PanoGrama Set for Successful Second Staging

Steelpan lovers, music enthusiasts, or even the most casual listeners will get the chance to watch some of the best steelpan players from the Caribbean put their craft on display come May 7 when PanoGrama, dubbed the World Cup of Steelpan, is slated to kick off. The online steelpan competition is getting ready for its second staging after a successful maiden year in 2020, and Nevin Roach, the founder of PanoGrama Entertainment says he has seen a marked improvement in the competition which has stepped up immensely from last year’s staging.

Roach explained that PanoGrama was birthed due to the impact that the COVID-19 pandemic had on the steelpan community. He says it was due to seeing online music performances, he had the idea of creating a competition for pannists.

Nevin Roach, Founder of Panograma

“During the heights of COVID-19 lockdowns and restrictions in 2020, live entertainment on Instagram sparked an idea to do something for pan. We were all stuck at home craving entertainment and I thought I could provide just that. I wanted to bring the entertaining vibe of Panorama to Instagram and as a result, PanoGrama was born,” says Roach. “PanoGrama made history as the first-ever online steelpan competition in 2020 and has now been dubbed the World Cup of Steelpan. It is an international steelpan competition, endorsed by Pan Trinbago (the world governing body for steelpan), that showcases talented up-and-coming musicians, to provide wholesome and family-oriented world-class entertainment, while also simultaneously contributing to the holistic personal, musical and professional development of these musicians.”

And the name of the competition reflects its roots. Born from a period of restrictions, the PanoGrama competition is aimed at not only offer a platform for the pannists to perform and put their talents on display but also helping those that have been hit financially by the pandemic.

“Panorama + Instagram = PanoGrama. Quick maths! However, that was only part of the rationale. I also wanted to use the platform to help pannists who faced financial challenges, considering that going out to play gigs was no more. The goal of assisting was achieved through the offer of cash prizes, especially appearance fees sponsored by Pan Trinbago. Also, upon completion of the competition, a sizeable donation was made to the Social Prosperity Fund of Pan Trinbago, to aid those facing financial hardships within the steelpan community.”

The event will see some of the best steelpan players in the Caribbean come together for a chance to make it to the finals and a chance to call themselves the winner of the Steel Pan World Cup. The format of the competition will feature 29 pannists who have been selected from auditions alongside the defending champion from last year. These pannists will go through a preliminary round where the number of musicians will be cut to 20 to advance to the semifinals. From there, the number will again be cut to 10 pannists that will compete in the PanoGrama finals.

“They would be judged based on very high standards. Detailed criteria would guide judges, which includes improvised or pre-composed variations, execution, and performance. Adjudicators include the Paganini of steelpan Liam Teague, virtuoso Victor Provost, Andy Chichester, David ZigE Walcott, and Ojay Richards,” Roach said.

Roach said that this year has seen a marked increase in the number of auditions, and the competition has improved in strides.

“The reception has been amazing this year. There were 20 participants across 8 countries last year, including Jamaica, Barbados, Antigua & Barbuda, Trinidad & Tobago, St. Maarten, USA, Puerto Rico, and Guyana. This year, a total of 45 pannists auditioned for the competition, with new countries such as France, England, St. Kitts & Nevis, Canada, and the US Virgin islands coming on board, in addition to the countries that were represented last year. PanoGrama has also been getting a lot of coverage in the media and the competition hasn’t started as yet,” he said.

Persons interested can follow the competition on the various social media platforms like on YouTube at the channel PanoGrama, on Facebook at pano.grama1, and on Instagram at pano.grama.

amma magazine creative women

A Letter to Creative Women

Dear Queen:

I see you. You have so many ideas, you want to be a trailblazer, you want to evoke emotions through your work but you feel as if there is no space for you. You self-reject and feel as if your work is not good enough. What if I told you that you have a space in this world? That your ideas are more than good enough to create change, make an impact, and will be passed on to generations? Probably if I told you, you would not believe me but what if you just believed yourself? Why can’t you do it? Why not show the world the royal energy that lives within you? If you ever felt as if you were not creative and you are not doing enough, you are. I hope that this letter serves as a reminder to you to let you know that none of your accomplishments and your dreams are too big for you, I hope this letter makes you know that space is there for you once you take the step to create it.

Please do not feel as if you need to ever rush to create or as if time is running out on you. Do not be hard on yourself, you are doing the best that can do with what you have.

I urge you to execute those plans you have always envisioned, prove to yourself that you are indeed talented, never give in to naysayers (remember, they may just be scared that you may succeed at doing it).

Finally, remember to be your biggest fan. There will always be room for improvement and as you grow and evolve, your work will too, support yourself along the way and celebrate the fact that you took the step to begin your creative journey. You are going to do amazing and achieve everything you set out to.

Shadaia Francis – A woman who just loves to see creative women shine.

Chronixx Safe n Sound

Chronixx ‘Safe N Sound’ Visual and Lyrical Masterpiece

The roll of thunder, an empty swing set, burning debris and an upturned bicycle wheel idly spinning in the smoke all make up the opening visuals for Chronixx’s recent release, Safe N Sound. Chronixx opens his 2021 account in terrific form as he heralds for change in what is arguably a visual and lyrical masterpiece.

The track, co-produced by Chronixx and Romaine “TeflonZincFence” Arnett, is Chronixx’s most recent release since he dropped So Brutal in November 2020.

