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CHROMATICS & HIGHWAY RECORDS BANNED IN T&T

22 August, 2010 Leave a comment

a luta continua

“This job doesn’t come with a pension plan. This is our pension – our royalties.”

Pensions may be set up for future needs but what they represent is security that is psychological as much as it is an actual dollar figure.

Chromatics, co-founder with Stuart Fortuné of Highway Records, is thinking about his pension plan. Arguably the country’s most successful hip-hop artiste, he’s also thinking about other things that most of the workforce, whether private or public sector; blue collar, white collar or shirt-jack, tend to take for granted. Like whether or not they’re going to be paid for the work they have done in the past month.

On 23 July, The Trinidad and Tobago Publishers and Broadcasters Association (TTPBA) decided that the services of the performer were no longer necessary. At least, they weren’t necessary if they had to be paid for.

While the Copyright Organisation of Trinidad and Tobago (COTT) remains the largest and most familiar of copyright agencies for local artistes, there are others. Awesome, headed by Sherwin Fortune is another. After discussions with both agencies, Highway Records chose the smaller outfit. One of Awesome’s significant advantages is its superior media tracking capabilities and accounting practices. Every time a song from Awesome’s playlist – any song, any artiste – hits the airwaves, it’s digitally logged. When it’s royalty pay-up time, the logs are squared with a given station’s own records.

read more of Stuart Fortune’s note here… on facebook…

CHROMATICS & HIGHWAY RECORDS BANNED IN T&T

CHROMATICS & HIGHWAY RECORDS BANNED IN T&T

A Long Day Into Night

23 December, 2009 Leave a comment

Dreams can come true if you are ambitious enough but what happens when three male best friends try to make a movie in a country where the film industry is not yet recognized for its full potential (2008) and each carry their own dark secret that could ruin each of them forever?

Adult content, violence

Wear headphones to boost audio.

Produced in Trinidad & Tobago from August 2008 to January 2009

A KIRK BUDHOORAM Film
starring Neil Maraj, P Yung, Sherwin Malcolm and Karen Mc Latchie
Edited by Ravi Gosine and Kirk Budhooram
Music by Druce Joseph

musical legacies in the digital age

20 January, 2009 2 comments

I tief piece of the headline from a Guardian Editorial I only now reading pon d internet… I haven’t read any newspaper in a while and my online reading has slowed as well… so pardon me if this post seems dated…

this rant is based on what I read in part of the editorial…

Just before Christmas, the calypsonian known as Chalkdust, another undoubted icon of the art form, had cause to write to Prime Minister Patrick Manning calling attention to the fact that one of the country’s best-known calypsonians was in need of a house. The artistes themselves have a responsibility, of course, to put aside some of the revenue they generate during their peak periods for their down periods or their retirement. But, given the fact that the technology allows the consumers of music to download and exchange the intellectual property of our artistes virtually for free, the wider society has some responsibility to ensure that the creators of this music are compensated—if only to ensure that the calypso, chutney and pan recordings survive to be passed on for future enjoyment.

yet again… the argument about who should see about artistes and how they doh get money from ppl who downloading their music ‘seemingly’ for free… sorry virtually… I will say that it aint free… we paying a service provider for the internet access… and those who do sharing also have to take the time… which costs money to sometimes upload to a server… a server that someone has to have money to have up on the internet… unless all of this technology is all MAGIC please correct me…

now don’t get me wrong I not on promoting piracy and this isnt the problem… you hit the nail on the head…

“The artistes themselves have a responsibility”

just as I have to do it for myself… I am currently unemployed and I still have expenses… lets just say that I foresaw this occurrence and had some stowed away for this day… but I know that it don’t last forever either… I wonder if the editor is part of the Gimme Gimme Gang? the Government has to do this and that for people who have flown the flag of Trinidad & Tobago… no problem… but being a Trinbagonian one shouldn’t be doing it only because they would be expecting a handout.

