THE WINNER-TAKES-ALL model stays.
So said Yello Media Group chief executive officer (CEO) Collin Francis as he responded to a question about the current prize model of the Bashment Soca competition.
He told those present at the launch of the 2017 Yello Phenomenal Friday competition that it was a different model from those in the current entertainment arena.
“We had a lengthy discussion about it. The team of 4D and I met and the thinking behind it is that the first prize is for a winner. We believe that if the artistes out there really want to be No. 1, there really is no room for second, third or fourth place. There is only room for No. 1.
“As a business, you always want to strivefor No. 1, such as what Yello and 4D are doing with this competition. We made a concession to increase the participants, and the feedback says the artistes are quite happy with that.”
The CEO said the underlying principle of the competition was that any artiste who entered was doing so to dethrone the king or queen, not place as runner-up.
He said Yello Media Group was particularly pleased with last year’s event and looking forward to this year’s.
“The competition gives proof the genre is vibrant and all the artistes needed was a platform to demonstrate their skills. It is fair to say that they have impressed us. I was pleased to see afterwards, the genre taking centrestage across the Caribbean and giving the artistes some much- needed exposure . . . .
“The Bashment Soca competition provides artistes with experience necessary to improve their skills, launch new careers and become celebrities.”
Francis told the artistes and invited guests that Yello Pages would keep supporting the competition.
“The group knows that investment into competitions like this one is needed. We call on other private sector agencies to help improve and augment the Crop Over experience as we have done. Yello’s support is part of a wider initiative to contribute to the music scene.
“Yello is committed to delivering first class to the people of Barbados. It is about positive music vibes. We are onto something phenomenal.”
Francis said it was a great opportunity to partner with 4D and 98.1 The One who were title sponsors of Soca Royale, which hosts the Sweet Soca and Party Monarch finals.
Some artistes had expressed concern about their ability to recoup losses after participating in the competition. The appearance fee was subsequently raised from $500 to $2 500 for finalists.
Minister of Culture Stephen Lashley, in his feature address, thanked 4D and Yello Pages for their commitment to growing the festival.
“We realise that the National Cultural Foundation cannot do it alone and our success of the festival depends on the goodwill and involvement of all of our stakeholders.
“This competition has attracted phenomenal artistes in its first year and in its second year, I see it getting bigger and better. I see Bashment Soca being exported to generate foreign exchange and put our artistes on bigger stages,” he added.
He urged the artistes to ensure their lyrics “are clean, deliver high standards and professionalism, and see what they do as a critical and vital part of cultural development”.