Ching Ching presented by D Project Records featuring Blaxx, Chucky and Hollywood Sachy
we scattered all over the globe. some representing at the olympics. others in Geneva making absolute fools of themselves and giving others impressions of us being totally immature… absolutely true.
And at home we have our panties up in a bunch coz one fella keeps Going for Gold and members of one of our TRIBEs shutterstocked us. Let’s not forget the other group who celebrates being emancipated by annually seeking government subventions.
In other news I am going to attempt some schooling and I am still willing to work for RENT/ MORTGAGE…
ramadan Mubarak and hope you had a Happy no Public Holiday Month of July…
there are some in the government (SnakeMan) who feel that pardoning 50 prisoners is fitting tribute to celebrating Trinidad & Tobago’s 50th year of independence from Great Britain.
initially I thought that the Minister was off his rocker but I have since seen the light.
You see every Minister/Ministry has to come up with a way of celebrating this momentous occasion. The Ministry of Finance just reintroduced the $50 dollar bill. Food Production gave away 50 plants for Corpus Christi. Education is spending 50 x 40 thousand on etiquette for our nation’s primary school attending youth. Works and Infrastructure displacing at least 50 people/families for a highway that we don’t need.
I’m sure other Ministries are doing their part and spending at least 50 thousand on some kind of project that less than 50 people would benefit from.
I say bring 50-Cent to come perform Get Rich or Die Trying and charge 50 cent cover charge. Just note that it has to be an actual 50 cent. This will ensure that you keep certain elements of society out and I could scalp tickets outside for a brand spanking new $50.
I didn’t count but there are about 50 ‘flags’ fluttering on the waterfront and prob about .50% of those are actual national flags.
I gave this blog post 50% of the effort I should have. so until next time… aces.
that’s half of a deuce :/
From fete to fete, artistes like Machel Montano, Iwer George, Bunji Garlin, Fay-Ann Lyons, Kees Dieffenthaller, Rodney “Benjai” Le Blanc, Destra Garcia and Dexter Stewart (Blaxx) pleased partygoers. For C2k12, they are set to ignite passions with the infectious music known as soca. As the countdown to Carnivalesque celebrations intensifies, other artistes have thrown their hats in the rings. They, too, can lay claim to producing sweet soca songs and thought-provoking calypsoes. However, there is a major setback—the lack of airplay. Wringing their hands in frustration, artistes have complained vehemently that they are not getting airplay. Even if they do, airplay is inadequate.
For C2K12, the situation is even more grave. Popular artistes like Denise Belfon have registered their angst at disc jockeys. In a Guardian interview (January 12) Belfon said: “What happen? Is only Machel Montano it has as an artiste in Trinidad? I am not taking anything away from him. He had done a whole heap of music for the season. But there are other artistes and the songs that can be played between his whole repertoire that they want to push.” While die-hard fans lament the lack of airplay for their beloved soca sons and daughters, artistes have to count their financial losses, too. They have to deal with the loss of dollars and cents on their soca product and battle the buffeting winds of a global economic downturn.
Among those who shed insight into the grave situation affecting artistes was ace arranger Leston Paul. He has been riding a crest of popularity based on “Archbishop of Pan.” It is a collaborative effort between pannist Len “Boogsie” Sharpe and composer Gregory Ballantyne. It has been vocalised by the Lydian Singers. Paul spoke with a great deal of authority since he is inside the core of the industry and has produced mega hits like the late Arrow’s Hot! Hot! Hot! Interviewed on Thursday, Paul said: “The lack of airplay had been a major problem for years.” He was impressed at the proliferation of artistes who had sought the nearest studio.
Paul added: “This year, more artistes recorded. A lot of them got inspiration from last year. The young fellas are recording helter skelter. They are hoping to bombard the airwaves with products just for Carnival.” Paul painted a sobering picture of the reality of demand and supply. He said: “Now the scenario is really and truly, T&T is too small to accommodate a barrage of artistes. There are too many artistes for disc jockeys to play for a two-month period. It is automatic good artistes will fall by the wayside and beautiful tunes will not be heard and enjoyed.”