The ominous – and almost, haunting – beat of Safe N Sound compliments the track’s dystopic visuals as, throughout the music video, the lone figure of Chronixx walks through scenes of burning debris and smoke. The dramatic video shots and editing give the sense of a post-apocalyptic world with Chronixx – born Jamar McNaughton – walking and performing through the chaff.
Chronixx has cemented his reputation as a conscious lyricist whose music often speaks about resilience, spirituality, and anti-war ideologies. Songs like Ghetto Paradise, Start a Fyah, and Ain’t No Giving In are just a few songs from his repertoire that brings across his perspectives and views of society.

In this new release, Chronixx – and not for the first time in his career – aims at the corruption and incompetency of the government, and heralds a message of love and greater unity from each person at a personal and community level.
“State of emergency and a bag a tension. Politicians doh have nuh development plan. That’s why every community needs a one don. One order, everybody fi unite. Nyabinghi order Rastafari,” sings Chronixx.

The smooth hook that follows the first verse shows his visions for a better community and a better Jamaica. Make no mistake, Chronixx speaks from a place of experience and wisdom, and just like his lyrics suggest, he wants nothing more than love and prosperity throughout the communities.

“More love flowing in the town, whole community safe n sound. Move love flowing in the street, work affi gwaan and food affi eat. More love flowing in the town, come on Jamaica tell me how mi sound.”

The duality of his lyrics makes for a truly riveting song and is reminiscent of his earlier track, Ghetto Paradise off his Chronology album. Back then, Chronixx described Jamaica as a ghetto paradise – a seemingly beautiful and perfect place but beneath the beauty lies sinister elements.

“Jamrock is a precious stone but still it’s far from a diamond, take it from I man,” Chronixx penned. “Even though Jamaica nice, you gotta live to save your life. After the sunset comes the darkness of the night.”

He carries a similar message in this when he moves from the hook speaking of love and unity and transitions into a spiel on the cyclical nature of crime in Jamaican society. The tone of the video suddenly switches as Chronixx’s message changes and the scene is suddenly lit with bright red light, as though looking through a sea of red.

“Look how much a wi son dem kill already. Look how much juvenile dem killing again. Future Shelly-Ann Frasers, Usain Bolts. Doctors, wi lawyers and all wi singer dem.”

Chronixx’s recent single, Safe N Sound, is another certifiable hit from the reggae musician and brings more messages of substance and resilience to his ever-growing catalogue.

Image and Video: Taken from the music video Safe n Sound by Chronixx. Watch on YouTube.

Rock and Release: The Art of Self-Care

For many, Self-Care looks like a glass of wine and a spa day, for others, it may look like meditation, for some it may look like sleeping in late or binging their favourite T.V. shows. What if I told you that there are a million and more ways in which we can practice Self- Care? Yes!!! Self- Care is solely dependent on you!!! So, without further ado, let’s talk about Self- Care!!!


Importance of Self- Care

Nobody will ever know you like yourself. As simple and straightforward as that statement may be, many of us forget that Self-Care starts with ourselves. Self- Care is the process of looking after yourself in every single aspect that works best for you. Practicing Self- Care helps you to improve your productivity, uplifts your mood, improves your health and most importantly it serves as a type of motivation. When you feel good you tend to want to take on the world.


Why is Self- Care an art?

Art is so powerful that it cannot be placed inside a box. As a matter of fact, some of the best works of art came from thinking outside of the box. Both art and Self- Care help to connect you with yourself whether it may be finding out your passion or just understanding and learning more about who you are. So how is Self- Care an art? Well, art is a means of creation and expression, when you practice Self- Care you are expressing and creating methods for yourself to become better at a skill, improve on yourself, improve your health, create solutions to problems, generate ideas or just to feel good, which subsequently is one of the many reasons people partake in art.


How do I practice Self- Care?

Self-Care IS NOT Selfish. Do not feel guilty for taking time out for yourself and do not let anyone make you feel like it is not warranted or necessary. Taking time out to properly look after yourself is very important because you cannot help others or look out for others without looking out for yourself (you cannot pour from an empty cup).

Here are some steps you can take to properly practice the art of Self-Care:

  1. Determine why Self- Care is important to you. Self- Care looks different for everyone. Sometimes, we may get pressured into thinking that Self- Care ONLY looks like Yoga and tea when this is NOT the case. It could be important for you to destress or help improve your mental state. Nobody knows you better than you know yourself so take the time out of your day to think deeply on the benefits of Self- Care and what Self- Care looks like for you. This will help you to come up with unique ways to practice Self- Care.
  2. Write down a list of things you would like to gain from practicing Self-Care. This list can help you to come up with unique ways for your Self- Care practice. The list can include things such as to improve your mental health, to treat yourself, to practice self- love and so on.
  3. Create a Self- Care plan: A Self- Care plan is your own special way that you will be doing to take care of yourself. You can set specific times, dates and goals.
  4. Try out everything that piques your interest. There is no set way to take care of yourself, so have fun with it. If you always wanted to take a dance class, writing, or go to a paint and sip just to unwind. Do not focus on being perfect or whether you have two left feet; it is about destressing making yourself better.
  5. Cheer on yourself: Self- Care can be anything from drinking a smoothie to having a Movie day. Do not be hard on yourself for not having a perfect Self- Care routine. You are still amazing! Just by taking the interest to take care of yourself is something to be happy about.