By Makeida Antonio
A packed schedule of young, fresh, local artists has been carefully crafted by the man behind H Wright Promotions.
The multi-genre show, Artiste Takeover, will be happening tonight from 8pm to 2am at the Heineken Headquarters in Coolidge featuring artists such as Jordan, Tigua, Thae, DJ Melody Kid, Kido, Ekon, Bazzle Kid, Niqko, Annie The Voice, TK, Arlen Seaton, 23 Style Dem, Muscle and O Block.
This is the first time Humroy Wright will be putting on an event of such magnitude. A smaller version of the concept happens weekly at his popular bar and lounge, Wright Room.
He believes the artists are talented and ready for the big stage, with bright lights and hundreds of people enjoying their performances.
“They have good music, clean music, high quality music and I am just excited about this new journey,” Wright told Observer in an interview yesterday.
Wright explained that a few major sponsors played a pivotal role in helping his team plan and organise the event, when asked about the planning of such an ambitious venture.
“It’s really expensive. We are not doing it with many sponsors so I take this time to big up Dragon Stout, Wheels Supermarket, Stingray City, Camie Bakery, and all of the streaming platforms,” he explained.
The event’s concept was inspired by Wright’s realisation during his own journey as an artiste that there is a missing platform for other genres including dancehall, hip-hop, R&B, and soul music in Antigua and Barbuda, and he envisioned creating a platform to give such artistes a voice.
“These genres dominate the market here, but the locals who decide to sing that kind of music don’t get much support and that is the reason why I am doing this event,” Wright stated.
The promoter of the summer beach party ‘Sun’s Out, Buns Out’ said he hopes that following Artiste Takeover, the performers get more radio plays, more bookings from local promoters, and are more widely seen and heard overall.
“We do have these talents here and they can definitely make music. We can’t be heard by the world if we are not even being streamed in our own country, so I am hoping that the people who come out to the show leave inspired, start looking up these artists and downloading and streaming the music, and engage with the music videos on YouTube,” he said.
Observer also spoke to a few of the artists featured on the lineup to gauge their readiness for the stage in an event that is arguably a first of its kind.
Najee George, 22, who goes by the name Christian Ivy, could not contain his excitement during an interview with Observer the day before the event.
“It feels exciting, exhilarating. I’m all bubbly because it is a great opportunity. I haven’t been on stage for what feels like a really long time. I’m really inspired with all of those energies circulating in one space,” he said.
Tyla Nathaniel, stage name TayNova, is in her early 20s and a newcomer to the music industry. She told Observer that, although nervous, she was reminded that there are people looking forward to her performance on the big stage.
“At first, I felt a bit intimidated and nervous about performing on this platform, since I’m new to the music industry and the least experienced when compared with other artists on the line-up,” she explained.
“As the show drew nearer, the nervousness became excitement, because I constantly reminded myself that people are coming out to support me and this is something I’d enjoy doing full-time.”
Lynton Inverary – stage name Ekon – 22, shared his appreciation for all the support he has been receiving this year, and this show is no different.
“I feel honoured that my talent has been recognised because I just started; I always hoped that I’d be getting booked for shows, and this past year I have probably had an event every other month. It’s amazing that people see and appreciate what I do,” he said.
Nikido Joseph, stage name Kido, 29, says the opportunity speaks to the development of the country and its youth and culture.
“Having this opportunity is an opportunity for those in the future. Our music is starting to diversify itself, no longer calypso and soca, but other genres, and a show like this would really help to broadcast the different talents, and breaking down barriers that have never been touched before, because of how our musical landscape has been,” Joseph said.