He felt the problem could be addressed with proper planning and a prolonged playing time that precursed the Carnival season. Paul said: “You cannot expect to have all these CDs and artistes to be played in a two-month period unless they make it mandatory for it to be played.” At the same time, Paul said they are vying for top honours in the coveted competitions like the Soca Monarch, Dimanche Gras and Road March titles. He said: “While the focus is on these competitions, they are not looking at the holistic survival of the industry. They are using the music industry as a springboard to be heard and to promote and advertise themselves.”
$$ to record
Zeroing on the dollars and cents, Paul said: “A novice might spend about $5,000 to $6,000 to record a song. It depends upon who is producing it and what company they are going to. They might gravitate to a reputable producer: ie, one who has produced hits for the last five years or so. No matter if they are new or established, artistes still pay their monies for the works they are producing. Even if they are an established artiste and their career is at the lowest ebb they would still have to pay. “It does not matter if they are in the mix like Kees or Machel. They get a quotation, but it would be a lot more than $6,000.” Paul noted artistes were “taking a gamble” each time they recorded a song. He said: “It’s either you make something or do something and if nothing happens that is the reality for the season. It is back to the drawing board for another year.”
There is the need to create a year-long listening audience. Paul added: “If soca music was playing right through the year and people could make it more sustainable, it would benefit the artistes. The majority of people who are recording would not lose out. They might be assimilated in other ways like videos, jingles, lectures and fetes.” But the grim reality is only a few are getting airplay. “The rotation is airplay only for a few.”
He posed a burning question: “What about the ones who got played last year? What about those who will only get played this year? The lack of airplay only becomes news when a popular person’s career is at an ebb or an all time low. The problem of lack of adequate never exists even when they have a hit.” Paul said it was important for the relevant stakeholders to understand the entertainment industry was “bigger than the individual”. He said: “You have to look at in a holistic manner. If the industry was more unified everybody would gain from it. If you are looking at the business when Carnival time comes again, the majority of people would be crying. It’s only a few people that are benefiting.”
Paul appealed for solidarity and unity among artistes. He said: “Hundreds of CDs come out. A lot of people record stuff and the situation would get worse, if the artistes don’t get together as a unified body.” Comparing artistes to masmen and promoters, Paul said: “The average artiste just makes crumbs compared to other people in the industry. The guy who is singing in the tent just makes crumbs compared to the money other people make. That is the reality of the situation. It is left to the artistes to change it.”
Soca artform must be sustainable
Chairman of Caribbean Prestige Foundation (CPF) William Munro says he had approached radio manager Brian Haynes to ensure a couple of hours per day were allotted to playing the beautiful soca music. Munro said: “I feel the hurt for the young people. The office has pointed out to me the lovely tunes which are not getting airplay. Everybody wants a number one. They want all the hits but they are not giving the younger artistes a chance to be heard. It is easy to see why some of them get frustrated. You go into the studio and people are not hearing your work.” Munro spoke about a more sustainable intervention.
He said: “I am working on a document to make some recommendations in terms of agriculture, sports and entertainment.” Commenting on the judging structure of the Soca Monarch competition, Munro said: “You have to judge by the CDs. You can’t ask everybody to sing. Some of them are frustrated when they don’t make it to the semis.” Meanwhile, Munro vowed to do whatever was within his power to contribute to the development, maintenance and sustainability of the artform. Guardian Media Limited is the official media sponsor of the soca monarch competition.
Ajala hoping for airplay
Another artiste who chose to vent his frustration at not getting airplay for C2k12 was Keith Sutherland (Ajala). In his heyday, he ruled the roost with gems like Tidal Wave, Bring Down the Riddim, White Horse and Jump Up and Get On Bad. To date, he has recorded Hey Pray (a nation building song), Dutty Meh Up (J’Ouvert Jam), Horsey Remix and a pan song Return of the Marsicans (Tribute To the late Lord Kitchener). He said: “I feel the pain of people like Denise Belfon. So many good artistes are not hearing their work. What is happening? How long can it continue? Machel is saying he is going to release a song a week. I find the situation is ridiculous?”
Sutherland felt the authorities should get involved to prevent the situation from escalating into “something unpleasant” or heading for a downward spiral. He said: “Something has to be done. The stakeholders, the media all have to come on board. Why is it only the same artistes are on rotation?” Zeroing on the financial aspect, Sutherland said: “Recording costs have gone up from $9,000 to $12,000. You can’t be spending your hard-owned monies and not getting it back. “You can’t be dropping off your music to the radio stations and it is not being played.”
