By Ketricia Finch
St. Kitts Reporter
Most of the international and regional artistes who have come for the 2007 Home Grown Festival said it’s a privilege to be in St. Kitts. They said most importantly, they feel like a family and it’s an honor to be working side by side during the four nights of entertainment.
At a press conference held to familiarise the media they thanked Crucial Bankie for the opportunity to be a part of the festival and said they are looking forward to perform at their best for the people of St. Kitts and others on the island. Some of the artists at the conference were Alton Ellis, Judie Moatt, Leroy Sibles, Big Youth and David Adams, Manager of the Nu Vybz Band.
Crucial Bankie, director of the festival, said he is happy to be working with the performers who bring the good message through reggae music. He said Wednesday night’s performance was spectacular where people had the privilege to see local mas and folklore. He estimated that about 1500 people showed up at the opening.
“It was peaceful. That’s what reggae should be about – peace, love, unity, to focus on our strength and strengthening our weaknesses,” Bankie said.
“The idea of Home Grown was to lift up the local acts because I thought many times that in St. Kitts, we were not given the right recognition or we weren’t visible enough. Over the years, I’ve seen artists such as Masud Sadiki, who is not on this Home Grown but was on the first one we did in 2004. I’ve seen other artists over the years grow from just….amateur and then started to get professional like Ashkanaz, Bamboo B, Da Embassy and Daga Youth. I started thinking there’s Music Festival, but there isn’t a festival to just focus on us.”
Bankie said he decided to broaden the festival a bit more and include regional acts as well as local acts due to the influx of visitors right now in St. Kitts.
“The Caribbean is home because we know of the CSME. Also because of the area we had, we decided to set up an area for one night was injustice to the visitors and locals alike so we extended it to four nights,” Bankie said.
Bankie also said that he called upon his friends in Jamaica, who will be performing at the festival and they were willing to co-operate and perform for the event.
“I lived in America for 20 years and they have a very high standard of music but when I see my brothers and sisters in Jamaica stepping up for such a small island compared to this great country, I felt good. I dubbed it Home Grown because everyone feels like they are at home.”
Bankie said they are fully prepared for all the upcoming nights.
“I would like to guarantee the public that this will be a clean concert – no vulgarity, no explicit content and no violence,” Bankie concluded.