Promoting the export of Caribbean music to North American markets

Association of Music Entrepreneurs of Barbados, Inc.
Country of applicant: 
Beneficiary countries: 
Funds allocated (in USD): 
Project implementation period: 
March 2012 to July 2013

About the project

About the projectSend five to eight local music professionals from Barbados to perform at the 2013 NACA Convention in Nashville. Participation to this event will enable selected artists to reach young American audiences and secure longer term opportunities in the North American music market. About the organizationThe Association of Music Entrepreneurs (AME) is a not for profit organization incorporated in St Michael, Barbados in February 2010. It is devoted to the promotion and export of services provided by performance art professionals in Barbados. The AME has played an important role during the selection of music performance delegations at the World Music Expo in Denmark (WOMEX), the Marché International du Disque et de l'Edition Musicale (MIDEM) in France and South by Southwest (SXSW) in the USA. Local ContextDespite having secured recording contracts over the past five years, many Caribbean artists have had very limited opportunities to make a living from these activities. This is predominantly due to the economic recession which hit cultural industries worldwide. In 2011 and 2012, the AME participated in NACA Conventions in Saint Louis and Charlotte. It was able to secure several bookings for Caribbean artists at those events. NACA Conventions enable up and coming artists to reach young American audiences. Major recording labels are attentive to the following of new artists among their core audience, thus performing at the NACA is truly a springboard for artists who want to enter the mainstream music market in North America. Main objectivesThis project is building bridges between the Barbadian music industry and the North American college circuit, a scene which presents year-round touring opportunities and acts as a launching-pad to reach mainstream markets around the world. In anticipation of this event, the AME is training and managing music industry artists (from singers to their backing bands), producers, songwriters, graphic designers, attorneys and talent representatives. The organization ensures that within five years this sector of Barbados' cultural industries will be a pillar for development in the country by providing employment for locals and increased tax revenue to the government. Main activitiesAME selected five musical acts for Barbados to perform at the NACA Convention held in Nashville in 2013. It conducted capacity building activities with the roster of selected artists. It secured a 3-year partnership agreement with the NACA, ensuring opportunities for showcases as well as bookings.AME will also attend the Convention to ensure the successful participation of selected acts. Even after the NACA 2013 event comes to an end, AME will follow-up on leads, track bookings and take into account feedback from the reception of performances in order to improve on them when necessary.