June 10, 2006 – Island SoundWorks and Project Safe Neighborhoods hope to find talent while delivering a positive message through "Speak Your Peace," a contest aimed at ending gun violence.
Entrants are asked to compose a song with a message against gun crime. Judges will select winners based on creativity, concept, presentation and originality from all genres, including R&B, reggae, calypso and hip hop.
Derrick Moore of Island SoundWorks had just completed his recording studio on St. Thomas when radio station Jamz 105 contacted him about holding the contest.
Since a similar contest proved successful in Florida and Minnesota, Moore agreed to volunteer his time and equipment to the event. "I love taking something from nothing and developing it," Moore said.
This weekend ISW sent staff members to all three of the Virgin Islands to scout undiscovered music artists. Moore said he is happy to be a part of bringing "Speak Your Peace" to the territory.
This is the contest's first year in the area and with enough participation it will return next year.
One member of the ISW staff is stationed on each island at makeshift studios, for those who cannot record at home, until Sunday.
Not very many kids showed up to the contest on Friday, but Moore said he suspected that there will be a greater turnout Saturday and Sunday. "We are hoping to find someone to sign to our record label," Moore said.
When the CD/DVD is completed, ISW and PSN will attempt to distribute it to every school in the territory free of charge. Each step of the recording process will be documented for the video.
And equipped with video camera, laptop, soundcard, microphone and headphones, Moore was ready to start recording.
"I believe this will let kids know they can excel in the music business without leaving the territory," Moore said. All contestants enter the studio with their own instrumental, but ISW's staff helps to tweak it. "We are looking for someone who can write," he said.
All entries are due by June 21. A panel of judges from all three islands will decide who the finalists are.
A total of 18 winners will be chosen and each will have one song featured on a CD. "Something positive can come out of this."
The last day of help with recording your entry is Sunday from noon to 4 p.m.
For a complete list of contest details go to www.speakyourpeacevi.com.
Share your reaction to this news with other Source readers. Please include headline, your name and city and state/country or island where you reside.