If the editor heard/listened to a spot Power 102FM ran on the station he/she would hear Mr. Kelvin Pope say that through his music he would live on… Doh be a bandwagonist and just jump on some stupid story cause DUKE dead… esp with an editorial… the Guardian certainly has not been doing well when it comes to managing the papers… premature headline today as well… but that is another discussion I dont wish to discuss here…

Onto my second point… Artists cannot assume that they can survive on CD/LP/DVD sales… especially in this digital era. Its called Touring… thats what they do to make money… go pon tour… create a clothing line… manufacture a fragrance… lets look at the Mighty Duke, respectfully! The Duke had always been known for his style.. I fed up hear about him being dapper… yes he certainly had his own style… he could have created his own clothing line and then if it was successful have funds to fall back on… residual income… people always need clothes…

just as I need to invest, as was reinforced during my retraining, these Artistes need to as well…

The editorial asks an even more important question tho…

Who is going to ensure that this legacy is made available for future generations to enjoy?

so it isn’t totally a waste…

Downloads, piracy blamed for decline

12 October, 2008 2 comments

J’can CD sales fall worldwide – Downloads, piracy blamed for decline
published: Sunday | October 12, 2008
Sadeke Brooks, Gleaner Writer

Bootleg CDs like those above, which were among pirated material seized during a sting operation by the Flying Squad in May 2007, have been blamed for some of the downturn in sales.

The sales of Jamaican music CDs worldwide are declining, with Internet access and piracy major contributing factors.

With the great increase in Internet access, the sale of actual CDs has been declining significantly. In addition, with the easy access to pirated music (bootlegs), fewer people are buying CDs and vinyl.

Bobby Clarke, CEO of Irie Jam Media, said “I am very sure the music sales are going down. Record stores in New York are closing down, CD sales are ridiculously low and reggae as a genre is down 50 per cent. With the advent of Itunes and bootleg, it is hard for someone to go into a store and buy a CD.”

Economic downturn
Bobby Clarke of Irie Jam Media notes that Super Power Records in New York, a supplier of Caribbean music, closed as a result of the economic downturn in the United States and the decline in CD sales.

Yolan Zanders, marketing manager for VP Records Jamaica, said several factors contribute to the decline in Jamaican music CD sales, such as the recession in the United States and easy access to downloaded music.

However, she does not believe Jamaica is the only country feeling this musical pinch.

“It (music sales) has been decreasing. It’s not just reggae music alone,” she told The Sunday Gleaner.

Sales declining globally
Globally, CD sales do seem to be declining. In the recnt article ‘CD sales falling faster than digital music sales rise’ in the International Herald Tribune, it was reported that CD sales have fallen to their lowest level in 10 years, while digital distribution and piracy were increasing.

It read: “Global music sales dropped 8 per cent to US$19.4 billion in 2007, according to a report from the International Federation of the Phonographic Industry. Revenue came in at its slowest pace since at least 1997, the first year for which the body issued figures. Physical sales of CDs and DVDs fell 13 per cent to US$15.9 billion. Sales of downloaded songs and mobile-phone ringtones rose 34 per cent to US$2.9 billion.”

Zanders said she has spoken to persons in Europe who believe that dancehall music is fading there and this might account for the decrease in sales. However, she believes dancehall has the ability to bounce back from its current downturn.

“Sometimes dancehall dies and then it gets back. That’s the trend that I’ve seen in our music. I don’t think it’s something that is dead or will ever be dead,” said Zanders.

Major problem
Reggae artiste Da’Ville said his music is doing well around the world, especially in Japan, where he will release his album called ItchibanHowever, he believes piracy is the major cause for the decrease in the sale of Jamaican music.

“The bootleg a di number one thing weh a mash up the music. When you do an album you invest a lot,” he told The Sunday Gleaner. “So when people bootleg is like dem a tek a thing out of yuh pocket. Sales are decreasing significantly and everytime a man bootleg, is one less record sold.”

Internet and piracy
Copeland Forbes says that much of the Jamaican music being produced now is not geared towards the international market.

Copeland Forbes, tour organiser, promoter, consultant and artiste manager, acknowledged that the Internet and piracy are causing a decline in the sale of Jamaican music CDs. However, he said there are other causes, such as the lack of a worldwide record distributor and insufficient marketing for Jamaican music.

He said there is a craving for Jamaican music in the Southern Hemisphere (including Australia and New Zealand) and some Middle Eastern and Asian countries. However, he said, there are few distributors in these areas. In some of these countries, Forbes said, the people only have access to music from Bob Marley, Lee ‘Scratch’ Perry and Lucky Dube, coming directly from Europe.

‘Not making money’
“Artistes are not making money from record sales. They are making money from live performances,” said Forbes, who has been in the music industry for 47 years. “Music is not selling in America. Europe is a more vibrant market for our music.”

But Forbes has another problem.

“The material that we are putting out is that which suits us and not the international market. The lyrics are too colloquial,” he told The Sunday Gleaner. “Our artistes need to make the music more understandable, so that the international market can relate to it. If they can’t relate to it they are not going to buy it.”

Nonetheless, Forbes believes Jamaican music is vibrant and has the potential to grow. However, he said more managers, producers and writers are needed in the business. And there is a very important, intangible factor.

