Why Can’t Bahamian Creatives Work Together?

By Rogan Smith |
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Can’t we all just get along?

That’s the million dollar question I have long had as it relates to Bahamian creatives and artists and it seems others feel the same way, too.

Last evening, Bahamian content creator, Tracy Ann Perpall, better known as TAP, went live on Instagram for her Quarantini Happy Hour. Her special guests were Jamaican entrepreneur, Tawana Antoinette and Bahamian content creator and journalist, Kristina Love. 

The three women, from the safety of their respective homes, discussed a wide range of topics affecting creatives. They also dug into that old popular saying that creatives should seek to collaborate with each other rather than compete.

But it seems not everyone is interested in collaborating. In fact, there have been instances where many Bahamian creatives who feel intimidated by their colleagues, have refused to partner. Even worse, some of them choose to sow seeds of discord along the way, badmouthing their competitors or discouraging others to work with them. 

Perpall chalked a lot of the ill-will up to a scarcity mindset. And she’s right. The truth of the matter is, there are many creatives who feel there just isn’t enough money or opportunities to go around. And to an extent, they are right. If a major company wants to hire a creative, it is likely going to hire one or a handful of creatives. Everyone cannot benefit from the opportunity. 

But, not every creative is a good fit for every company. So, that opens up opportunities for other creatives. 

Each creative has to define his or her unique selling proposition. What is it that they do that no one else can? 

I think a lot of the problems that we incur stem from jealousy as well. The creative market used to be very closed off. There was a time when very few people were blogging. Now, even working professionals are operating blogs on the side or creating YouTube pages to show off their makeup. And I think it’s awesome. 

We have to remember that just a few years ago in The Bahamas, if you told someone you were a digital creator or a blogger, they gave you blank stares. To some extent, some still do. But, with the emergence of people like TAP, comedians Dasquay and Sawyer Boy, YouTube sensations like Alex Missick, who operates under Miss Beauty Bunny and even bloggers like yours truly, people are paying attention. 

Here I am last year with one of my favourite artists ever, Dyson Knight.

I must say that I can’t be entirely critical. I have seen so many incredible artists – especially musicians like Dyson Knight and Wendi collaborate with recording artists, like Bodine, Patrice Murrell and Lady E and video directors like Lavado Stubbs of Conchboy Films. And they have done a terrific job. 

I think the time has come for Bahamian creatives to get over themselves, drop the silly attitudes and really show respect to each other. That’s the only way we’re going to grow the industry into one that will rival other Caribbean countries. 

But, we can’t compete with others outside of the country if we can’t even collaborate with those inside the country.

XOXO,

This Bahamian Gyal 

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