By Shanieka Smith
#TurksandCaicos, April 26, 2022 – “Music is one of the most powerful tools that we have, not just for marketing… but also to kind of tackle some of the social issues that we may have.”
These are the words from a fervid and well known Turks and Caicos musician, who shared that music has changed his life. Recording Artiste and producer, Jack Lightbourne is the inspiration behind TCI Voice, the newest talent show in the island in search of new music talents.
TCI Voice, however, is more than a talent show, the idea behind the talent show and the intention going forward stem from a level of care and consideration for the development of Turks and Caicos Islands.
“It is really a community project that is designed to really go throughout the community and discover talent – hidden talent… for some of those [talents], it may be one of the only opportunities that they have at making a major move in their lives to really boost their confidence and interpersonal skills as well,” expressed Lightbourne.
It goes deeper than an individual based project, Lightbourne intends for TCI Voice to be one of the music projects in TCI to tackle some social issues.
“And we are trying to get the government to recognize that music is a very powerful tool for a destination like the Turks and Caicos,” he added.
Lightbourne said the TCI has not yet tipped the iceberg when it comes on to investing in the music industry. The government, he said, overlooks music and puts little emphasis on music and culture.
“The government needs to understand how powerful music is, not just for an individual, but for an entire nation, to really see the benefits of it, and start to invest not just thousands but millions of dollars into developing music because of the tourism implications,” he reiterated.
The official search for talent began on Wednesday April 6 and has been going on every Wednesday evening at 7:30 at the Karaoke Bar and Grill.
Each week, the talents go through a process of elimination. The winner in the end will be given the opportunity to meet with professional recording personnel: engineers, writers, producers, some are grammy winners. Some of these professionals are from the United States, there is one from Trinidad and Tobago.
Lightbourne profoundly expressed that it is not about perfection, it’s about potential. This view is one of the major reason why anyone with music talent can be a part of TCI Voice; no audition is required.
“We already know our industry is small and undeveloped so we are not trying to put too much pressure on people to be perfect… if you discover their ability, you can still work with them,” he said.
He further expressed, “everywhere has talent, black people are talented and what we are trying to do is give that talent an opportunity. Most of the time we see talent being used in churches [and] talent shows. But we really don’t have a well-established music industry where we can take that talent and have it organised in a professional way.”
TCI Voice is a rare opportunity for people who can sing to become professionals. Hence, the idea behind the name TCI Voice itself – the voices are already in the TCI and it’s just for them to be heard and nurtured.
“We need our own voice; it’s about time that the focus becomes Turks and Caicos, Turks and Caicos music. We have been neglecting that aspect of music. We haven’t been focused on us, we’ve been focusing on promoting every other culture except ours,” said Lightbourne as he highlighted that the music industry in the TCI has been centred around cover bands.
As such, the production side of music has been ignored. He explained that production is really what should be exploited.
“We need to dig out songs from these artists, from these musicians and have them move towards the professional side of this industry, where the money is, where the marketing is, and where the business is strong,” he said.
This will in turn establish a strong brand of music in and from the TCI and will also bring a worldwide awareness of the island.
Along with Lightbourne, the 43 year old recording artist and producer from Grand Turk, a few other people made the show come to life.
TCI Voice is being done through Paradise Beachfront Productions, one of the only professional recording studios on island. It is owned by Lightbourne and caters to international recording artists who visit the island.
Lightbourne shared that for the talent show, they are working with the Dept of Culture, the Tourist Board, Flow TCI, Provo Travel, and David’s Karaoke Bar and Grill, who hosts the event weekly.
Prior to the first TCI Voice on April 6, the team held a music workshop. Everyone on the island was able to attend and see firsthand what it is like in the music industry.
Lightbourne speaks fervidly about TCI Voice, and so far, the talent show seems to be running successfully. It will go on every Wednesday until the finale on Saturday, May 7. The show is live for viewing but is also aired on facebook at Jack Music TCI and on Instagram at Paradise Beachfront Productions.
TCI Police Confirm Passenger Death after Emergency Landing at PLS
A female passenger who fell ill during a flight while on route to Charlotte, North Carolina from the Dominican Republic was taken from that plane and transported to the Cheshire Hall Medical Center where sadly, she died.
The 41-year-old woman had been escorted to the hospital by police units; we are told that CPR was performed on the passenger.
