(SNO) – Local and regional hit songs ‘Split In Di Middle’ by Freezy and ‘Bad In Bum Bum’ by Mighty and Subance are just the beginning of better things to come for Saint Lucia’s unique music genre, ‘Dennery Segment’ or ‘Lucian Kuduro’.
The local authorities plan to do more to promote this brand of music to the international community, to hopefully make it as recognisable as Jamaica’s reggae/dancehall and Trinidad’s calypso.
That’s according to Chairman of the Cultural Development Foundation (CDF), Daniel Belizaire, who said he is planning to meet with stakeholders, including the Saint Lucia Trade Export Promotion Agency (TEPA), on ways to not only improve the product, but to promote it to the region and the world.
The CDF, established in 2002, is responsible for promoting Saint Lucia’s arts and culture.
“Kuduro or Dennery Segment, I see a bright future there,” he told reporters this week, “something that can be exported and can be identified with Saint Lucia. The CDF is right now putting together a programme and I know that TEPA has done one as well. And we are going to be working closely with TEPA, being the export agency, to see how we can combine these two programmes to make the product even better.”
There are concerns that the authorities, in their efforts to promote and export this musical culture, may tweak the product too much and destroy it in the process. Persons in the local musical fraternity have noted how Jamaica’s dancehall and Trinidad’s calypso/soca, despite their raw and explicit contents, have maintained popularity over the years.
However, Belizaire, who was appointed chairman of the CDF last month, said his organisation intends to keep the product native.
“We do not take something that is organic and destroy it. So, we are going to be inviting all the players, those who write the lyrics, as well as the performers, to sit down at some sort of symposium so we can work out how we can take this product and make it more exportable. Jamaica has reggae, Trinidad has calypso. Saint Lucia can have Dennery Segment. I can see great future for the Dennery Segment industry,” he explained.
He added: “We are trying to figure out how do we go about making that product and creating a brand around it…. I spoke earlier about, earlier about Saint Lucia differentiating itself from Jamaica and Barbados, and Antigua and St. Vincent when it came to carnival, because they each have unique qualities that define their product. We are trying to see how we can define our product when it comes to carnival because it does not make sense that we continue, you know, like the other countries. You want to be able to know that when we are marketing our product, it is defined from the others. And again I think, the Dennery Segment music is one of the ways we can do so, along with, of course, our culture and our heritage.”
Dennery Segment or ‘Lucian Kuduro’ is a musical style that is derived from the original Kuduro sound from Angola, a West African country.
Meg Prosper described the musical style on LargeUp.com: “Paired with elements of zouk (the sound of the French Caribbean), Lucian percussions and Kreyòl lyrics, it took on a life of its own in St. Lucia. More recently, it’s been re-dubbed “Dennery Segment” after the town in St. Lucia’s Mabouya Valley where the sound was birthed. When selectors begin to play raw, suggestive tracks with a Kreyòl accent like Freezy’s “Split In Di Middle,” you’ve entered the Dennery Segment.”
CLICK HERE for more about the Dennery Segment.