the majority of artists usually wait on the Carnival season to release music. With COVID-19 causing Carnival to be completely skipped in 2020, fans are still eager to hear from their favorite artists.
Calypso lover Caron Tobierre said: “I would love to listen to the music. If calypso is truly the voice of the people like we have been saying, then maybe this is the time when we actually need the voice of the people to be heard.
There are so many relevant topics now that could be portrayed in song, and like a lot of people, we are really missing calypso this year. So yes, I would love to hear some soca and calypso music this year. I think it would take us through this period of gloominess and brighten our lives a little bit."
Saint Lucia’s 2019 Calypso Monarch, Dennis “Ti Carro” Leo shares that sentiment: “I think artists should continue to write and produce their music.
It is true we don’t have the forum to actually present it, or the formal environment like the calypso season, but there are still avenues like social media and you can access those to keep your fans happy,” Leo expressed.
Leo explained that a hindrance for some artists could be the cost of production but noted this could be mitigated through creativity: “They should use whatever strategies at their disposal to present their ideas to the public, keeping fans happy.”
Former Power Monarch, Ezra D Fun Machine, and prolific writer and performer, Shemmy Johannes, also weighed in on the debate.
“Once you are an artist you must put out work no matter what,” Johannes said.
"I don’t believe that a pandemic should hinder entertainment and I believe we have a responsibility to our fans,” Ezra stated.
Like the rest of the world, artists in the music industry have adopted social distancing protocols in efforts of flattening the curve.
As a result, many artists have been hosting live concerts via their various social media platforms.
Minister for Culture and Creative Industries, Senator Fortuna Belrose, says it is important for calypsonians and soca artists to continue producing content.
“They have to find creative ways to make it happen for them, especially virtually. They need to market themselves to be able to realize some returns, they need to build their membership, build their supporters and fan base and produce material that will be appealing to people globally, not just Saint Lucia, but across the world.”
With a strong and committed fan base, Belrose says artists can host virtual concerts where fans must subscribe to view, therefore earning some sort of revenue.