Gospel performers in the Caribbean have been urged
to unite on a regional level, in an effort to improve the present
fortunes of the gospel music industry.
Veteran promoter and organiser
of the Flame Gospel Awards, Mike Cummins, made this call over
the weekend as he addressed the sixth annual ceremony honouring
Barbados top gospel performers, at the Sir Garfield Sobers
He stated that Flame had already taken a step
in that direction, since the Caribbean Media Corporation (CMC)
was one of its sponsors, and should ensure that local artists
get their music played in 22 countries across the Caribbean.
Cummins also urged local secular
promoters to include more gospel artists, particularly young
up and coming acts, in the events they hosted. In this respect
too, Cummins urged the Caribbean Broadcasting Corporation (CBC)
to update its gospel music fillers, some of which were recorded
in the late 1980s.
While thanking the secular stations for playing
more gospel music than before, he asked the gospel stations on the
island to play more locally-produced work. He suggested they follow
a format Gospel 790 had in its early days, when one out of every
four songs played was by a Barbadian artist.
Cummins told the artists present to become more
aggressive in seeking new niche markets, stating that local dance
groups were asking local artists to produce new music for them.
One of the awardees, David Rowe,
echoed similar sentiments. Rowe, whose song You are the God
I Worship won an award for Best Scripture Based Song, encouraged
his fellow performers to compose new worship songs, instead
of using the same foreign songs that had been in circulation
The Awards are an example
of the myriad talents we have in the bosom of the Christian
Gospelfest was established
in 1993 by the Barbados Tourist Board (BTB). The festival
was the brainchild of the then Minister of Tourism Wes Hall,
now Rev. Wes Hall. In 1995 the responsibility for the production
of the festival was passed on to the Gospelfest Organising
Committee made up of persons from the Christian community,
chaired by Barbadian event manager Adrian Agard. Adrian
was at the Flame Awards 2006 to pick up the sought after
The event was divided into six presentations
covering various artists. Flame Awards are hoping that by
rewarding our Gospel artistes they would see the need to aim
for excellence in everything they do. CLICK
to meet the winners.
Making special guest appearances along with
the artistes celebrating 25 years of achievement are Rommel,
Allison Norville-Forde, Jesus Army, Praise Academy of Dance
(boys), Image, Sheldon Hope and Ria Greene CLICK