Quite often we discover our best selves in moments of peril or even after we would have fought a losing battle. It is in those situations that we discover what we are capable of and how we can transform our lives and the lives of those around us, realising our true potential. It is loss that made Goodwattie Harrynarine realise that she has more than what it takes to make a name for herself in the music industry. It is that very loss that led her to making more music and not just any kind of music, but music that resonated with her listeners and today she can boast as being one of the women on the forefront of changing the face of Chutney music in Guyana.
The 25-year-old Shieldstown, West Coast Berbice resident is popularly called Amrita and is one of the most notable residents in her community. Not because she is a Chutney artiste rather because of her love for music. Amrita’s story started in the mandir.
She considers singing the praises of God as her big break. From a very young age, she has been actively involved in the local temple scene and singing melodious bhajans. For her growing up meant school, a little time with friends and more time in the mandir, since she comes from a staunch Hindu family. At the age of five, Amrita took up singing and dancing and now she is regarded as being accomplished in both fields. She has been participating in various signing competitions and one of the biggest stages she has been on is the GTT Jingle and Song Competition, which she did not win.
It was following that loss that she worked to perfect her craft and ever since has been making her mark. Amrita is also a regular in the Guyana Hindu Dharmic Sabha’s Kala Utsav festival. Now she is dabbing her feet in the Mashramani Chutney Monarch Competition and is the only female participating.
By being the only female, Amrita is hoping that she can influence the current generation of young ladies and show them that women can do anything a man and do it even better than the guys. She is hoping to grab the first prize with her track called “Dulaha Dulahin”.
According to her, the song is about a bride and groom at an Indian wedding as they make their way down the stairs. She notes that it was written with guidance from former Chutney Queen Vanita Willie.
With this being her first major Chutney performance, Amrita said that the state of the local music industry was not one very encouraging, since there was major support lacking. She notes that getting corporate sponsorship was the biggest challenge since most companies opted not to give their support to an up-and-coming artiste, rather they play it safe and support those who are already established. Additionally, she notes that getting the local stations and DJs to play your music is another task, since they are more ‘foreign-minded’. She is hopeful that that will change as more progress is made. For now she continues to make music and is concentrating on making herself a household name, not only in Guyana but further afield.