“We don’t feel the love in the music. It is just hostile. Most of the music is disposable. We need to put out better music, so we can stand side-to-side with the rest of the world,” Forbes said.

Now people who know me know that I always say that artistes don’t make their money on sales. They make money touring and with all of the clothing lines and memorabilia. If you read this you will see why SOCA music will suffer even more. We never had a STAR like Bob Marley to take our music with a universal message. Yet we continue to clamour for Billboard and Grammy recognition with SOCA as a musical genre. LISTEN to what Forbes said…

“The material that we are putting out is that which suits us and not the international market.
The lyrics are too colloquial,”

If we only continue to cater to the West Indian diaspora and the international Carnival lovers who have learned to appreciate the music then the music may well be destined to become extinct. Chutney music may well surpass SOCA music because they may do well in the Indian sub-continent as they also sing in Hindi.

The belief in the music has to start at home. Not everyone knows how to get music illegally from the internet. and not everyone can afford the investment either. So if we get the pirates off the streets and out of the plazas and ‘malls’ we will be starting something. If we also enforce a 50/50 mandate on radio stations at least we will know what our locals have to offer. the URBAN radio frequencies may sound more Trinbagonian instead of Jamaican or American.

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Pirates (again)

7 March, 2007 2 comments

I am still in disbelief as to how fast they truely operate. They work on Radio and in the Studios of the riddim producers.

I’ve been shopping around a particular riddim and finally got some takers late 2006/early 2007. The tracks got recorded and they haven’t been to COTT officially either but they all over the file sharing networks. When I first saw it I was a bit amused; cause I did not receive my copy yet. I made the relevant calls as to who got the release on Ash Wednesday and realized that the leak didn’t come from the Mastering studio but more likely from a radio station.

For those of you who are accustomed to using these file sharing networks as a means of getting your music you might have an idea as to what I am referring to when I talk about the NFO (info) file of a release. Here is a sample that has been edited…


Title:………. ()*$& &@^ Riddim
Artist:……… VA
Language:……. English
Label:……….
Genre:………. Reggae
Tracks:……… 13
Size:……….. 58,0 MB
Quality:…….. VBRkbit 44.1kHz
Playtime:……. 40:35 min

Ripper ……… HLC 2K7
Supplier ………
Songs ………. 13
Rip Date ……… 03-01-2007
Source ……… CDDA
Street Date …… 00-00-0000
Mode ……….. Joint-Stereo
Label ………..

The Label information was not 100% accurate and this is how I have confirmation that a radio station actually leaked the riddim. The original information did not include the labels/production houses involved. This leak comes from the first set of discs that were sent to the radio stations. A subsequent release that was dispatched one day later actually has more tracks… and there are more tracks to come. This is also just one incarnation of the riddim release that I’ve seen online.

In the past I’ve often heard various artists/producers say that its the pirates that play their music on the street and then radio discovers them. But when you send your music to the radio station and instead of playing it they pirate it and put it on the street, it doesn’t make sense. These same radio stations then play it on radio when the listeners clamour for it to be heard. These are the same radio stations that SWITCH on Ash Wednesday.

One of the radio stations actually involved want some of the songs for legitimate sale on a website. I have no problems with that request but how can they guarantee that I will see any of the profits from this when members of their staff are actively pirating/sharing this same music all over the internet.

a music pirateWho remember this post pirates-of-caribbean.

It fall in meh garden and the same thing I said then is the same thing I say now.

The guy in the picture is one of those pirates stupid enough to have their picture within their file sharing profile.

It NOT RIGHT!

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Music to fight crime

28 February, 2007 1 comment

The National Anti-Crime Music Campaign (Trinidad & Tobago) on the Praise Circuit intends to use music to fight crime. This new campaign to fight crime in the country was launched Saturday on Brian Lara Promenade in Port-of-Spain. “Music and lyrics combined is recognized as powerful tools of social re-ordering in developed countries,” explained Rachael Guzman De Vlugt, one of the main organizers of the campaign. The campaign continues in San Fernando on March 31st and will then visit seven other places including Chaguanas and Point Fortin. Performing at the function were Rev Angela Williams and Band, Rizon, Koen Duncan and his band, Isaac Blackman, Delamo and JD Sellier and Altar Call. De Vlugt said various other artistes would be provided by the Copyright Organization of T&T at the other venues. She also said anyone with positive lyrics in a song could join the campaign.

Of Stars and Stripes: The Colours of We

12 February, 2007 Leave a comment

On February 6, 2007, TriniHits.com was formally launched in Trinidad… click here to read more…

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