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Minister of Culture, Creative Economy and Sports, John King wants bashment soca artistes to raise the bar.

In an interview with Bajan Vibes, King revealed that it was his ministry’s mission to export the bashment soca genre. However, its lyrical content and the presentation in music videos and performances needed to change. The former entertainer and seasoned calypsonian argued that firstly, the lyrical content explored in bashment soca and other forms of calypso must be diversified. The Minister contended that most of the lyrical content was extremely sexual and misogynistic.

“Personally, I would like to see someone use the bashment riddims, the same approach, and sing some love songs… You have got to begin to understand that the conversations in music cannot just be about one thing. Human beings have a wide range of emotions and there are some things that all of us know about – love, heartache, happiness, family, tragedy – all these things you can sing about,” King told Bajan Vibes.

The Minister of Culture lauded the popularity of the genre that is indigenous to Barbados but he expressed distaste for the music videos which objectified women and consisted of lewd behaviour.

“I really have a problem when we are asking our young women to behave in a manner that is not becoming of them,” he argued.

“You have to treat to your women in a completely different way. I understand rap music from the United States. But for me, that is not who we are… that is not going to serve our purpose. I have nothing [against] sexy dancing but when it begins to look lewd and crude, I think that is where we should begin to draw the line on some things,” he continued.

King went on to suggest that the genre needed to be rebranded to be more appealing for international tastes.

“We have been selling people the idea of going down behind a truck and jumping up in the sun. These are the things that we talk about all the time but it has to be more than that – how can you sell that to an Eskimo?” he queried.

“We have got to define what this music carries with it so it has lifestyle, it has fashion. I think once we do that bashment music is going to be huge.” (KK)

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