The inaugural MusicTT Forward Frequency Music Business Forum took place on Saturday, September 21 at the Government Campus Plaza Auditorium in Port of Spain.
The conference, put on in partnership with Kingdom Management and the Trinidad and Tobago Music Company Limited, was aimed at highlighting and producing remedies for areas in the twin island’s diverse music industry.
Ramont ‘Monty G’ Green, CEO of Royalty & Respect Management in Florida was the keynote speaker at the well-attended symposium.
Bahamas-born Green, a former artiste who has quickly ascended as a music executive in the United States, spoke passionately to T&T music professionals about the profitability of the music business and breaking through to the international market.
Other feature speakers included international singer/songwriter and Caribbean Marlin Awards nominee Darryl Gervais; Tenille Clarke, Managing Director and Principal Publicist of Chambers Media Solutions; and CEO of Precision Productions, Kasey Phillips.
Several young professionals – including singers, producers, writers and musicians from various genres – braved incoming Tropical Storm Karen weather conditions and attended the event to listen to a wealth of knowledge that could help boost their music career.
Budding Trinbagonian musicians received many valuable tips, to include: improving their marketing strategy, songwriting techniques, production tips and tricks for the studio and negotiating music distribution deals.
Darryl Gervais, whose writing credits include songs for soca sensation Kes The Band, Patrice Roberts, 5Star Akil and many other artistes in the Caribbean, shared advice on the importance of using real-life experiences to write relatable music for listeners.
“My advice will always be to network, build relationships, collaborate with your peers and stay inspired by any means necessary…”— Prolific songwriter Darryl Gervais.
One of the highlights for the evening was the highly-engaging Q+A segment, where attendees of various backgrounds and aspirations eagerly asked questions from the panel of the four specially-invited music and entertainment professionals.
The segment saw several attendees ventilating some of their challenges related to finding success in their respective artform to the panelists, peers and government officials, including Calvin Bijou, CEO of the Trinidad and Tobago Creative Industries Company Limited (CreativeTT).
One vocalist, Jillia Cato, explained her desire to take her career to the next level. “Finding the right resources for your craft in such a small industry market is important, and I think this was an excellent start for many of us wanting to go bigger with our music goals.”
General Manager of MusicTT, Melissa Jiménez described the forum as an ongoing process for expansion.
“This event is part of our growing Music Export Academy initiative which comprises of conferences, workshops, missions, webinars and meet-ups. All of these events centre around music sector capacity development and music business education,” she explained in her welcome address at the forum.
MusicTT will host a series of webinars in the coming months as a means of follow up to the Forward Frequency Business Forum.
— Article by Tenille Clarke