Sluggy Dan is The One

Kevin Sluggy Dan Watson holds many titles; the newest one is Republic Bank’s Be The One Champion 2021.

Nine people nominated him for the Be The One Community Competition, an initiative started in Trinidad and Tobago that was adopted in Barbados in 2019. He believes that it is his unwavering support for the youth that prompted so many to vote for him.

Watson is a musician, Chief Executive Officer of New Jack Entertainment and co-creator of the Youth In The Spotlight programme. He is also a community activist and youth advocate. Last year, during the lockdown period, he created the popular Stan Home Sing Off Competition with support from the National Cultural Foundation. The online competition gives young artistes much needed exposure. Weekly winners walked away with $500. The competition ran again this year. Now, he is the one in the winners' row thanks to Republic Bank and he will receive $2500 to assist with his community projects.

Throughout the voting process, people left comments sharing why he was their champion.

“This is a very positive man,” wrote one person. “He is always helping and coaching others, stands up for what is right and also checks in with his social media contacts daily, spreading joy and information on relevant matters affecting persons locally and internationally.”

Another wrote “[He] pushes the youth and promotes the culture”, while another simply stated, “He is an inspirational idol for the youth.”

Watson explained, “I realized from working in the community that we have a lot of young people with potential but they don’t always have the opportunity. That’s where a man like me would come in.”

Drawing on his years of experience in the Royal Barbados Police Force Band and his degrees in music, he offers free classes in voice training, songwriting, musicianship and performance. Through his Up Next Youth Showcase he also features young people with skills beyond the performing arts.

“I use the showcases to bring awareness to these young people and the good work that they are doing so that they can get help. They also need to be able to earn money. If you are showcasing the youth, show them how to set up a business and give them the training and educational training they need. All of these are things that go on behind the scenes so that when you see a showcase, it is benefiting the youngsters. If they play a song or they have a brand or clothing line, you want that by the end of the showcase someone will buy at least 5 shirts or someone donates at least $100 to their paypal or someone goes on spotify or itunes and purchases the song.”

He says he will be using the spotlight currently on him as the 2021 champion, to create even more opportunities for other young people.

In thanking the Bank, he said, “I really appreciate Republic Bank going beyond the call of duty; going beyond even what they are called to do to highlight community leaders and Caribbean heroes because it is these people who really propel a nation to success because when you focus on the youth you have no choice but to create an excellent future. So to Republic Bank, I really appreciate you all.”

In congratulating him on his win, Manager, Marketing and Corporate Communications, Sophia Allsopp said, “Kevin is an inspiration. The way that he has invested his time and energy into creating programmes that showcase young people while also showing them how to turn their passions into their livelihood is incredible. We are honoured to have him as our 2021 champion and we are delighted to support him in his work with young people.”

August 19, 2021
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