He felt T&T should take a page from the royal treatment meted out to Jamaican artistes. “T&T should do like Jamaica. It is 90 per cent reggae and ten per cent foreign. You hear a lot of dub. Soca/calypso needs help to grow internationally. The Latin markets are growing. But the soca music is just there. Even the Grenadians are supporting their artistes. You see posters. Other islands are booming it up. Just now the outside world would say T&T is killing the mecca.” Sutherland said: “T&T is the mecca. But it is ridiculous what they are doing to the industry. There are about 12 radio stations. So what is going on?”
He said the long term growth of the industry would be affected if it continues. He added: “The recording rate has increased by 300 per cent. People are tapping into their talents because of the recession. Some people can’t get an 8 am to 4 pm job, so they are picking up a guitar and making music.” He noted Minister of Arts and Multiculturalism Winston Peters had been doing a “great job,” but there was still more work to be done in the calypso arena. On a lighter note, he said people meet him and say, “What happen Ajala you stop singing? I respond: “Does a bird stop flying?”
Internet saves the day
Paul noted the Internet was saving the day for frustrated artistes who were not hearing their work on the radio. He urged them to avail themselves on that site. He said: “There is an emerging medium…Facebook and the social networking sites. A lot of artistes are using it to promote their stuff. A lot of people have computers and cell phones with the social media and they are playing songs they want to hear from their favourite artiste. They are searching for artistes they want to hear.” Paul said it should be used as a spinoff to get work out of the Carnival season.
“After Carnival everybody knows those same stations switch off to play urban popular music from the North. The avalanche of tunes are lost.” He appealed to the conglomerates and the business community to intervene and assist the artistes. Meanwhile, Sutherland has sensibly taken advantage of the Internet and launched his work there. “It was launched on 500 radio stations worldwide. DJs and programme directors have access to it.”
the comments on the Guardian website tell various stories…
The majority of these songs are geared towards the Carnival season so why should they be played throughout the year? Carnival is not the time for an interesting thought provoking song. Soca is not the only genre of local music. Machel may be many things, but he doesn’t have international recognition outside of his genre eg. Barbados’ Rihanna and the handful of Jamaican artistes.
Machel Montano is killing Soca as much as he is helping it. We have now built an industry around 1 person. Beyond the shores of the specific Caribbean islands that play Soca and a diaspora in a few metropolitan cities Soca is virtually unknown and not taken seriously.
Worst yet is the fact that Trinidad Soca performers seem to want to run before they can walk. All of them seem to be hussling based upon their current hit fame, charging silly prices and making unreasonable demands for Limos, Grey goose and massive traveling entourages when they should be focusing on building their careers and getting exposure. As a result, only the non-Trini names have really made it into mainstream and usually for 1 or 2 songs. e.g. Kevin Little, Rupee, Alison Hinds. All of the others including Machel Montano still talk of going mainstream as if it is illusive Vision 2020.
Sadly enough, people who make money in Trinidad in general seem to be extremely narrow minded, usually contented with their small empires usually spanning the Caribbean and that’s it. This mentality is quite prevalant in the Entertainment and Music industry. I don’t see this changing anytime soon. So until then, Soca performers will continue to starve or be happy with thousands and not millions both money and fans, and we will only be wowed at Carnival time with a handful of large shows and call it a Soca music industry.
Its sad that it has come to this I agree that in order for this to change it must be made mandatory.
Its a real spring board and those with the high jump in terms of more money to spend win…once I contacted a station they said 9000 per month for air play think about it that’s 1500 us per month for air play think how many blasted struggling artiste can pay it, after the heavy cost of production.
I have seen first hand how stations refuse to play your songs, one program director told me a week of air play once a day was enough free play for that song lol
These people have made a new meaning to the word Payola it now called compulsory to make it lol….Oh well its up to the youths to come and change that
and the crowning glory
Do like Iwer, start your own station
- Bunji Garlin and Fay-Ann opt out of SOCA Monarch (bandwagonist.wordpress.com)
- Machel & Kes on PRES Honour Roll (bandwagonist.wordpress.com)
- Machel Montano Nominated for Soul Train Award 2011 (bandwagonist.wordpress.com)
- Before They Were Stars with Macka Diamond (naisentertainment.wordpress.com)
- RedBull riddiMIX (bandwagonist.wordpress.com)
- Super Red 20 (bandwagonist.wordpress.com)
TO ALL ASYLUM FANS
No Bunji Garlin and Fay-Ann Lyons in Soca Monarch this year…
This year their focus and objectives for carnival are a little different as is evident in the music. They recognize that Soca Monarch has done quite a lot for their careers and the careers of artistes on a whole and that William Munroe must be commended for all that he has done. Look out for Bunji Fay-Ann and the Asylum band at Girl Power on Fantastic Friday.
