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.


Quarantined Creatives Dixon

Ayanna

Dixon

Vibrant, Innovative, Spectacular, World- Changer, Inspirational, Goal Digger are only a few things you can use to describe this next creative. Ayanna Dixon is a Jamaican designer, entrepreneur and illustrator. Her brand ASD is an illustrated lifestyle brand and her creations have been showcased in many magazines, newspapers and events. Ayanna has also designed her own colouring book called “The Sky Is Not the Limit” which is aimed at motivating and educating young girls about many careers and letting them know that they can do and become anything they set their mind to. Ayanna dedicates her birthdays to doing beach clean ups as a way of giving back to the country. Ayanna shared with us how she copes during this time and even shared some wise words for other creatives.

Despite everything going on, Ayanna tries her best to ensure that she remains positive and stimulated as a creative. She does this by listening to podcasts, going to the beach and looking at Pinterest posts. During this time, she has participated in many lives, hosted a few lives on her own in which she taught others how to  illustrate and overall just made use of technology and the digital space to not only improve on her skills but to inspire others and motivate them to keep going on their journeys. One of the many things she did that stood out to her, was a virtual book reading which she did for a few inner city kids. She also ensured to stay in touch with her loved ones and took time to focus on herself, her business and her craft.

Ayanna’s golden advice for creatives are to take the time to really take care of yourself, whether it be to go to the beach or the hillside, just ensure to be in tuned with your feelings and what works well for you and is good for you. LISTEN TO YOURSELF, network and reach out to others you never know what can happen. You will NEVER have a moment like this again!!!!!

To keep up with this dynamic gem, you can follow her on Instagram @ayanna.asd and you can also follow her business page @by.asd. You can also shop her designs at www.byasd.net.


Quarantined Creatives Samuels

Jenelle

Samuels

Imagine creating your own mural in your room, having one your heartfelt poems published in The Caribbean Writer or even just following your dreams of leaving a legacy on the world through your powerful words. Well for this creative, she did not have to imagine. Jenelle Samuels is a writer, poet, artist and animation student at the University of the West Indies. She commonly goes by the alias Neptune Naiadis which brewed from her love of astronomy and all things mythical. You must be wondering how a person filled with so much creative spirit cope during this time. Well we have those answers for you.

Jenelle has gained multiple opportunities during this time and has even been able to increase her digital presence and showcase her work. Even though there has been many opportunities present for her, she gains most of her inspiration from interacting with others and being outdoors so being confined to being completely indoors has been very stressful for her and has even taken a toll on her creative energy causing her to be less motivated to write. Neptune is a huge plant enthusiast and finds joy in taking care of her plants, as well as listening to audiobooks. This time has also allowed her to work on herself spiritually, mentally and emotionally, which she is most grateful for.

She describes herself as a “busy-bee” and has found that this time has allowed for her to slow down and become more patient with herself and has definitely seen how this has made her develop a better work ethic.

Neptune leaves these beautiful words to all creatives: “It is okay to slow down and cry.” “Don’t feel as if you need to come out of this with a Master’s degree.” “Work at a pace that is conducive to you”.

To keep up this beautiful star, you can follow her on Instagram @neptunenaiadis.


Quarantined Creatives Deacon

Lawrence L.

Deacon

“I would tell every artist to use this opportunity to collaborate, cultivate ideas, and get a project done. Where working towards a goal is a concern instead of setting long term goals. Set short term goals that add up to you accomplishing your long term goals. This helps you to stay engage and make the creative process more intense and interesting.  It’s also key to focus on your daily studio routine, stay informed but don’t get caught where it overwhelms you to the point of either depression or anxiety, that’s important to your mental health.” – Wise words of advice from Lawrence L. Deacon.

 

Another day, another Creative. This Creative is certainly a force to be reckoned with. Lawrence L. Deacon is Jamaican Illustrator, Creative Director, Graphic Designer and Entrepreneur. His work often hides a deep message behind a myriad of colours, lines and swirls. Lawrence has worked with multiple brands locally and internationally, some of which includes Yink and Fabrice Gautier. Aside from his love of designing, Lawrence has a deep love and appreciation for music. He is currently working on his first album under his brand DELAWNESS and he is very optimistic about it doing well. He also designed the album cover for Azzizi Romeo’s upcoming EP Reggae Royalty which is set to be released on June 26, 2020. So how does a man with so much ambition and goals cope during this time? Well, let’s find out.

Lawrence has always been able to capture emotions, feelings and controversial issues in his work. Even though Covid 19 has cancelled or slowed down many of the projects that he has been working on, he was able to create not one but TWO new pieces during this time showcasing his feelings about Covid 19. These pieces are called AirRona and Introspeq and are available on his website.

Constantly striving for perfection, Lawrence has gained a new perspective on life which has subsequently helped him to be better at his craft and to stay motivated amidst all the chaos that has been occurring. He believes that his work is the legacy that he will leave on this world and he wants to ensure that it inspires us to think, sparks a conversation and inspires us to fight for and become the change we would like to see in this world.

Keep up with Deacon! You can follow him on Instagram @lawrencedeacon1 and view all his work on lawrencedeacon.com.


