By Carlena Knight
Popular events promoter Humroy Wright is continuing his fight for greater support for young and upcoming talent.
Months ago, Wright who is known for promoting the popular event, Suns Out Buns Out, called out local disc jockeys and bar owners for not having enough interest in pushing more local music to the public.
It is for those reasons why Wright came up with the concept for the Artist Takeover event which began in January of this year. The event gives new and upcoming artistes from any genre the opportunity to perform in front of a live crowd.
“Having travelled and experienced other cultures; seeing how proud neighbouring islands are in supporting their own artists and music, made me question our culture here. It oftentimes felt like the people would support every other genre, artist or culture but their own. What was particularly disturbing is realising that these other cultures and islands would rarely play or push Antiguan music on a large scale,” Wright explained.
“Being in the entertainment industry and constantly witnessing the rise and fall of many talented artists as a result of a lack of opportunities and a platform, really bolstered my drive to fill that need in our local community. While I can’t help everyone, my platform allows me the grace to begin the change I desire to see. Antigua is filled with so many talented artists who only lack an opportunity to showcase their skills,” he said.
Wright went on to say that most times, new artistes don’t really make it because they do not have access to resources and the income. This is why Wright mentioned that any money made from the event goes right back to the performers on that night.
“Oftentimes, the entities who do have the resources and the influence to do so, divert their faculties towards artists abroad who are already proficient in their careers. Not only do I endeavour to give selected artists a platform, but also to express professionalism via paying these artists. All the gate proceeds go towards the remuneration of the artists; not only does this function as an act of professionalism but also as a means of motivation as the better support the artists can secure, the more they will be financed,” he added.
Since its inception, artistes like Ekon, Kaution Band, Don Pebz, Ishane, Thae, Jordan, Wadazzle, Kritiqz and 23 Style Dem have graced the stage.
The Artist Takeover event takes place every last Saturday night at The Wright Room bar and lounge in Fitches Creek.
Interested artistes can email Wright at [email protected] to secure a booking.
Meanwhile, Wright hinted that the popular Mic Drop initiative could also be making its return this year.
Mic Drop gives young and upcoming disc jockeys a platform where they can express their talent and be seen by an audience of genuine supporters. The event, over the years, has acted as a hub for their talent to be transferred into the real world, where they can be booked for events.
It is his hope that, through these programs, others will be influenced to give greater support to local artistes.
“I aspire to be the change I want to see. It’s easy to speak on issues but what are we going to do about them? I hope that my small contribution becomes contagious, and perhaps one day we can have an active music industry that is supported predominantly by its people,” Wright concluded.