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Vincentian songwriters showcasing local talent in Europe

Vincentian songwriters showcasing local  talent in Europe

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A number of song writers and artistes from the Organization of Eastern Caribbean States (OECS) are currently having some of their material played to executives at top international studios in Europe.

The play sessions are being led by Vincentians Heric Horne of Island Network Inc and Mark Cyrus of Master Room Studios, who are currently on a 12-day visit to the United Kingdom where they are visiting these studios{{more}} in an effort to secure publishing deals and sign artistes.

This trip is the end product of a project that was started two years ago and funded by the 10th EDF. It is a collaboration with the OECS Competitive Business Unit (CBU).

According to Horne, in 2014, Island Network was the consultant on a three-day sound writing camp in Dominica. The camp had four producers, Mark Cyrus, Dada Lawrence (Dominica), Neil Bernard (Trinidad) and Kernel Stevens (Dominica), while Canadian Rupert Gale served as a mentor.

Fifteen song writers from the OECS, writing together with a producer, wrote different genres of music in an effort to show the standard of creativity in the OECS. From that camp, 18 songs were produced, eight of which were placed on a CD.

“It was not to say the others weren’t marketable, but given the budget allowed us, we could only produce that and we went on and did a video for one, all in an effort to market them to major record labels in Europe”, explained Horne. He said that Europe was chosen because of the Economic Partnership Agreement (ECA) that is reciprocal between Europe and the CARIFORUM countries.

Now, a year later after the CD was produced, Horne and Cyrus are embarking on the trip that will take them to England, France, Holland and Sweden, where they are visiting top record labels there to showcase the talent in the OECS.

“First and foremost we are looking for licensing, publishing deals, signing artistes. We are going out there to shop for everything and we are hoping to bring song writing camps to the region. Basically we are going there open-minded”, said Horne before leaving St Vincent and the Grenadines last week.

“We have done all the preparations in what we needed from our end. We have press kits for all the artistes and we have all the split sheets and a knowledge of what the OECS has to offer in terms of producers, songwriters and singers. We also have material that was not produced on the camp, but we would like to market also,” said Horne.

Horne said that the trip which was funded by the 10th EDF will showcase the skills of locals like Candy Gloster and Rondy ‘Luta’ McIntosh and other artistes who have great voices that can compare with Rihanna and Beyoncé.

Commenting before leaving for Europe, Cyrus said that trips of this nature are about songwriting, pitching and showing off songs that a label might want for one of their artistes.

“This is the first time we are doing a joint venture from songwriting to pitching songs”, said Cyrus, who revealed that they are hoping to make this an annual venture, “so we must have results”.

The experienced music producer described the songs as “pretty good songs, ballads, R&B and songs that need their own category, as the influence is reggae and soca,” said Cyrus.

“We need to get our music to the right person in an international record label. What happen to Rihanna is a stroke of luck. She got the funding, producers and marketing to push her and if we get this we can make it,” stressed Cyrus.

Among the labels that are being looked at by Cyrus and Horne are Notting Hill Music, BMI, Because Publishing, BBC One Extra and Mission Control.

The duo is expected to return here March 10.(LC)

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