Quarantined Creatives Williams

Sasha

Williams

“Speaking your truth is a powerful tool we all have”- Oprah Winfrey. Sasha Williams more commonly known as Sasha Speaks is an entrepreneur, YouTuber, mental health champion, public speaker and content creator. Sasha appeared on Talk Up Yout, a Jamaican television and radio programme that gives young persons the opportunity to voice their opinions on current issues. She has also done many speaking engagements during her time at the University of the West Indies. Sasha is currently a radio co-host at Talk up radio on Nationwide90fm.

Covid-19 has presented both opportunities and challenges for Sasha. She has found that even though she may get discouraged by what has been happening, she saw this time as a way to re-focus and re-invent herself to ensure that she becomes better at what she is most passionate about.  Sasha shared with us that even though she hates the kitchen, she has used this to time to try out new dishes. She also uses this time to get closer to her loved ones and take online courses that help her to become better at her craft.

Her golden advice for this time is to UNRUSH YOURSELF. The pandemic is not a competition to see who can be more productive. It is important to pace yourself and take it one step at a time and keep your frame of mind healthy and if you cannot create during this time, it is fine, WE ARE ALL IN THIS TOGETHER.

Speak with Sasha on Instagram, LinkedIn and Twitter @sashaspeaks.ja and if you want interesting content, subscribe to her YouTube channel Sashaspeaks.


Quarantined Creatives Hutton

Alyssa

Hutton

Back again like Kaci Fennell with another beautiful and talented Creative. This time we are tackling Covid 19 the Hutton Way. Without further ado, let’s jump right into the interview.

Alyssa Hutton is a 19 year old visual artist and singer. She currently attends the Edna Manley College of the Visual and Performing Arts, where is she currently pursuing a Bachelor of Fine Arts in Visual Arts. In Alyssa’s spare time she enjoys listening to music specifically 80’s and 90’s music, as well as Bob Marley who is one of her biggest inspirations. Her other inspirations include: Vincent van Gogh, Leonardo da Vinci, BTS, Kendrick Lamar and J.Cole just to name a few.

Covid 19 has allowed Alyssa time to do self- reflection. She said that Covid-19 has not affected her career but has allowed her to find ways in which she can be better and more rounded. Unfortunately, Alyssa finds herself procrastinating more due to not being able to get access to Art materials, however, she still uses the time to research new techniques and find inspiration through Social media and her environment regardless of not having the space within her house to do art. Mental health is very important to Alyssa. She has used this “divine time-out” to become more in tuned with her emotions. In addition to this, she has tried new baking recipes.

Her wise words to creatives are not to be afraid to step out of your comfort zone. Use this time to explore and challenge yourself. Finally, find what makes you truly happy and do more of it.

Keep up with Alyssa by following her on Instagram @alyssahutton.


Quarantined Creatives Natty

Shanice

Natty

Advice to Creatives: “Maintain your routine, as much as you can, even something loose, to keep track of time daily, and keep your calendar visible. Take breaks from online, for a couple hours a day to just observe your immediate physical space where you live, wherever you are, just to stay present where you are. Also, watch or listen to the news occasionally, just to keep abreast with the current state of our country and the world on a whole and write down your thoughts or record them when things get a little overwhelming, and keep hydrated! Try to enjoy this little ‘break’, as I call it and focus your energy on the things you can control.” – Words of Shanice Natty.

 

Dynamic, eccentric and authentic are only a few words to describe this creative. Shanice Natty is a 19 year old writer, singer, song-writer and poet. NATTY prides herself in consistently improving and developing her craft through multiple projects, her most recent project “Natty’s Room”, a series that showcases Natty covering popular songs by a myriad of artistes weekly. She is also working on multiple designs dedicated to embracing femininity and feminine energy. Cool right? I was mind blow too. Covid 19 has affected many creatives as many events such as art walks and poetry festivals and just abilities to network with other creatives have been put to a stop. We had the privilege of interviewing Shanice Natty on how she has been coping with Covid 19 as a creative.

Even though the pandemic is an unfortunate situation for many, NATTY finds it to be “a blessing in disguise”. She was able to jump- start and release creative projects, as well as she has been able to find time for self- introspection and reflection. This has helped her to think deeply on what she wants her art to communicate and how she would be able to do this accurately and effectively through different mediums. During this time, it is hard to stay motivated or consistent as a creative. Natty finds that she is intrinsically motivated and as a result, find ways to take care of both her body and mind. She believes that by doing this she will be able to stay consistent and productive.

Quarantine has been a time for rest and development for many people. It has birthed many businesses, art works, musical pieces and other innovative ideas. It is no doubt that NATTY has brilliant ideas, one of which came alive during Quarantine. Her Instagram TV series, Natty’s room, is a peak into her musical side. Natty’s Room showcases Shanice Natty making musical covers of her favourite songs. The episodes are edited in such a way that not only showcases Natty’s melodic voice but her vibrant and beaming personality.

 

Honestly guys, you have no choice but to love every single episode. To stay abreast with everything that Natty is doing and more you can follow her on her socials: @natty_s.a.n on Instagram, Natty Twitter and NATTY Soundcloud.