Market Dominica’s calypsonians more – Bully


Former head of Carnival Organizing Committee, Alwin Bully, has suggested that Dominican Calypsonians be marketed on a regional level.

Bully told DNO that a calypsonian like Dice, who has captured the national calypso crown six times, should be a regional name.

“A mighty calypsonian like six-time king Dice is hardly known outside of Dominica. This man should be known all over the Caribbean by now,” Bully argued.

Bully said further that local calypsonians should be given more opportunities to perform overseas since some their lyrical content is regional in scope.

“In Dominica’s Calypso this year there were a lot of calypsos which were very regional in their content,” he pointed out.

He said more must be done to market Dominica’s calypsos and musical bands. “Enough is not being done to get our calyponians and our boyoun bands singing out there,” he noted. “And the negotiations and arrangements for that should be undertaken not just by the Dominica Festivals Committee but by the Calypso Association.”

Executive member of the Dominica Calypso Association, Daryl Bob, agreed with Bully saying that the marketing of local calysponians is necessary.

“It is necessary that all calypsonians who are marketable enough should be given a chance in the region to be marketed and (this) should not be limited to King Dice,” he said.

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  1. February 20, 2013

    Are the calypso monarchs offered scholarships as part of the prize?

    If not, why not. Solo, Ency, Hurricane, Hunter, Dice etc are all multi time winners, but if the monarchs over the last 30 years or so had been encouraged to go to uni and study marketing, music production and management, business, accounting, broadcasting, journalism, performance art etc, the art form would have individuals have the formal education, skills and vision to do, for ourselves what Dr. Bully is talking about.

  2. cheakthem
    February 19, 2013

    Backline I must say that your comments are empty and has no place at all. Stop thinking political and do the right thing which I think is to keep silent.

  3. February 19, 2013

    What might be big in Dominica, usually means nothing outside of Dominica. You see whereas the Dominican accent when singing is normal to the ear of the average Dominican, that raw Dominica accent may be a turn off for the none-Dominican.

    Secondly, people singing mixing patios and English, unless you are from St. Lucia one may not even understand the Dominica patios, since the people of Guadeloupe, Martinique, St. Martin, the Dominican Republic, and Haiti’s national language is distinctly French.

    Now I know that plenty Dominicans believe they are understood when they go to Guadeloupe, and speak Dominica patios, but the French simply laugh at them.

    Wendy Robin, an original from my village of Wesley visited Dominica sometime in the early part of last year, she gave a sample of her singing and performing talent on one of the Television Stations in Dominica. I was fortunate to read a comment someone wrote about her.

    ” Well for the first time in my life I heard a Dominican sang a song in complete English.”

    Anyway, when a Dominican, and I am leaving out Ophelia, when they sing its like the words are popping out of their longs! Practice makes perfect, one has to do plenty of rehearsing; one cannot indulge into heavy consumption of alcohol beverages, and expect to have a clear singing voice, alcohol (rum) damages the vocal cords.

    About a year ago, there was a Band from Grand Bay here, I went to the show, okay, I took a few none-Dominicans along, we separated, the next day when we spoke about the show, they told me they heard the rhythm of the music, however not a single word in any of the songs were understood by them.

    I personally enjoyed the show, I was bouncing up and down even though I too do not understand patios, but then again I am Dominican from Wesley, so like it or not I had to appreciate it!

    In Bully’s mind the lighting, and thunder rhythm songs, and music of Dominica as ” King Obstinate” of Antigua calls our music may seem like something suited for the international market, but people can only buy what they can understand and like.

    The Dominica accent is not actually suited for Calypso!

    Calypso, is big in the Caribbean, however, in Europe and the North America, the only people one may find calypso music in their homes are West Indians: with the exception of the people of Belize in South America.

    Francisco Etienne-Dods Telemaque

    • Pope
      February 19, 2013

      Well! Mr. Dodds Telemacque, you have improved a great deal on your use of the English language in writing form; or maybe someone is editing for you. However, your spelling is still poor. The word is ‘lungs’ not ‘longs’.

      • February 19, 2013

        Well Pop boy, I am one of those people who never edit what I write, sometimes if I notice the error I may correct it, but that’s never a big deal for me.