Police in that statement on Wednesday informed, s a post mortem will determine the cause of death.
Police hear major concerns from GT residents
#TurksandCaicos, March 4, 2024 – Given the opportunity to liaison with the top brass of the Royal Turks and Caicos Islands Police Force, residents came prepared with the concerns that have been plaguing them for years, from detective work to 911 issues.
”Y’all didn’t say anything new, we keep hearing the same thing and we keep getting the same result,” was the complaint from the very first resident who spoke; but her biggest concern was the force’s detective work.
The resident said she was not averse to sharing information with the police, far from it.
“Someone sent me a video where a young man was sitting on a bed putting two bullets in a gun— and he called two names, he said one bullet for one of these people.”
After sending the video to the police the woman says, incredulously, the police asked her to find the room where the young man was so they could go and collect the gun. Her frustration was: “It seems like the police put more of the burden on the community to provide them with information instead of going out there.”
In response to the concern, Dean Holden, Superintendent of Crime expressed that the police had had success recently, and over time because of community intelligence and would do better at working to communicate that success so residents were assured that they were making a difference.
A concern raised by another resident was the disconnect between 911 operators and Grand Turk residents.
“Once you call 911 operators they don’t know addresses in Grand Turk. I called the 911 operator, this was right by the police station, she didn’t even know where I was,” explained a resident sharing details of a car accident weeks prior.
The complaint has been an enduring one. Magnetic Media has received similar complaints regarding other serious incidents like fires and murders.
Oswald Skippings, Former Chief Minister demanded a more proactive approach to crime fighting with which Dileeni Daniel Selvaratnam, TCI Governor agreed. He didn’t just put the blame on the police, drawing the Governor and parents into the limelight outlining that they too had a part to play in the prevention of crime.
“There is a need for the government to reach down to unemployed residents, especially the youth and it’s easy because we have a small native population. We need to go under the trees, by the bars wherever these people associate and reach out to them.”
On the panel listening to the concerns were Micheal Woodbine, Superintendent of Prison; Dean Holden, Superintendent of Crime and SPPU; Rodney Adams, Deputy Commissioner; Chris Eyre, Acting Commissioner; and Dileeni Daniel Selvaratnam, TCI Governor.
The meeting was called after the public slaying of a young man in Grand Turk on February 8, 2024.
Not Enough Police in Grand Turk; Residents are vocal in Anti-Crime Town Hall Meeting
#TurksandCaicos, March 4, 2024 – Residents of Grand Turk, while appreciative of the recent police Anti-Crime Town Hall meeting on February 21, say they’re concerned about the number of officers being deployed to the nation’s Capital.
One resident who spoke to the police officers during the event brought statistics.
”I want to speak to what I see happening in Grand Turk. In the ongoing capacity carrying study. It has been noted that the population in Grand Turk is around 72 to 7300 – that works out to about 927 persons per square mile.”
The resident maintained that 927 persons per square mile on an island like Grand Turk was in the police’s favor and much could be done for crime fighting using both humans and technology. Citing the millions of visitors that visit the island’s shores each year, residents lamented that there was no police enforcement to go along with that.
”We live here, we see the change, probably the parliamentarians don’t see it but we see it and we expect that as citizens to have more than three police officers working the night shift.”
Other residents were in agreement, expressing frustration at the blind eye that they say is often turned to the capital.
“Why did it have to get to this point, that there had to be a shooting basically at the high school in order for people to [realize] that 20 or 15 or 28 officers just doesn’t cut it,” said one longtime resident
He complained that nine years ago, having moved to Grand Turk there were over 40 officers but with the increase in killings in Providenciales officers were stripped from Grand Turk. Now residents say they want them back.
Earlier, during the meeting police had promised that the increased presence in Grand Turk would not be temporary and they were exploring ways to increase the Force complement.
Hosting the meeting were executives of the Royal TCI Police including new Acting Commissioner Christopher Eyre; Dean Holden, Superintendent and Rodney Adams, Deputy Commissioner. Attending were Her Excellency, the Governor Dileeni Daniel-Selvaratnam and Otis Morris, Minister of Home Affairs and the Member of Parliament for Grand Turk North, the Hon. Otis Morris.
The meeting was held at H.J. Robinson High school.
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