The CSM Bacchanal

The CSM Bacchanal

The recent CSM bacchanal has captivated the nation. To sum things up, the 2018 edition of the event was cancelled due to claims of no funding. The Finance Ministry said it offered funding but the wrong amount. The funding offer was adjusted and less than 24 hours later, the competition is on once again. Chutney Bacchanal indeed.
The matter itself aside, one could argue that the most captivating aspect of the whole debacle was the public commentary. On the various social media posts detailing the latest updates on the situation, thousands commented their proverbial ‘2 cents’. Some felt it was a calculated attack on East Indian music, which many would argue, continues to be seen as a niche genre and not quite as prominent as its Soca counterpart. Others believe it was due to the controversial innuendo laced commentary of Massive Gosine’s latest song, though that is debatable since the CSM organizer himself has criticized the song. Then there were those who welcomed the cancellation, saying the money should be spent taking care of citizens, instead of lining the pockets of those who they believe lack creativity. It’s a stinging suggestion that is not totally without merit.
East Indian music has a lot to be proud of. It has endured against all odds, evolving in a setting where it was looked down upon. But it would not be unfair to demand better from the current crop of artistes. We live in a world of course, where music is accessible to everyone, and no doubt musicians will be inspired by each other. In fact, that is unavoidable. Even world renowned artistes like Ed Sheeran and Eminem have sampled music. But, there is a line that separates tasteful inspiration and sampling, from straight out copying. Good music is timeless. There is a reason we still get chills when Sundar Popo and Kanchan and Babla comes on. These too are artistes that were inspired and influenced by other musical genres. The difference is they paid attention to the music, and worked to let that speak in a way that nothing else can. Sometimes it seems that musicians today don’t think that way. It seems they all just want a quick fire hit, instead of truly strong music. And this is a criticism for local musicians of all genres.
 Yes, there is a season to cater to and yes, artistes have to make a living. But at a point in time, music needs to go beyond being a job, and become an art-form. There are artistes all over the world, and some here even, who take their time when making music. Quality comes before quantity. If you want to call yourself a musician, take the time to get things done right. 

Web Master

January 8th, 2018

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