I believe Guyanese musicians are missing an opportunity teeming with potential to catapult Guyanese music and musicians onto the regional and international stage and establish a money making industry for themselves and Guyana. I refer to a brand of music that is referred to as rookatooks (my spelling).
Rookatooks is to me (I could be wrong) a merger of two genres original to Guyana, viz Queh queh and cumfa music. I arrived at this conclusion from my participation in queh queh and listening to the legendary Little Jones band in my youth. This music – rookatook has been made popular by Stichy’s one-man band .
I became convinced of the potential of this music when I was on the Plaisance Line Top with youths from across the Caribbean and at least two of them, including a Jamaican asked me what type of music it was. My response was it is a mixture of two Guyanese genres.
I had a few months ago said to one person at the music school in the Department of Culture that the development of this music should be pursued.
I believe that Guyanese musicians will do well to start putting lyrics to this genre and begin to produce Guyanese music. This will go a far way in promoting Guyana, Guyanese music and contribute to the development of a unique Guyanese tourism brand and move us away from being imitators of Jamaican and American music among others. Let us pursue the potential that inheres in rookatooks.
I wish to applaud Stichy and request that he and other musicians put nice, decent and progressive lyrics to this evolving genre and realize the potential that inheres in it.
Aubrey C . Norton