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St. Kitts and Nevis (WINN): The Ministry of Culture and National carnival Committee are organizing a seminar for soca artistes to help them step up their game.
National Carnival Committee Chairman Noah Mills, speaking with WINN FM said:
“The minister would have presented to the Carnival Committee early this year, late last year, about organizing a seminar that would serve to enhance the skills, writing and performance skills, music production skills of our local soca artistes. It was pitched to the soca artistes and they of course absolutely love it. It was suggested that the registration fee per day would be EC$150 and it will be two days of training. We’re looking at the date July 13th-16th. Now in terms of topical areas, we’re actually bringing in about six facilitators. We’re targeting Red boyz, and Red boyz is one of the leading production companies in the Caribbean. They’re going to be coming in and doing a session on music mixing, producing and mastering and they’re gonna be focusing on in-studio as well as at events."
"There’s another gentleman who has worked with Blue boy and Machel and all of those people with respect to presentation on stage and personality and props and use of characters and dancers and he’s gonna be doing it from two angles. The first angles would be performing to the criteria for you to win the competition and the other angle is performing as an entertainer, making it a career. The Saturday we’ll have lyrics and writing soca songs, rhyming schemes and actual substance and linking concepts and then the other part of that day would be the music production in terms of the beat. Hopefully, at the end of it persons would be able to come out with, who knows, maybe a verse and a chorus, a full soca song that they can move forward this year.”
When asked if the training was just for the artistes and just for soca Mills responded:
“It is focused on soca only. It is not for soca artistes only, we invited band members, two bands were represented if my recollection serves me correctly. We had about 20 persons in the house, so it’s for soca artistes, lyricists, persons who just write songs, persons who produce rhythm and beats. It’s for bands and band leaders, some calypsonians, for example, were even there, so it shows that Calypsonians might even be diversifying their product portfolio this year, as well as it could be that they just want to get as much information in the entertainment world as they possibly can."
Mills said the Carnival Committee plans to host a winners take all soca competition in September in an effort to get artistes to release their music earlier so that they get more exposure.
“So we’re targeting at September 1st. Anyone who would have released by that date would participate in that competition. I have attended a meeting with the independence planning committee and we’re trying to have that event incorporated into the calendar of activities for this year. We have heard the cry that some bands and some artistes always release too late. Sometimes in December, carnival has already started and we don’t have that as yet and I keep on adding and urging and encouraging artistes. When you release early, not only the local landscape would be able to hear and better digest your songs but regionally and internationally it begins getting the kind of airplay that Trinidadians and Bajan artistes get. So, you’re increasing the probability of you being called to perform here, there or anywhere. So, that is one of the objectives to get them to release early. We’re looking at maybe a $10,000 prize, the winner takes it all and whoever would have registered and released by that point, September 1st, if we get it fitted in the September calendar with 15-20 artiste, we will have that show."