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Invest SVG holds songwriters’ workshop

Invest SVG holds songwriters’ workshop

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St. Vincent and the Grenadines was transformed to a musical fertile ground when a group of top international producers, artistes and songwriters gathered for the first ever Songwriters’ Camp to be staged in the Caribbean.{{more}}

The camp, which was conceptualized by Ivan Berry of Tanjola Entertainment, in association with Mark Cyrus of Master Room Studio, was sponsored by Invest SVG, in collaboration with the Department of Culture. It ran from March 6 to 13 and was held at three venues, namely, Master Room Studio, Sky Studio and Beachcombers Hotel.

As stated by Shanna Browne, Export Development Manager at Invest SVG, the camp was a follow-up to the Business of Music and Entertainment Seminar held in November 2009. According to Browne, the camp aimed to build local capacity in song writing, establish and strengthen linkages with successful international songwriters and producers and create award-winning international hit songs, while simultaneously exposing local songwriters to some of the best practices in the music industry.

The facilitators for the camp were drawn from across the USA, Canada and Sweden. In attendance were music executives such as Ivan Berry and Rupert Gayle. Both individuals have achieved many accolades. Berry has gained several SOCANS, Music Video, Canadian Urban Music and Gold and Platinum awards. He is also one of the key players behind the St. Kitts Music Festival. Similarly, Gayle has under his belt a number of SOCAN number one hits, for example, Keshia Chante’s “Does he love me” and Idol runner-up Rex Goudie’s “Run”. Local producers Mark Cyrus and Adrian Bailey also shared their expertise throughout the working sessions.

Some of the artistes who benefited from the camp included Shiloh, Dru, Shari Short along with locals Abuzzah, Icon, Candy and Jared. Abuzzah, in reflecting on his experience, stated that it was uplifting and that his song writing skills will indeed improve. The international artistes present were impressed with the quality of the material produced. Shiloh and Dru, who are currently seeking songs for their new albums, were extremely optimistic and hinted at possible chart toppers. In a rare move, Maxime “Max” Gousse Senior Vice President of Island Def Jam Recordings, journeyed to St. Vincent and the Grenadines to get a firsthand view of the proceedings. When quizzed about his thoughts Gousse was in high praise. In his words, “The songs are awesome. Something great is gonna come out it.” Since his return home, Gousse has already provided the musical notes to a local artiste to produce a song, which is testimony to the work covered.

With Invest SVG’s focus on the development of the creative industries, the organization recognized the camp as a great platform in its preparation for MIDEM 2012 in Cannes, France. MIDEM and MidemNet bring together many of the music industry’s biggest decision makers. These events offer valuable insights into the mobile and digital music markets. In addition, they make available some of the best opportunities to license and discover music, make deals and learn about current trends in the industry. Therefore local participants in the Songwriters Camp are expected conduct further training with other songwriters here and produce quality material to be marketed at these events in the coming year.