Show producer Ebonnie Rowe said she was excited about the lineup but the press conference took on a serious tone when she expressed that while there was no shortage of beautiful and extremely talented artists, that isn’t nearly enough to succeed and questioned just how prepared the artists are, stressing the importance of a strong work ethic.
“What will set you apart is the fire in your belly and one of my favourite c-words – COMMITMENT!! The talent is impressive, but it takes so much more than that and I’m concerned about whether some artists are ready for prime time. Many have the “I want to go to heaven but I don’t want to die” syndrome where people want to reap the rewards without doing what’s necessary to get there. You need to educate yourself in the business of music, know what songs best suit your voice, know what image you want to present, basics like having a website, at least 1 demo song, a professional photo, work with a voice and fitness trainer. As a society we must stop applauding mediocrity and be able to accept constructive criticism. Understand what excellence means on an international level, put your ego in the back seat and always be willing to learn and improve. You cannot take advantage of an opportunity if you have the inability to recognize it.”
She lamented that standards had dropped in general, recounting a story of when she was in Mrs. Mavis Carrington’s class. She had gotten 9 out of 10 and was quite pleased with herself. When she saw Mrs. Carrington coming with a belt, she wondered which poor student was about to get licks, only to find out soon enough that it was her! “Mrs. Carrington knew I could and should have gotten 10 out of 10. That I should have tried harder, and that if better was possible good was not enough. I learned my lesson that day and it has stayed with me throughout my life. NO EXCUSES!”
Mahalia Phillips of Nexcyx was announced as the special guest artist who will be performing her empowering anthem Queen to close the show. Mahalia told the artists how important it was for them to attend the workshops and take advantage of the opportunities being given to them through the Honey Jam Program.