A look ahead (and a look into) the Honey Jam Barbados auditions!

Every year around this time, there’s an explosion of female musical talent in Bim.

Or maybe that’s not quite correct. It was there all along, bubbling along at small open mic nights, singing soulfully in church, jamming in bands and spending long nights in tiny recording studios getting the sound just right.

But at around this time of year, this talent is pushed to the forefront during the annual Honey Jam Barbados music showcase.

Ever since the indefatigable Ebonnie Rowe started the Barbadian version of her renowned all-female music showcase back in 2011, the show has grown from strength to strength and certainly in popularity every year.

Just as it has done in its home base of Toronto, the Barbados show has revealed a panoply of female musical talent in every musical genre imaginable, as the video below shows.

But how do they do it? How does a show that by definition has no current ‘stars’ (instead relying on stars in the making) in its line up, make itself into one of the most hotly anticipated musical events each year?

Honey Jam founder Ebonnie Rowe (left) and audition judge Kellie Cadogan confer during the 2013 auditions. (Photo credit: Andrew Browne Photography/Honey Jam Barbados Facebook page)

Honey Jam founder Ebonnie Rowe (left) and audition judge Kellie Cadogan confer during the 2013 auditions. (Photo credit: Andrew Browne Photography/Honey Jam Barbados Facebook page)

2013 audition panel judge Kellie Cadogan and founder Rowe both spoke to Islandista about Honey Jam’s secret formula – what they look and listen for in aspiring artistes to figure out if they are ready for the Honey Jam stage.

Cadogan cited music selection as one of the factors she pays attention to, saying that she is impressed by auditionees who are good at “selecting music that showcases the best part of their vocal ability- intonation, range, use of register, tonal quality and diction.”

Meanwhile, Rowe shared:

“I am looking for an artist who grabs my attention from the moment they hit the stage – someone with presence who commands your attention, connects with the audience, knows how to work the stage and of course an artist who has vocal talent.”

The famously passionate Honey Jam founder stressed:

“It’s important for the artists to know that this is an opportunity for those who are serious about making music their career and they should be sure to work with a vocal and performance coach in advance of the auditions to make sure they are as prepared as they can be. The auditions is one of my favourite parts of the Honey Jam programme – I can’t wait to see the talent that comes out this year!”

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