        What may appear to be a spelling error to you might be spelt correctly. You see, there are different languages programmed into ones’ computer, i.e. Cambridge English, or the American English which varies somewhat; where it pertains to spelling. I have chosen to adapt the American English, and spelling because I reside in America.

        When I took an English class here a long time ago, I spelt words according to the British linguistics system, you would not believe I was failing until I discovered that America way of spelling and writing in their English language is slightly different to ours.

        In America you find of is used commonly, even one of my children born in Antigua confronted a teacher in a Roman Catholic institution in Hollywood about that the; teacher told him to get out of his face, the sentence and the use of “is when it was used is correct.

        If you come out here to live you will experience the same thing, if you are already here, I am sure you have already experienced it: There is a time and place for everything, when you in Rome, you learn to act as a Roman, and live as one also!

        Now you perhaps heard the term ” we be jamming” if you said that in a class room in Dominica, England or any place in the Caribbean, you might be told to say ” we will be jamming.” Fact is I had an English professor who convinced our class that ” we be jamming” is perfect English.

        And that came about in class in a discussion about an Bob Marley song in which he said we be jamming.

        Do not worry about the way you see me write on DNO, pay me to write for you and find out what my true writing ability is like.

        Have you ever heard the term ” technical writer?” Well I once made my living as a technical in the electronic industry, and if I succeeded in that role, and was not fired I am confident that I can deal with the English language efficiently!

        Francisco Etienne-Dods Telemaque

    • February 20, 2013

      Caribbean people listen to music from all over the world, an accent does not stop us from understanding … why would a Dominican accent? I listen to Antigua, Trinidad etc calypsos why not a Dominican?

  4. Maestro
    February 19, 2013

    They would be a good thing but most of the present calypsonian either sing of key or slightly off key. We cannot have theses song be a representation of Dominica’s calypso. I know so people without a trained ear will disagree. A lot of the song are good but the voices do not help in the delivery on the songs. Maybe we will have to have workshops on voice and eartraining first before attempting the regional marketing.

    • Maestro
      February 19, 2013

      That would be a good thing but most off the present calypsonian s either sing off key or slightly off key. We cannot allow these to be a representation of Dominica calypsos. …………….

  5. Voila
    February 18, 2013

    Dice better learn to rap or sing reggae…this music called calypso is a folklore music that we only be appreciated by simple Domincan minds ….most of the music is political menu meypuis or roro for the likes of qQ95.

    What the hell is babalen…can you imagine playing this crap after Kes or Machal Montano sings

    Oh please Alwin …is best you say continue dancing quadrille …DA calypso can’t even make it past Ash Wednesday on the radio…pure Reggae/ hip hop/ Rihanna etc

  6. legit
    February 18, 2013

    Dominicans get a grip on yourselves…Calypso is now folk song..there is no market for it..besides DA calypsos are for local consumption it does not have a regional music catch and flavor for other audiences..its time we head to soca music that’s where all the islands putting their interest..Soca Music..we need it but its not marketable.

  7. Job
    February 18, 2013

    How about marketing our carnival costume makers instead ? These talented people give up weeks of their time for free designing and creating fantastic costumes for queens, teens, princesses and carnival bands. There should be recognition of them and prizes for them. There should also be a place where these fabulous costumes are on display – they are part of the island’s heritage, yet they are dumped and forgotten by Ash Wednesday. It’s tragic. I propose a Carnival Costume Museum – it would also be a tourist attraction and could partly finance itself through visitor fees.

  8. Dilly
    February 18, 2013

    Most Calypsonians in Dominica these days are not like the times of Rabbit, Hurricane, Brakes. Wizard, just to name a few who use to bring a positive message, some of them still do but most of them bad talking the government and talking bad about the country how can we promote that regionally. Why sing for only Dominicans to understand the same thing happens in bouyon also we need to improve the product so other people can relate.

    One more thing Dice is his biggest enemy he needs to check his attitude because calypso lovers home and especially abroad dont want to book him because of his bad attitude.

    • Choice - X
      February 18, 2013

      One thing they never hold Dice reading from his palm. So stop your hating, dice is a fellow brethren, so stop your inwards racism.

