In its simpler, handheld form, the catapult immediately conjures images of a hard object being propelled at high speed in order to have maximum impact – and, in most cases, inflict damage. However, for their songwriting competition, the Katalys Crew of musician/producer Paul Barclay and singer Shalom, have adjusted the spelling of the word to ‘katapult’ and, with that, have changed the process from swift deployment and the objective from causing hurt.
The Katapult music development contest was launched last September in Spanish Town, St Catherine, during the Katalys Crew’s Shub Out community initiative.
Explaining the project’s structure to The Gleaner, Barclay said “Community Shub Out is about how we intend to take message music further in the communities.”
The initiative is especially geared towards persons aged three to 29 years old. Similarly, Katapult has a youth focus, a release from the organisers saying it aims to “unearth, stimulate and influence the musical output, especially the writing of the Jamaican youth, especially young men ages 15 to 25”.
In ‘katapulting’ participants’ music aspirations, there is training in the business of music. It was stipulated that the entries respond to a number of themes, among them no crime and violence, domestic and relationship violence, and love heals the family, community and nation. The first community Katapult visit was slated for Kingston 11, which includes areas such as Waterhouse and Olympic Gardens. The latter community is also the venue for a Community Shub Out and Black History Month event on Saturday, February 24, at the Olympic Gardens Civic Centre, 119B Olympic Way, featuring Luciano.
The Katalys Crew is also working on its own productions and keeping an eye on opportunities outside Jamaica. Barclay said some of the over 10 songs they have recorded are God Only, Conqueror, Chant and Trodding On.
“There is a music label in Europe that is very interested in our work. We are hoping the company will come on board and market the album,” Barclay said.