Initiator Eric Gietman choose the name Blue Island Collective to reflect the band’s strong belief that the Blue Destination strategy of Bonaire is very promising for the sustainable development of the Island.
“Being a Blue Destination is not only about protecting the environment but also about giving opportunities to the people,” he said. “To us, the spirit of Bonaire means: living peacefully together, respecting each other’s backgrounds and helping each other where you can.”
It is exactly this ‘Spirit of Bonaire’ that inspired the band to come to a heartwarming decision. With a lot of time, energy and money invested in the project, unanimously it was decided that all the sale revenues should be donated to help the future of Bonaire through its youth. The Bonaire Youth Outreach Foundation (BYOF) was chosen to receive the proceeds of the sales, because of its impressive track record of giving help and opportunities to develop the local youth for many years.
The project started some years ago when founder of The Cadushy Distillery Eric Gietman, record producer Michiel “DJ Shrek” van Bokhorst, and singer-songwriter Harry Schoffelen (better known as TAFKAH-The Artist) had the idea to create a dedicated pop song for Bonaire. “We wanted a song that would express our love for the island and the special feeling that we have about life on Bonaire,” Van Bokhorst said, “and that’s how we came up with “The Spirit of Bonaire”.”
Through the four years the final product took shape, a lot of local and international musicians joined this creative and bonding project. They all gave the best of their talents to this energetic salsa-track with uplifting lyrics. Bonairean drummer Gaby Mercera played the Bonairean ‘wiri’ and young but multi-talented Robert Felida took care of diverse instruments like bass guitar, pianos and timbales. Local rapper Gerald Martines wrote and performed an awesome signature Papiamentu rap-break. With this The Blue Island Collective has grown into an international band with solid Bonairean roots.