  9. UK Dominican Bwoi
    February 18, 2013

    I agree, but not just Calypso. In the UK, USA & many other countries, the most popular and successful form of Caribbean music you’ll hear or see on our tv’s today are Reggae & Dancehall. Many people do listen to Soca, but among the younger people, it’s majority Dancehall you’ll here. Dominica has a lot of artists that I think also need more recognition, such as Colton T, True Shatta, Symplz who make different genres of music, and many more.

    I always here music from Jamaicans, Bajans, Trini’s, St Lucians, Grenadians etc where I live, but rarely here Dominicans. Not to say I don’t here it at all, but just not as much.

  10. Joe
    February 18, 2013

    Mr. Bully, i disagree with you on that one, the marketing of an individual or collective calypsonian regionally or otherwise CANNOT be the responsibility of the Dominica Festival Committee nor the Calypso Association.

    If they are that good for the Regional market then they should employ Managers to get them gigs in the region, keep their eyes and ears on the ground, effective networking to ensure you are called up, and most of all, espcially in DICE case, the WRITERS and COMPOSERS of these songs must be willing to allow the songs to be sang outside of the calypso show without expecting returns on every performance or gig.

    That i think is the problem with many calypsonians here, the song don’t belong to them and the owner picks and choose where and when his song should be sang and what % of the takings he needs for each gig. Most time is (60-40)!!!!

    • Backline
      February 18, 2013

      Joe, with respect you are clouded with allot of ego,,you don’t seem to understand issues of having things in place….

      guess that’s why dominica is so backward in many areas due to lack of thought process your idea is very lame…starting thinking the bigger picture..
      not sure maybe you one who back the red clinc..that’s their type of thinking…

      dominica continues to remain the poorest in the caribbean eastern wise due to negative ideas…

      • Joe
        February 19, 2013

        Backline, your criticism of my comment and nothing is one of the same…..

        “not sure maybe you one who back the BLUES…..that’s their type of thinking…”

        Tell what are the issues about having things in place that i don’t seem to understand!!!!!!

  11. Mweh mem
    February 18, 2013

    This has become an issue as soon as calypso became a “big money ting”..some writers do not want their songs to be sang at certain places/shows; this is a major stumbling block to the marketing of the product..

  12. Anonymous
    February 18, 2013

    Bring back the OECS shows we use to have and trying it in the other Caribean Islands

  13. Derryck
    February 18, 2013

    Common Mr. Daryl Bobb; please note that Mr. Bully used Dice as an example of a calysonian that could be marketed at the regional level(six-
    time Kaiso king). He did not imply it should be only be limited to Dice. In fact he said “Dominican Calysonians”. Maybe I am reading too much into Bobb’s statement.

    • Derryck
      February 18, 2013

      Correction: I meant “He did not imply it should only be limited to Dice” Thanks.

  14. Toronto
    February 18, 2013

    Agreed 100%

  15. Anonymous
    February 18, 2013

    I agree with you Mr. Bully but before DA Kaiso can be competitively marketed within the region a concerted effort is needed in upgrading the recording of these songs. To this I point particular to the use of a Live brass/horn section as apposed to synthesized brass lines which takes away from the authentic Kaiso sound to the extent that some of the tones used are unrealistic and definitely degrades the art form rather than enhance it. We need a few good horn men to enhance the recording and thus enhance the marketability of the DA kaiso product.

    • Neg Gwanbay
      February 18, 2013

      The horn players in dominica are not up to recording standards.Not one of them,therefor u are almost compelled to use synth brass or record outside dominica.

    • CIA on the watch
      February 18, 2013

      That is what to me makes the calypso pure, we got a lot of good horn men to name a few Swinging stars brass section

  16. JONES
    February 18, 2013

    Market DICE , People will only buy what is good for them, Bob Marley etc sang for the world thats why they made it, not for Jamacia.

    • Dilly
      February 18, 2013

      You hit the nail right on the head :-D I wish i was allowed to give it a 1000 thumbs up

  17. T mama
    February 18, 2013

    i certainly agree, make Dice and others perform on these stages….

