Local music plays important role

Mr. Nowak, in his response to the Cayman Compass poll regarding local music on the radio stations, made a valid point and demonstrated that statistics can always be manipulated, which is a fact that we should all be aware of.

However, in addition, I believe that his comments merit praise because they reflect a situation of contradicting expectations for young Caymanians who have much to offer in the realm of musical talent. For example, we encourage involvement and development of musical skills among Caymanian youths, but refrain from aggressively promoting the talents of local musicians on the air.

As a student of criminology, I am well aware of the beneficial aspects related to encouraging our youths to become involved with music, which include a means of expression, inspiration, aspiration, social bonding and its positive effect in deterring juvenile involvement with delinquent acts by providing a stage for the development of pro-social attachments, commitments and recognition.

While the preceding benefits that stem from musical involvement are probably agreed upon by the majority of citizens, I do not believe that our society adequately provides local musicians with viable incentives to pursue their musical talent; that is, regardless of local musicians’ talents, local radio stations would rather air mainstream artists.

Radio stations, and other forms of mass media, play an important role in the transmission of values, attitudes, beliefs and norms that help to shape the thought process of our youths. Therefore, Cayman’s radio stations, in my opinion, should take on the social responsibility of promoting, transmitting, and reflecting pride in our local musicians’ talents!

My opinion is offered because, as a musician, I realize that while Caymanians have a wealth of musical talent to offer, those musicians’ will have a limited opportunity to influence other Caymanians to pursue similar talents if exposure to the local population is blocked and substituted with mainstream artists. Consequently, a large amount of Caymanian musicians will be left with minimal exposure, and confined to back yards and garages.

While Cayman prides itself of diversity, nothing is a better example of diversity than that of music. As a country that constantly boasts diversity in our people, why should we refrain from promoting the diversity of talent among our local musicians?

Michael Ebanks

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