Christie sets new direction for Bahamian artists – Baha Men to sign deal with Sony Music Entertainment

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Prime Minister the Rt. Hon. Perry Gladstone Christie congratulates Baha Men on hearing the news that the group will sign a formal recording contract with Sony Music Entertainment. The press conference was held at the Prime Minister’s Office, Cable Beach, Thursday, May 24, 2012. Pictured sitting from left: Afo Verde, President, Sony Music Entertainment, Latin American Division; Fernando Cabral, Senior Vice President, Marketing, Sony Music Entertainment, Latin American Division; the Prime Minister and Minister of Youth, Sports and Culture Dr. the Hon. Daniel Johnson. Standing are the members of Baha Men.

The Government the BELIEVES IN BAHAMIANS IS SENDING BAHAMIAN MUSIC AROUND THE WORLD ON DAY ONE!

NASSAU, The Bahamas — Prime Minister the Rt. Hon. Perry Gladstone Christie during a press conference on Thursday, congratulated the music group Baha Men who will soon sign a formal recording contract with Sony Music Entertainment.

“They are each in their own right, experienced musicians and artists, and connectively they are a very strong and potent force,” the Prime Minister said.  “They have the capacity to again impact the world.”

He told the group members’ that they are a wonderful example for other aspiring Bahamian musicians, and they will be able to promote the country with the backing of a company with influence all over the world.

Besides members of Baha Men, also present were Minister of Tourism the Hon. Obie Wilchcombe; Minister of Youth, Sports and Culture Dr. the Hon. Daniel Johnson; Afo Verde, President, Sony Music Entertainment, Latin American Division and Fernando Cabral, Senior Vice President, Marketing, Sony Music Entertainment, Latin American Division.

Afo Verde, President, Sony Music Entertainment, Latin American Division (left) shakes the hand of Baha Men group member Isaiah Taylor as Fernando Cabral, Senior Vice President, Marketing, Sony Music Entertainment, Latin American Division looks on.

The Prime Minister noted that this is the perfect time for such an announcement to be made, as the government made its commitment to developing the arts known in the Speech From the Throne read during the Opening of Parliament the day before.
Prime Minister Christie met with Sony executives prior to winning the general elections, with the intention that if he won, a strategy would already be in the works to enable the company to promote The Bahamas in various facets around the world.

He also wanted to establish a relationship with Sony, so that Bahamian recording artists could be signed to contracts on an annual basis.

“The same way we have won gold medals in the Olympics, or produced top heart and neurosurgeons in our country, the talent is there in music and the performing arts,” the Prime Minister said.

Fernando Cabral said Sony executives “were blown away by the performance of Baha Men” during the musical showcase at the company’s annual convention held this year at Atlantis instead of its normal venue, New York City.

“Our President of A&R (who signs talent to the company) said very accurately, that we have all seen hundreds of showcases before and without a doubt, the one this past Tuesday evening was the best that we have ever witnessed.

“During showcases, the Executives just sit very politely and listen very critically, but not this time… by the second song, everyone was out of their seats and dancing uncontrollably in front of the stage.”

Mr. Cabral explained that the Junkanoo sound was something they had never heard before and the band’s performance was simply “awesome”.
“We want that Bahamian sound in our catalogue.  There will be no watering down.”

The Executive said midway through the group’s performance, Obi Pindling, the company’s attorney in The Bahamas was asked if the group was presently signed to anyone.

“We decided on the spot, to extend an invitation for Baha Men to become part of the Sony family.

Mr. Cabral said, “It is our intention, as soon as we return to our respective offices, to have our attorneys prepare a formal recording contract to offer to the Baha Men.

“We have no doubt whatsoever that this is only the start of a wonderful relationship between Sony Music Entertainment and the musical talent of your wonderful country, and hopefully even more,” he said.