  18. CIA on the watch
    February 18, 2013

    The Dominica Calypso Association concentration or idea about calypso is a seasonal affair, once a year its eliminations, quarter finals, semifinals and finals and the gate receipts, thats all the debate you hear from the DCA, i have not heard from the DCA what plans do they havr to improve the art form, and much respect to you Mr. Bully as Cultural adviser to the Government, i honeestly thought with your ties to UNESCO you would of thought of advancing all cultural traditions in Dominica including the calypso, and you are right about the Dice, this guy has been in New York for at least six times and would you believe the promoter who is responsible for the King of Kings in New York only expose one out of the many who come to new york to perform and that is the Hunter who seem to be given a spot on the events hosted/organize by the West Indian Day Carnival Committee, and he performs even if he is king or not and i must say Hunter give a good account of himself, Dice have never been on that event as for as i know even with his six crowns, which tells me Dice is used to draw the crowds to the king of kings event but he is not good to be exposed in New york among the other caribbean performers, i call that blatant discrimination towards the Dice

    • LG
      February 19, 2013

      CIA on the watch..Dice was featured singer at show in spring 2011 in Mt. Vernon, NY. Venue was spacious hall, ample seating, food for purchase, reasonable ticket price, but Dominicans DID NOT crowd place as happens at K of K show. Why?? Dice and others were professional no matter how small the crowd which proves promotion of singers IS happening not just in Brooklyn.

      • CIA on the Watch
        February 19, 2013

        LG, its the first time i am hearing about this activity in mount vernon. Its funny that there seem to be quit a few Dominican activities in NY that some persons are not aware of

  19. Pointe Michel-Roseau
    February 18, 2013

    Great idea, so lets do something tangible and send those calypsonians out there to perform in regional carnivals which have different dates from ours.

    • Observer
      February 18, 2013

      I see Ras Kelly making a diference with his song ‘papa is You”. His theme would reasonate anywhere where calypso artform is appreciated. Dice’s “Beat Me Mama, Beat Me” and his second song about the real Dominican history would require plenty adjustments to reflect a more regional flavour rather than pushing the political agenda ofhis handlers before these songs can be sung outside of Dominica no matter how brilliant he handles himself. The “man Himself” song “Liars” even in its current form stand a better chance of making it outside ofDominica than any of Dice’s tunes this year simply because the lyrics is arranged in such a way that it can appeal to non-national audiences. Can “Madness” with all its soca flavour be appreciated and marketed in St. Lucia for example? What about “Ba balene”? We make so much of it. Can it go anywhere outside a strictly partisan DOMINICA audience? Can De Bob’s, what you call it again, pass as a calypso anywhere in the calypso world? where else can Webb sing his main peice this year and get a rapt and receptive audience? In fact a Trini audience would flaunt the delivery of “Woman’s Worth” even if it was written by a Trini.

      Can anyone explain why even after forty or so years years, Solo’s ‘Mass in De Cemetery” has been a permaneet installment on the road, putting in the cold shade all what we pass for good calypsos every year. What about “Ba Yo Bwa”? We can learn from these greats. let us read again Alwin’s coments and see how we can make a difference to the young artist who has so much to give but fail to see that his handlers,are using him to advance their political agenda. He is not smart yet.

  20. grell
    February 18, 2013

    every year i ead the same article and nothing is being done.

  21. Agree
    February 18, 2013

    i agree with you sir 100%

  22. Observer
    February 18, 2013

    Dice must seize the moment and demand that the songs he is given to sing must not be only about Skerrit (Pat’s agenda)and Dominica. With thekind of talent he has he must demand more than just lamentations about local political developments. Mind you I am not saying he must not sing about what is affecting him. That is the genesis of calypso. But he must want to go beyond the immediate arena of the calypso finals. He must desire to reach a fan bas that will buy his CDs and not those who will simply burn 10 from one. Sadly most of Dice’s fans here will are only interested in the calypso finals and simply move on to the monotone, one syllable, one liner chants we call – Bouyon. Dice must make demands now. He can demand more from his handlers. Unfortunately, his handlers see only a Dice who is able to superbly accentuate their partisan driven agenda thru Dice’s high quality stage performance using calypso

    • real possie
      February 18, 2013

      observer thank u i love the way dice sings u can hear all his words,he is one of a kind,but at the same time u cant sing on one topic all the time so.To cia on the watch dont talk about hunter have u ever seen this guy perform away from home the guy has trini,bagan,lucian dancing asking who is that i remember the guy had vi women losing there mind over his whine dice this is no diss to u don’t sing songs that only die in da.

