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Music Matters: The Caribbean Edition
The podcast series featuring news, interviews and analysis of all the music from the islands.
Music Matters: The Caribbean Edition
May 16, 2020
Episode 24: What could a post-COVID-19 music future look like?
Laura and Nigel speak with musician, journalist and NYU professor Jason King, a Trini to the bone, who ponders on the possibilities and tracks the trends for a post-pandemic music future. A multi-disciplinary genius, King discusses industry disruptions that have existed and notes the current state of the global industry that could guide Caribbean music practitioners to a resurgent future in music.
May 16, 2020
Episode 23: Dada and the Caribbean Music Family
Laura and Nigel chat with Dominican super-producer, Krishna "Dada" Lawrence to get a handle on the wider Caribbean music scene. Dada outlines the possibilities for Caribbean music outside of Carnivals and festivals, and provides a wider context to the business of music by outlining his successes as a music producer of numerous hits and road marches in the festivals of the Caribbean, and his role as an advocate for collective management of music rights in the region. He also develops the idea of Caribbean music being a fusion of island sounds including his native bouyon.
Apr 22, 2020
Episode 22: Live in the Time of COVID-19
Laura and Nigel return for the first of the "lock down podcasts" during the global COVID-19 pandemic. They speak on the decimation of the live music industry and the rise of the virtual concerts online with pioneering radio station owner and music producer Kenny Phillips of Trinidad and Tobago. Production values, the local music industry and the new normal of online access to a deep catalogue of Caribbean performances are discussed
Mar 10, 2020
Episode 21: Beyond Soca - A Conversation with Sheriff Mumbles
Laura and Nigel have a revealing conversation with innovative music producer, Keron "Sheriff Mumbles" Thompson on his outlook on the status of new music from Trinidad and Tobago. Together, they delve into the ups and downs of the recent music for 2020 Carnival season. His perspective, fashioned by constant explorations in the wide world of music, adds another element to the idea of soca as a new world music.
1 hr 10 min
Dec 3, 2019
Episode 20: Conversations with Charlie
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.
Nov 9, 2019
Episode 19: Caribbean Music Festivals
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.
1 hr 2 min
Sep 15, 2019
Episode 18: The Digital Music Future 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.
Aug 20, 2019
Episode 17: How to Make a Soca Star
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.
Jul 26, 2019
Episode 16: The Ins & Outs of the Soca industry
Laura and Nigel interview Trinidadian music super-producer Kasey Phillips, now relocated to Los Angeles, to get a behind the scenes view of what it takes to build a Caribbean music genre in the largest music market in the world.
May 16, 2019
Episode 15: How to build a music business company
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.
Feb 21, 2019
Episode 14: Soca in the global digital marketplace
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.
Jan 29, 2019
Episode 13: Soca Management and Marketing
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.
Jan 17, 2019
Episode 12: Defining and Marketing Soca Globally
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.
Jan 6, 2019
Episode 11: What is soca? How is it defined?
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.
Nov 8, 2018
Episode 10: Public Money, Commercial Music - A Caribbean Case Study
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.
Oct 16, 2018
Episode 9: The Business of Calypso in the 21st century
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. Calypso, the Mother music of the Caribbean, has a recording history of over a century predating recorded jazz music, but the music business evolution and global spread of the music has declined since the late 1950s, aside from a few outliers and outside the diaspora spaces. 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.];
Sep 16, 2018
Episode 8: The New Breed: Soca 3.0
Laura and Nigel discuss this new generation's efforts at breaking indigenous music, soca and calypso, into the international marketplace beyond simple placement on digital platforms. 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 for the world to acclaim.
Aug 5, 2018
Episode 7: The Bajan Soca Industry
Laura and Nigel discuss the Bajan soca industry after the recent Crop Over on the island of Barbados. As a conclusion to the cycle of 2018 Caribbean Carnivals and the festival music, they have a better overview of soca in the Caribbean from the prevalence and popularity of competitions as a gauge, and the new sub-genre of bashment, to a wide-ranging interview with legendary Bajan soca star, Red Plastic Bag who talks about soca on the island and his opinions on what could make the breakthrough for soca globally. We await the 2019 soca season.
Jul 12, 2018
Episode 6: A Conversation with Freetown Collective
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 and how they have positioned themselves to buffer from any movements, positive or negative, in the global distribution, publishing and live music industry.
Jun 16, 2018
Episode 5: The Live Music Industry in the Islands
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, together with a Jamaican perspective on the softened live music industry there, to come to a fuller understanding of what are the roles of the private sector and the State sector in developing the industry.
Apr 14, 2018
Episode 4: Caribbean music, broadcast and IP
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's recent trip to Jamaica to cover its Carnival showcased how the modern music "merchants," the soca artists of today are distributing their music, and how the Carnival circuit is expanding for year-round exploitation of potential royalties from public performance and from radio airplay.
Mar 3, 2018
Episode 3: A Conversation with Josanne Leonard
A professional in the areas of media, music and entertainment with experience at international levels, Josanne Leonard served as policy adviser on the Caribbean music industry to various global and regional bodies. She talks with Laura and Nigel 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.
Feb 9, 2018
Episode 2: The Globalisation of Soca
The Globalisation of Soca is a podcast where hosts Laura Dowrich-Phillips and Nigel A. Campbell 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.
Jan 9, 2018
Episode 1: SOCA: A Caribbean Phenomenon
SOCA: A Caribbean Phenomenon is a podcast where hosts Laura Dowrich-Phillips and Nigel A. Campbell 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.