DiscoverMusic Matters: The Caribbean Edition
Music Matters: The Caribbean Edition

Music Matters: The Caribbean Edition


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Music business conversations with hosts Laura Dowrich-Phillips and Nigel A. Campbell focused on the Caribbean.
34 Episodes
Laura and Nigel chat with soca star and music entrepreneur, Fay-Ann Lyons Alvarez on her music career, live and recorded, during the pandemic and her move into streaming music platform development with the launch of her new service, Chrending, and moves to expand Caribbean music.
Laura and Nigel have a conversation on the implications of the small steps in innovation happening in the digital music space of the Caribbean music industry. As the pandemic continues with the future dependent on outside forces, Caribbean music creators and business people have to move to the leading edge of the innovation curve to remain relevant. With the proliferation of digital solutions existing, we have to pivot the business models to our situation in the islands.
Laura and Nigel chat with Navindra Harbukhan of NH Productions TT on the role of video in the promotion of soca music. He gives a masterclass on how video can break this music to the world. He gives a masterclass on how video can break this music to the world. He says, "...we are at the point where video is king. If you are an artiste, and you do not have a video for your song, you are doing music wrong." BOOM!
Laura and Nigel speak with Jamaican music industry lawyer and entrepreneur, Lloyd Stanbury on the Jamaican and wider Caribbean industry, looking forward, post-COVID-19. Utilizing his role as co-founder of IRIE-FM and one person responsible for the establishment of the Caribbean Music Expo and many music organizations on the island, he provides an effective overview of where that island's industry went, is going and has to go.
Laura and Nigel continue in The Soca Sessions with a fun-filled yet open chat with the Queen of Bacchanal, soca star Destra Garcia on her career and how she has been able to sustain her brand for more than two decades and through the COVID-19 pandemic. The business of soca is revealed as Destra talks about longevity with innovation, albums and streams, media dominance, contracts and career.
Laura and Nigel continue in The Soca Sessions with an intriguing chat with Toronto-based singer, composer and producer Kerwin Du Bois on his role in crafting a new crop of soca entrepreneurs. He also delves into the nitty-gritty of the competitive soca industry and places front and centre the role of the consumer in making soca music a global phenomenon beyond Carnival.
Laura and Nigel chat with Trinidadian soca artiste, Erphaan Alves, who for the past five years, has championed the "No Seasons" campaign, an initiative designed to encourage soca artistes to release music all year round, instead of for a Carnival season. With the COVID-19 pandemic forcing artistes to see their product outside the realm of festivals and Carnivals, it seems that his is an idea whose time has come.
Laura and Nigel chat with St. Vincent-born, US-based soca performer and prolific composer, Problem Child about the business of soca in this time when the the 2020 Carnivals were cancelled and the possibility that next year's may be on hold. Is soca without Carnivals affecting the proliferation of the music? Problem Child has some answers.
Laura and Nigel speak to Billboard magazine writer, Pat Meschino, about the coverage of Caribbean music in the US and foreign print and editorial media. The mechanics of pitching stories to publications, and the importance of reliable data on artists and their music are explored for a Caribbean context of how to get the story of Island music into the consciousness of wider audiences globally.
Laura and Nigel chat with Trinidad-based DJ Private Ryan about how he is coping commercially and creatively during the COVID-19 pandemic. His varied career as an important soca DJ, as a major Carnival fete promoter, and recently as a music producer are examined to showcase options for a new cohort of Caribbean music merchants post-pandemic.
Laura and Nigel speak with musician, journalist and NYU professor Jason King, a Trini to the bone, who ponders on the possibilities and tracks the trends for a post-pandemic music future. A multi-disciplinary genius, King discusses industry disruptions that have existed and notes the current state of the global industry that could guide Caribbean music practitioners to a resurgent future in music.
Laura and Nigel chat with Dominican super-producer, Krishna "Dada" Lawrence to get a handle on the wider Caribbean music scene. Dada outlines the possibilities for Caribbean music outside of Carnivals and festivals, and provides a wider context to the business of music by outlining his successes as a music producer of numerous hits and road marches in the festivals of the Caribbean, and his role as an advocate for collective management of music rights in the region. He also develops the idea of Caribbean music being a fusion of island sounds including his native bouyon.
Laura and Nigel return for the first of the "lock down podcasts" during the global COVID-19 pandemic. They speak on the decimation of the live music industry and the rise of the virtual concerts online with pioneering radio station owner and music producer Kenny Phillips of Trinidad and Tobago. Production values, the local music industry and the new normal of online access to a deep catalogue of Caribbean performances are discussed
Laura and Nigel have a revealing conversation with innovative music producer, Keron "Sheriff Mumbles" Thompson on his outlook on the status of new music from Trinidad and Tobago. Together, they delve into the ups and downs of the recent music for 2020 Carnival season. His perspective, fashioned by constant explorations in the wide world of music, adds another element to the idea of soca as a new world music.
Rawlston "Charlie" Charles is the most significant pioneer in the recording and wider distribution of soca music and calypso music in the US and the World via his Charlie's Records and his studio in Brooklyn from the 1970s onwards. His place in the history of the music's proliferation is secure. "Charlie" was back in Trinidad and Tobago to premiere his documentary at CARIFESTA XIV and he chatted with Laura and Nigel in two interviews. The first interview was first broadcast on Festival Radio for Carifesta XIV in August 2019. Produced by Trini Good Media.
Laura and Nigel reminisce on the various music festivals they have visited in the islands, and chat with Dr Suzanne Burke, culture sector researcher at The UWI who gives perspective to the hosts' observations on the role these destination music festivals have in nurturing all areas of a regional live music industry. CARIFESTA XIV is recalled as a case study of private vs public sector approaches to festival development in the Caribbean.
Laura and Nigel speak to Trinidad-based music entrepreneur and educator Farley Joseph about his research and findings on Caribbean music industry's readiness and potential to fit into the global digital music landscape. An interesting conversation that tackles the nagging problems of weak industry advocacy, slow and ineffective uptake of modern tech solutions, and importantly, recommendations are provided for stakeholders to use to overcome and progress.
Laura and Nigel chat with manager/music producer Anson PRO Soverall who manages rising soca star Nailah Blackman to find out his strategy for making a superstar out of this young singer, the grand-daughter of the chief innovator of soca, Ras Shorty I. Anson gives listeners some strategic ideas he uses to make a soca star and break them internationally.
Laura and Nigel interview Trinidadian music super-producer Kasey Phillips who has now relocated to Los Angeles to be closer to the epicenter of US music industry. His insights of the modern soca industry and his access to US music technology giants and major production players allow for a behind the scenes view of what it takes to build a Caribbean music genre in the largest music market in the world.
Laura and Nigel chat with acclaimed jazz musician Etienne Charles from Trinidad and Tobago about how he built his international career. His forays into the business of music in the United States are examined to understand how building a personal music corporation is necessary for sustained growth and success in the industry beyond the borders.
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