      • Greg
        February 18, 2013

        If singing about patriotism and time to put country before party is about SKERRIT then I guess Skerit is Dominica then. It is just one week since carnival and people like observer and real Porssie are already trying to distort history. Dice sang about Historians distorting the truth – that is what one of Dice song focused on. The second second song emphasized the importance of disciplining children early so that when they grow up they don’t end up in prison.
        Real Porssie when Eugenia was in power didn’t you hear guys like Miko sing about the government year after year? When UWP was in power didn’t you hear ghost for four years blast the UWP parliamentarians , didn’t you hear Hunter for four years sing about the UWP. Stop being bias and ignorant. If there s anytime In Our history that government politicians have disgraced our parliament and government system is now with this crop of crooks and deceptionists.

    • CIA on the watch
      February 18, 2013

      Observer, Please note there is no limit to free speech in a democracy, when Hunter sang “Is de Asphalt” and many many more anti governemnt song where were you hidden in the bushes of Dominica?? Welcome back to civilization observer

  23. Honest talk
    February 18, 2013

    Suggestion – what about the calypso organization organizing the king of kings competition in Dominica. A well organized a marketed show with pay per view access throughout .

    • New Yorker
      February 18, 2013

      That show might be no more since Dominican living in New York was of the opinion that $2.00US out of every ticket sales was to go towards the cathedral roof repair to date and up to last week we hear Wadix on Q95 pleading for the promoter to pay the Bishop otherwise Dominicans livingig in New Yorkers will consider this to be thieft of our hard earn dollars considering where the show was held in a risky crime hot spot area community in Brooklyn

      • LG
        February 19, 2013

        New Yorker, see my reply to CIA on the watch. fellow NYer.

      • Honest talk
        February 19, 2013

        I was not talking about Anne Marie show I am talking about the regional king of king – the competition that Hurricane won back in the90 ‘s.

  24. "O" STRESS"
    February 18, 2013

    As always I respect and admire mr Bully`s views on a number of subjects and for his passion for Dominica as most of us are, But mr Bully must also call on the same Calypsoians to behave in a professional manner at all times during and after carnival season in Dominica, and outside of Dominica. Let them know that Dominicans resides all over the world and their attitude will determine their altidude”it does not matter how many times one wins the Crown but if their attitude is out of wack, and ever time they claim to represent Dominica with their nasty and unprofessional approach including appearing high like a kite at every function both in Dominica and ouside of Dominica they and they alone can determine how far they go and how much respect is given, lets adress the whole issues. first impression is lasting impression. I know cause I am representing both sides and beging for the same thing Mr bully is adressing. WHO THE CAP FIT LET THEM WEAR IT” NO NAME NO WARRANT” WE ALL IN THIS TOGETHER!

    • Ovaltine
      February 18, 2013

      Second that!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

  25. Honest talk
    February 18, 2013

    Dice is talented and maybe at a stage or getting old enough to understand and act like an ambassador and an artist whose responsibility it is to be on the right side of the law at all times. People don’t take risks on artists especially unknown talents who can be problematic.
    I have seen some meaningful improvement and it is my hope that Dice get the promotion and exposure that his talent deserve. Dice’s abrasive personality is nt only reason for the status quo as much more need to be done to promote our artists.
    Whatever appended to the Caribbean calypso competition- the competition that King Hurticane won.

    • is that say
      February 19, 2013

      Dont we all break the law at one time or another? You speak like Dice is too many times on the wrong side of the law? When was the last time you heard him involved in an incident? Do you know the facts? It is time we Dominicans stop putting salt in people’s wound. Time is a great healer despite. Let people move forward without always reminding them of their past and trying to drag them back into the mud!!!

      • Honest talk
        February 19, 2013

        Read my comment again sakwais sort

  26. Beacon
    February 18, 2013

    Good Point, Mr.Bully….

    Are you sure the Present thinking capacity of the Structure can make this work..i beg to differ..

    Folks here are too easily satisfied with gravels.

    It’s always good so or it ok!..that’s how they Think.Change is extremely difficult in a place Like Dominica where many aren’t independant on Thought,Actions and Successive Results which Benefit they outstanding image of Dominica where They gain world wide attraction and higher ideals.

    Just take a deep look at all the sectors in Dominica…what is the end Product…tells and Says allot of their Society!

  27. cod capi
    February 18, 2013

    good point

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