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.
20 Episodes
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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.
Laura and Nigel speak with UK-born Trinidadian music industry professional Keith Kirk about the prospects of soca in the global digital marketplace. Keith, who has worked with the major labels, Sony, Universal as well as BMG in metadata support and music rights management, keeps it real and gives a direct analysis of what is happening now and what has to be done to further expand soca's musical footprint in the global industry.
Laura and Nigel have a wide ranging discussion with Simon Baptiste, CEO of Question Mark Entertainment of Trinidad, and manager of Kes The Band among others, about the possibilities for the spread of soca music in the global marketplace. With insights gained from networking with A-list music executives, as well as his experience working with labels in Jamaica and developing a regional entertainment Expo, Baptiste details case studies in the Caribbean music industry and links management and marketing to success.
Laura and Nigel continue, in the SOCA SESSIONS, the conversation on what is soca and what needs to be done to increase global uptake. Music producers Martin 'Mice' Raymond and Keshav Chandradathsingh give input along with sound engineer Robin Foster on what still needs to be done.
Laura and Nigel chat with modern soca producer and manager Anson Soverall, veteran sound engineer and expert Robin Foster, and pioneering soca producer and composer Joe R. Brown in a panel discussing and searching for a standard definition for soca, the sound of Caribbean Carnivals and the soul of calypso. In the first edition of our Carnival special The Soca Sessions we discuss soca, its roots and surprising similarities to today's trends with one of the rising producers in the artform and veterans who worked with the inventor of Soca, Ras Shorty I.
Laura and Nigel have a candid conversation with Melissa Jiménez, General Manager of the Trinidad & Tobago Music Company Ltd., a State-Owned company, as a follow-up to Episode 5 in which the live music industry in the Caribbean was discussed with a specific reference to the Live Music District (LMD), a publicly funded initiative of the State to enhance the music industry there. The State's track record on this new initiative to incentivise the T&T music industry is reviewed.
Laura and Nigel chat with Meagan Sylvester of the Trinbago Unified Calypsonians Organisation (TUCO) about the role and business of calypso in the 21st century. A modern perspective from an official source is given to identify a calypso renaissance both artistically and commercially, and the work being done towards that end. [Calypsos excerpted: "Iron Duke in The Land", Julian Whiterose. Recorded 1914; "Change", Helon Francis. ℗ & © 2018; "Long Live Calypso", Lord Superior. ℗ & © 1973.]
Laura and Nigel discuss this new generation's efforts at breaking soca and calypso into the international marketplace. They chat with artist/songwriter Jimmy October about his "New Calypso" and producer David 'Millbeatz' Millien about his "Caribbean Wave" as genres and new ways of defining Caribbean music.
Laura and Nigel chat about the Bajan soca industry after the recent Crop Over on the island of Barbados. As a conclusion to the cycle of 2018 Caribbean Carnivals, they have a better overview of soca in the Caribbean. Includes a wide-ranging interview with legendary Bajan soca star Red Plastic Bag.
Laura and Nigel sit down with Muhammad Muwakil and Lou Lyons of FREETOWN Collective to discuss their new album, Born In Darkness, and to chat about that album in the context of the modern music industry. As a bellwether of new full length album production in T&T, Muhammad and Lou explain how this project interacts with the current music ecosystem.
Laura and Nigel discuss the state of the live music industry in Trinidad and Tobago in the context of the government's plan to create a Live Music District in Port of Spain to act as a tourism magnet for visitors to the island. The experience and results of the State's efforts are gauged to derive the roles of the private sector and the State sector in developing the industry.
Laura and Nigel chat about the reality of the slightly behind-the-curve business models and thinking about broadcast media and its role in distributing music and creating economic rights for artists, composers, producers and performers in the Caribbean.
Laura and Nigel chat with Josanne Leonard, regional music industry expert, on the music industry in Trinidad and Tobago with links to the wider Caribbean music industry and preferred strategies going forward in light of the ongoing state-dominated industry thrust toward its further development.
Laura and Nigel continue the discussion on the relative global spread of this music born in Trinidad. The wider international thrust by singers, DJs and producers from America, Europe and Africa to put the music on the same public consciousness as reggae and dancehall, for example, is considered.
Laura and Nigel discuss the spread of soca music from its base in Trinidad and Tobago to encompass rhythms and musical cues from other islands in the Caribbean. Producers, singers and fans from all the islands make this music more than Trinidad Carnival music.
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