By Eulana Weekes
St. Kitts and Nevis (WINN): The entertainment industry in St. Kitts and Nevis received a significant boost over the course of the political campaign season. Political parties have used entertainment as a strategy to engage with their supporters at public meetings, socials and rallies.
Recently, the political parties on St. Kitts hosted their youth rallies; the People’s Action Movement and the St. Kitts-Nevis Labour Party held theirs on Friday night (July 29), whilst the People’s Labour Party hosted their youth rally on Friday (July 22), a “Nomination Day Rally” on Tuesday night (July 26) and scheduled a “People’s Liberation Concert” for Sunday (July 31).
Throughout the campaign season, the political parties have been investing, promoting and empowering local entertainers. Local bands, artistes or dj’s; have showcased their skills on political platforms. Some of the artists include Collin Wyatt, Shana, Footsy, Dejour, Nicha B, Rucas H.E, Stickle, IMark, Akaiiusweet, Hi Light and Rodney. Some of the artists along with local music producers are the creators of the promotional campaign songs for various candidates. Party supporters also had an opportunity to enjoy the music of local bands such as Nu Vybes, Small Axe and Grand Masters. Local dj’s, E.K The Real Right, Sparry, Dj Tero, FireHouse Sound and Street Vybz Sound were also listed amongst entertainers for the various political events.
Entertainment in St. Kitts and Nevis came to a halt due to the COVID-19 Pandemic in 2020-2021. Some entertainers began to experience pandemic fatigue, as well as significant financial burden. Some complained that their only source of income derived from regular gigs, whereas, others, though having a full-time job, were dependent upon their entertainment jobs for additional income.
The return to a near-normal way of life with minimal restrictions has allowed the entertainment industry to rebuild. The political campaign specifically, has brought significant economic benefits to the entertainers and by extension the country.
Dwayne “Deejay Flames” Fergurson, a Jamaican born disc jockey, producer and promoter who resides on St. Kitts said performing on the various political platforms is a great opportunity for the artists to make money and also allows them exposure to the wider world, through online viewership.
However, Deejay Flames is hoping that after the campaign season politicians will continue to support local entertainers; giving them more and equal opportunities to benefit. The deejay is urging politicians to assist promoters in organising events consistently.
Deejay Flames shared a concern that though artists may receive financial benefits for their performances, the producers, writers and others who contributed to the music aren’t benefiting. He suggests that politicians use their platforms to encourage entertainers to get their business or music licensed to protect their work from copyright infringements.