Thats what was posted to the Asylum Family facebook wall. Not once but Twice… over a 100 shares/likes/comments within minutes… i just had to laugh at some of the comments… especially the negative ones… constant reminder why this ROCK doesnt move forward and that i too am a crab in a barrel…
some of the comments
Glad you all made dis decsion. After years of the same criteria as soon as MM said he is entering 15% of the pts is directed to texts via votes….making it a popularity competition…won’t there a separate people’s choice before? And opening voting from 8 am wen not one artiste hit the stage yet?? How on earth a young artise cud win a competion with such rules?. Clearly politrix!! Everyone knows HD’s popularity outside T&T is bigger than everyone else..in fact muro himself stated MM got more votes than any other…especially from foreign voters. The competition is already a tight one allowing 15% of the total pts based on voting will never allow young upcoming artiste whether they have the better song..or perform the best on the night to win. Bdw I highly doubt they didnt enter becus of HD because he’s not the first to defeat Garlin and Fayann in SM..Shurwayne, Iwer etc did it b4. It’s becus the competition is f’d up…say it as it is Asylum!
if Fay Ann and Bunji with god given personality and talent who have individually and between them a body of work that stands the test of time, catching gripe over the one hit wonders JW and Blaze, then I will eat my hat the big sombrero I buy in mexico city….steups
You will be missed but sometimes perspective changes on reflection. I believe you both would return. Ever since Bunji was in the green ras singing about Bras, he loved that stage and that competition so I expect a glorious return when the time is right. As for Munroe…….hold a burn!!!!!!! Easily the worst promoter ever. I am tired of wasting my VVIP funds on his…….
why bro??we depend on you to represent the grassroots every single year,you are the people’s voice and you are the people’s choice…think it over..
this show lack of commitment to the art form, one good cut arse and you all running,we know it hard to beat Mr Fete ,but at least try !!!! the vybez cant done!!!
you said it …. and the best toting couple goes to …….
i was backing u all for this,stuepsssssssss and when there is cheating like that high-class bullshit that happen last year,i eh give allyuh wrong nah,dey too blasted thief..i backing IWER full hundred now…..
This is the smartest thing they can do for themselves and their career.. #hadnochance
Bunji and Fayann wants to win all the time and dont want too give some else a chance since the JW and Blaze win that yr they change cant stand radio boys beat them
this one is from a seriously crazed facebooker… totally confusing
I always thought the criteria of entering Soca Monarch should be changed. WE are the ones paying to see the artistes perform fete after fete (no pun intended), supporting their music. It should be mandatory that all songs are eligible and a committee then votes to narrow it down. How can a competition that boasts to be the best of its type be “optional” for some of the best artistes?! Rubbish!
It’s the beginning of the end of soca monarch as we know it…….
hopefully that is right! allyuh done know my views on the policies of SOCA Monarch…
^_^ they calling me RUNAWAY
- Machel & Kes on PRES Honour Roll (bandwagonist.wordpress.com)
- RedBull riddiMIX (bandwagonist.wordpress.com)
- Super Red 20 (bandwagonist.wordpress.com)
- The Carnival music monster machine is an evil Troll
Fantastic Friday gets rebranded by some moron… or was it a Digicel idea…
Fernandez also called on the Government and Carnival stakeholders to support artistes and local culture 100 per cent, not only at Carnival time, but year-round. He pleaded for a 50 per cent share radio time for local artistes saying we had enough talent in T&T which included producers and songwriters well able to fill a space.
Fernandez also questioned why other islands such as Barbados could produce stars like Rihanna and others while T&T, critically acclaimed for its talent, was still struggling to stamp its name on the international market.
RiRi might have been born and bred in Barbados for some years in her life but they didnt produce her. Jay-Z snapped her up after she jumped on a plane and had her sign a multi album deal. and FYI Fernandez Heather Headley is performing on the 17th in NAPA. by your standards she is Trini and has made a name on the international market. wah bout Onika Maraj?
“Artistes in T&T don’t have the support they need,” he insisted. “We are calling for an artiste development fund of $5 million annually to be used for the development of our local artistes of all musical genres.
