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Oct 31, 2017

Music Artistes Now Have Single Internet Platform

Artistes unite under the national artist platform called artists.bz. Several local musicians gathered today for the official launch of the online platform. Belize Trade and Investment Development Service, the National Institute for Culture and History, the Office of the Music Ambassador, Belize Coalition of Service Providers and the Music Industry Association of Belize were all present for the handing over of the platform artists dot B Z.  While the site introduces only musicians, in the future others who work in the creative industry such as sculptors, painters, actors, etc… will get the opportunity to use the space to promote their skills. News Five’s Andrea Polanco was at today’s launch where she found out how the online portal can make a difference in the lives of local artists.

 

Andrea Polanco, Reporting

Artists.bz is a newly designed website – first of its kind – expected to help local musicians promote their craft in one organized online space. Here the can create a profile with a bio, photos, links to their work and contact information. It’s described as a social site that will introduce Belizean artists to a wider audience locally and globally, beyond what their electronic press kits can do.

 

Shahera McKoy

Shahera McKoy, Manager, Export Belize

“Now they have the press kit, there are other ways they can use to promote; they can go after other opportunities; getting bookings nationally and the work needs to continue to ensure that we build visibility internationally as well. So, the whole idea is to promote Belizean artists and groups for them to be able to get visibility not only locally but also internationally.”

 

Local artist Cocono Bwai says that although he uses social media to promote his music, he hopes to tap into the opportunities that “artists.bz” will provide, such as the option for direct bookings and international exposure.

 

Cecil “Cocono Bwai” Jenkins

Cecil “Cocono Bwai” Jenkins, Artist

“The more the betta because I mean there are billions of people in this world and you never know who want to attract to you and ker yuh music on another level inna this world. So right now I will focus on ‘artist.bz’ because that is young for me as an artist.”

 

Andrea Polanco

“So, primarily for you, you are hoping that this website will perhaps get you some bookings; international exposure?”

 

Cecil “Cocono Bwai” Jenkins

“That is the best thing because people from all over the world; you can use this website or the link on Facebook so people on a professional level can really hire your; book you at the different expos in Europe; it is a great opportunity and it is something that I cannot take for granted.”

 

But the “artists.bz” may sound like other website or online platform to promote talent; so how does it differ from personal websites and other social media sites? Export Belize says that this represents only a fraction of connecting certified artists to the right networks.

 

Shahera McKoy

“We want them to view their music more as a business. In just interactions, we find out a lot of them use their personal Facebook page and they might not be getting the targeted audience; that person who will give them a booking. Yes, they might have followers and fans but we want to ensure that there is opportunity for them to make money and view their music as a business. What happens with this platform is that the platform is one thing itself. The activities supporting the platform is different. We are looking at road shows for sensitization of the platform, but we also have like some of our embassies that we have worked with. We have done that through the promotion of goods, so we are thinking why not include music as well and start to use those mediums to promote. So, we are talking our Embassies; key Diaspora groups; regional and international festivals; so we are crafting a strategy.”

 

Reporting for News Five, I’m Andrea Polanco.

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Viewers please note: This Internet newscast is a verbatim transcript of our evening television newscast. Where speakers use Kriol, we attempt to faithfully reproduce the quotes using a standard spelling system.

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