From left: Winner of the song writing competition: Belando, Shalom, lead singer of Katalys Crew, Paul Barclay, manager, Katalys Crew Production and Jacqueline Shaw-Nicholson, Communication and Client Services Manager, JN Small Business Loans. All four persons were at the finals of the Katapult Song writing Competition for residents in the Kingston 11 area at the Olympic Gardens Civic Centre recently.
Paul Barclay, the manager of Katalys Crew Production, is looking to take his Katapult Songwriting Competition to more communities following the success of the competition that was held in February.
The competition was mounted in association with Fi Wi Jamaica Project, We Speak Life Global, the Social Development Commission, JN Small Business Loans (JNSBL), JN Money and the Olympic Gardens Community Development Centre. The finals took place in late February, with Rasheem Belnavis winning for his entry, “Crime and Violence to Cease“.
“The competition’s aim was to connect communities to unearth talent and to provide exposure and tools to launch careers,” Barclay explained. “Unlike existing competitions, we opted to conduct this one at the community level, so that participants will benefit from the additional training in the music business.”
Barclay explained that there was interest from persons in the Kingston 11 region where the competition mounted.
“We had over 30 entries from the community and a number of additional artistes from the general public. We also had over 12,000 impressions on our website and social media in two weeks,” he added.
Barclay pointed out that the competition was geared to capacity building; equipping music aspirants with the knowledge they needed to start their music career; as well as, to learn to manage their music business.
He added that the competition also promoted positive behaviour among “at risk” young people in communities.
“I decided that we could use music to make a difference, because there is an association between derogatory music and negative behaviour. But, we didn’t want to have the competition and leave the participants to fend for themselves. That is why we educated them about the business,” he stated.
He is hoping to have another competition in Spanish Town later this year and hopes more sponsors will come onboard.
Mrs. Jacqueline Shaw-Nicholson, communication and client services manager at JNSBL, said that the loan company became involved with the project because music was a viable form of entrepreneurship.
“The creative industry represents a viable career and also a route to entrepreneurship. Many musicians have been able to earn and venture into other operations; therefore, we are more than pleased to support this initiative,” she said.
Winner of the competition, Rasheem ‘Belando’ Belnavis, said he came up with the song after hearing about the level of violence across the island.
“I first came up with the idea for the song after listening to the news for most of last year and hearing about the crime and violence that was taking place in Montego Bay, May Pen, parts of Kingston and in other parts of the country,” said Belnavis.
The dispatcher, who has been singing since he was nine years old, took two weeks to pen the lyrics for his song.
“I wasn’t concerned about winning. I simply wanted an outlet to express my sadness about violence, and the fact that children were afraid because of what was happening. It was hard to write. It took me two weeks to come up with the melody and the correct words,” he explained.
As winner of the competition, he will receive a single recording contract from Katalys Crew Production and the opportunity to record his song, as well as, receive airplay in the Caribbean and parts of North America along with a starter promotional kit, to include online distribution.