“With this fund ten artistes would be selected each year and $500,000 will be invested in developing their talent and careers over the period of three years,” he suggested. His sentiments were echoed by Arts and Multiculturalism Minister Winston “Gypsy” Peters, who subsequently delivered a feature address. Peters stated that while he supported Fernandez’ plight, he believes that artistes must also invest in the creation of this fund and let the Government match it.
oh 10 artistes would be selected to get one and a half million… by who? yes i… and the GoRTT should just fund your biz and expect what in return… oh right ppl come to Trinidad Carnival just for SOCA Monarch.
i prefer the option put by the Gypsy. 50/50
“I can say that the performer who can act as his own accountant, marketer and public relations specialist always has an edge over the individual who cannot do so,” he added. Peters also praised Munro for his foresight and belief in Soca Monarch, citing the competition has placed T&T on a world map. He said he had always supported the vision and pledged that his Ministry would continue to support the efforts of CPF through existing initiatives such as the National Registry of Artistes and Cultural Workers and other future initiatives.
foresight is right… for years he gets to keep the profits while state agencies fund the majority of the prizes… oh and i agree with Gypsy again… even if application to the registry isnt an easy exercise itself.
New developments for Soca Monarch 2012
The 20th anniversary of Soca Monarch will also be celebrated with a few changes. The event will now begin at 9 pm instead of 9.30pm. The Hasely Crawford Stadium will be opened to the public from 5 pm to alleviate traffic congestion when getting into the venue. Early-bird patrons will be able to enjoy the Carnival atmosphere created on the external parameter of the venue.
According to Munro, there will be dozens of Carnival characters including moko jumbies, fancy sailors, jab jabs, steelpan, pan round the neck, tassa and rhythm sections to create an energetic and exciting ambience. Large screens will also be erected for soca enthusiasts to view the onstage activities.
Only two categories of tickets will be sold for the competition—general and VVIP. The celebrity panel this year comprises both local and international stars. From T&T O’Brian Haynes, Wendy Fitzwilliam and Dr Rupert Griffith of the Ministry of Tourism, with the international cast including BET 106&Park’s Terrance Jenkins and House of Payne’s Lance Gross.
Tickets for the Digicel International Soca Monarch Competition 2012 go on sale as early as December 12.
- Fantastic Friday in Trinidad: the Soca Monarch Special (carolinetaylor.info)
- Machel Montano Nominated for Soul Train Award 2011 (bandwagonist.wordpress.com)
- UPDATED: Soca Monarch Results – Trinidad’s Power & Groovy Champions for Carnival 2011 (carolinetaylor.info)
Blue and White on the Nelson says so much.. to me at least…
Think about it Blue and White are supposed to mean that the Police are passing but to me it shows the divide that some of us usually take… you know opinion… black/white… /wordpress recommended link for White referred to the race… even if that may be a bandwagon to jump on i prefer to use the next part instead/
on the Nelson is not only representative about the way many see East Port-of-Spain, but many ghetto (ugh i abhor that word)/underprivileged areas…
Some people are finally waking up to the reality of the SoE… and life in Trinidad… coz they feel we were shown on international television in a bad light… i don’t… this was reality television at its best… allyuh see the beauty up in St. Barbs… that is where House Hunters International shudda set up dem people who had U$5700 monthly housing allowance…
i myself thought the report was well produced and that the soundbyte of Gary Griffith in the end spoke volumes… that got plenty people panties up in a bunch… if it fall in yuh garden…
The people I met seemed to openly acknowledge that the State of Emergency won’t solve Trinidad’s long-term problems. They feel corruption and white-collar crime are getting out of hand. They told me all sorts of stories about businesses, specific politicians and well-known police officers. Criminologists and journalists repeated many of these allegations. But for the moment nobody could prove them, and nobody would go on record. Even the government representative shrugged off my question about corrupt politicians. “Yes, there will always be corrupt politicians”, he said as if that meant nothing. That doesn’t bode well for Trinidad’s future.
So big shake up an thing happening this weekend and I eh read a papers or watch news to have a clue what a gwaan!
Wait it eh happen yet. D PM gonna spell it out tonight. Hope I can stomach it.
until then… i’m Laughing My Freaking Ass Off coz they reschedule the address to the NayShun 30 minutes later than advertised… PARTY
on d ROCK