Primera Base Contest

Primera Base contest opens its call, from March 28 to April 28, 2022, after two years of online editions. Sponsored by the Recording and Musical Editions Company (EGREM in Spanish) and the British Council, the contest’s main objective is to promote knowledge and dissemination of music created by young people in Cuba.


  • DJ Producer – Formats that work with electronic music
  • Youth – Band or soloist between the ages of 16 and 23
  • Seniors – Band or soloist between the ages of 24 and 32


All Cuban musicians or foreign musicians residing in Cuba may participate, in band or solo format, aged between 16 and 32, both included. In the case of bands, at least 50% of the members must meet that age range. The contestants must not have commitments with record labels and/or previously released record works.


Nine proposals will be selected, three (3) for each category. On May 24, the shortlisted will perform in showcases (20-minute concerts), where they will be evaluated by a jury that will determine the 3 winning projects (one per category) based on their artistic quality and originality.

The jury will be made up of musicians, former contestants, the HWM organizing committee, musicologists and music industry specialists belonging to the Hermanos Saíz Association (AHS) and the Recordings and Musical Editions Company (EGREM).

The First Base Organizing Committee annually recognizes the nine finalist projects, with an invitation to training spaces that can contribute to their artistic career. In 2022 the following workshops will be held:

  • Musical production
  • Artistic Direction/Stage Management
  • Copyright in Cuba


The three winning projects will have the opportunity to be part of the official lineup of Havana World Music 2023. Additionally, Primera Base supports each band with:

  • Recording of a single in a professional studio
  • Musical producer for the single to be recorded
  • Graphic design for single cover
  • Photo session by band
  • Advice on RRSS for the launch of the single on digital platforms


Proposals can be sent via WhatsApp to: +53 5 8872171 or via email to: [email protected].

Applicants must complete and submit the registration form available on the HWM website for their proposal to be assessed.

They must also attach:

  • Recording of 3 songs in .mp3, .wav or similar format. THEY DO NOT HAVE TO BE PROFESSIONAL RECORDINGS.
  • Two photos of the band or soloist


  • Bands or soloists presenting non-original music.
  • Music that is likely to be challenged or claimed its rights of use, by people and institutions that can prove their ownership.
  • Songs with offensive lyrics, discriminatory or demeaning messages, that incite violence.

The authors of the work are responsible for any incident that, for the reasons indicated above, could occur.

The registration period closes on April 28, 2022.


Primera Base is the project of Havana World Music to discover, support and give visibility to the emerging artists of the Cuban music scene, always betting on the originality and quality of the proposals.

In a country like Cuba, where music is present even in the most unexpected places, Havana World Music seeks to promote and spread the work of the new generations of musicians on the Island yet to be discovered. This contest “was born from the concern for an absence of spaces for the dissemination of other music; Primera Base bets precisely on people who are looking for experimentation” affirms Eme Alfonso, artistic director of Havana World Music.

Every year, in the previous weeks to the celebration, the Havana World Music organization launches a national call for bands, soloists and/or producers under 32 years of age. The young people selected by the artistic direction of Havana World Music participate in conferences and workshops given by renowned professionals from the music industry. After receiving this training, they present themselves in showcases before the public and a jury that selects the most interesting proposals. The highlight of the contest is the presentation of the winners at the Havana World Music festival, where they share the stage with artists from around the world.

Since the first edition in 2015, many of the musicians who have participated in this contest have great recognition today: Jorgito Kamankola, La Reyna and la Real, or Cimafunk have been winners of First Base.

Erick Iglesias (Cimafunk) gave his opinion in 2018: “what I hope is what is going to happen, achieve more spaces, more acceptance (…) and we trust in what we are doing. It is Cuban music and it is our historic moment to set our tone.”

Jade Kholy Band, una de las ganadoras en la edición de 2019 comentaba: “espero aprender, para mí esto es una gran oportunidad (…) Creo que puedo sacarle mucho a la experiencia”

Jade Kholy Band, one of the winners in the 2019 edition commented: “I hope to learn, for me this is a great opportunity (…) I think I can get a lot out of this experience.”

The First Base competition is supported by the British Council.