There are calls for the organisers of the Caribbean Music Awards to include more music genres from the region in the event.
Held at Kings Theatre in Brooklyn, New York, the first of this awards show sought to honour the region’s leading artistes but for many, the event was too heavily skewed towards Dancehall, Reggae and Soca.
Kompa was the only other genre recognised, once with a Best Kompa Band category and the other with a posthumous honour to the late Haitian singer Mikaben.
Jael Joseph, a Dominican who won enough votes to land her a spot as an interviewer for the show, lamented the fact that her country’s Bouyon music was not honoured.
“I think Bouyon music dominated Carnival. I saw Spice shaking her pampalam in Sint Maarten. That was to Bouyon music so I want to big up all of the Bouyon artists who didn’t make it this year and I hope they are included next year,” she told host Wyclef Jean.
Wyclef assured that every year more genres would be included.
However, following the show, Chutney Soca artists from Trinidad and Tobago also criticised the event for leaving out Chutney Soca.
In a now-deleted Facebook post, former Chutney Soca Monarch KI Persad expressed hurt that his genre was not included.
“Not to sound cocky but for the last 14 years, Ravi B and I kept this genre alive in its weakest dayz. To see them celebrate without us, hurts me. Cause choose your venue, it’s the chutney soca fans that spend the most money on these shows and y’all left us out?” he wrote.
Ravi B, another former Chutney Soca Monarch posted on Facebook: “Dear Carib Music Awards, Chutney Soca Music is also part of the Caribbean.”
Morgan Heritage on the Caribbean Music Awards red carpet
A CARIBBEAN CELEBRATION
Caribbean Elite, the producers of the event, said in a previous interview with Loop News that they wanted to create a platform that gives Caribbean artistes their flowers and highlights them on a global level and shows the world how powerful our music and culture are.
The artistes were definitely appreciative of the effort.
Dexta Daps for instance, gleefully acknowledged that his win in the Performer of the Year category was his very first award. Toni-Anne Singh, a Jamaican beauty queen turned singer, gushed another award for winning best video with Popcaan. She urged others to follow their dreams.
It was the show of Caribbean unity, however, that stood out for others.
In accepting his Elite Icon Award, reggae crooner Beres Hammond.
“I am seeing something so beautiful tonight, Caribbean people coming together like this and presenting something like this, I am out of words,” he said.
Machel Montano, who was honoured with the Lifetime Achievement Award also looked pleased with the packed house before him that comprised several artistes.
“I just want to say how important it is to stand here in front of a united Caribbean people. This is the best moment for me in many years,” he said while flanked by his wife Rene and his four children.
R&B singer Mya was a presenter
It was indeed a celebration of Caribbean culture.
“They steal our culture, they change the name of it, they call it pop, they flip our food around and adjust it. Tonight, we taking everything back to the Caribbean, we want out just dues tonight,” said host Wyclef Jean to an enthusiastic audience.
Later in the show, during many of his spiels to fill space during which commercials were supposedly aired, he declared that the Caribbean runs things.
The showcase of Caribbean talent was, however, marred by poor stage management, DJs playing the wrong songs when winners were announced, and uncertainty by announcers if artists were there to collect their awards.
The order of the categories seemed confusing and some categories were not highlighted.
Performances included an acoustic version of Come Home by Nailah Blackman, a dance segment with Ding Dong, tribute performances to honour Beres Hammond and the opening segment featuring Bajan performers Alison Hinds, Rupee and Jason Williams singing Palance.
Below are the winners announced on the night.
People’s Choice Award: Kees Dieffenthaller
Artist of the Decade: Vybz Kartel
Dance Song of the Year: Bounce – Ding Dong
Best New Soca Artist: Tempa
Best Soca Collab: GBM
Impact Award: Viking Ding Dong
Collaboration of the Year: GBM Nutron (feat. DJ Spider) – Down Dey
Reggae and Dancehall Awards
Impact Award Reggae: Kabaka Pyramid
Video of the Year: Next to Me – Popcaan (feat. Toni-Ann Singh)
Female Artist of the Year: Spice
Best New Artist: Samora
Collaboration of the Year Reggae/Dancehall: Skeng (feat. Nicki Minaj) – Little Miss
Album of the Year: 438 by Masicka
Performer of the Year: Dexta Daps
Band of the Year: Klass
Lifetime Achievement Award: Machel Montano
Elite Icon Award: Beres Hammond
Humanitarian Award: Buju Banton
Elite Calypso Music Award Honoree: David Rudder
Kompa Music Award: Mikaben