A benefit concert to assist chutney artistes who are being affected by covid 19 pandemic is being planned by Southex promotions for Indian Arrival Day.
Southex CEO and promoter of the Chutney Soca Monarch (CSM) competition George Singh said the artistes are in need of financial assistance.
Speaking from his office in San Fernando on Tuesday Singh said his company is now working on a concert entitled Arrival D Concert for May 30. This show will feature TT's top local Bollywood singers.
“In order to assist those most affected by the virus, Southex will be streaming live across the world, a free Indian Arrival Day concert on Facebook and YouTube."
The novel coronavirus, Singh said, has affected the way people do business in every part of the world.
“It will also have a serious impact on the way we do business in the future. While almost every industry has been affected, many of these businesses will start the road to recovery once economies start opening up across the world,” he said.
Singh pointed out that the entertainment industry has been affected in a major way as local artistes are faced with zero income.
Following stay-at-home orders to curb the spread of covid19 several entertainment activities were cancelled, causing local artistes to suffer major financial losses.
“Our local artistes, who are ’superstars’ in their own right, are very simple folk, who have been quietly suffering, with many of them having nowhere to turn,” Singh said.
Others are less popular, he said, and while they made a living from singing at weddings and other private parties, they now have no form of income and no way to put food on their table.
Southex, he said, is considered one of the caretakers of the Indo-Caribbean music industry, which includes dancers, artistes and musicians.
“Therefore we feel responsible as caretakers to now take care of our artistes.”
Singh laments that while thousands of hampers have been given out to those in need, and there are government grants for those that may have lost their jobs, there is nothing in place for local artistes who are mostly self-employed.
He said the upcoming show will run for two hours, from 5 pm-7 pm.
“Viewers will see a "donate" button and can pledge cash using a credit card.
Arrival D Concert will feature Chutney Soca Monarch Imran "GI" Beharry, Raymond Ramnarine, Rooplal Girdharrie, Satnarine Ragoo, Veejai Ramkissoon, Reshma Ramlal, Anuradha Hansraj and Savita Singh. Music will be provided by Avatar band led by Kishore "Wizzy" Ramdath.