Cristy Barber, a Grammy nominated music producer and vice-president of Creative Planning & Development of Downsound Entertainment will receive the Blue & Bougie Impact Award in New York, USA, on Sunday, July 15. The award will be presented at the upscale Blue & Bougie event, slated for the Tennis Club of Hastings (Forty North), Hastings on the Hudson.
“I feel incredibly humbled and blessed to be recognised by my peers in the city where it all started,” Barber said.
Barber will be honoured for her 26 years of contribution to the music industry. Previous Impact Award winners include hip-hop superstar Safaree, DJ Bounty Killer, singer Nadine Sutherland; Jessie Woo (host of Set Trippin on BET TV), DJ Norie of Power 105.1 FM (NYC) and philanthropist Suzette Williams.
Since 1992, Barber has mastered various aspects of the music industry, including publicity, marketing, radio promotions, A&R and artiste management. She has produced music for Jay-Z, Pharrell, Big & Rich, Larry Gatlin of The Gatlin Brothers, Damian ‘Jr. Gong’ Marley and Stephen Marley. She earned a Grammy nomination in 2003 for her production work on DEF JAMAICA which featured ‘Anything Goes’ (Wayne Wonder, Capone-N-Noreaga, Mr. Lexx); ‘Lyrical 44’ (Damian Marley, Method Man & Redman); ‘Sweetness’ (Buju Banton); ‘Dude’ (The remix – Beenie Man, Shawnna, Ms. Thing) and ‘Frontin’ (Dancehall remix – Jay-Z, Pharrell Williams, Vybz Kartel).
As Director of Marketing and Promotions at Chris Blackwell’s Island Jamaica, Cristy headed the team that marketed the soundtrack to the film Dancehall Queen, the highest grossing movie in Jamaica at the time. She was also responsible for marketing gold selling albums ‘Welcome To Jamrock’ by Damian Marley and ‘Hold You’ by Gyptian.
“Cristy’s work speaks for itself,” said Jerry McDonald, an executive from Blue & Bougie. “As part of our mission, we seek to recognise outstanding individuals who have made an impact in the entertainment, fashion and food industries. Cristy has excelled and helped to put reggae and Jamaica on the international map. We are extremely proud of her accomplishments” he noted.
Besides production and marketing, Barber has held senior positions at several major labels, including Capitol Records, Columbia Records, Island/ Polygram, Elektra and Def Jam/ Universal. She has served as co-chairman of the Reggae Grammy Screening Committee for 12 years, president of the Marley family owned labels Tuff Gong and Ghetto Youths International and was vice-president of Marketing and Promotions at New York based VP Records. Her Grammy nomination for “DEF JAMAICA’, however, remains her biggest career accomplishment. “It still stands as my greatest” she reasoned.
Barber maintains an extremely busy schedule as, besides her 9 – 5 job at Downsound Entertainment – the company that owns Reggae Sumfest – she is co-producer of the new Raging Fyah album. When not busy with her day job, Barber relaxes, listening to music from singer George Michael. As for future goals, she is focused on music’s elusive prize – winning a Grammy award.
“I am a nominee, but my goal is to win a Grammy (as producer). That has been a lifelong dream of mine” she shared.