Trinidad and Tobago’s first Live Music District (LMD) in the city of Port of Spain launches this March. If you enjoy live musical performances, of all different genres, you can find them at some of the restaurants, bars and lounges that you love!
The Live Music District has entertainment for everyone.
So I just applied lets see if the city will work with me...
The place is getting colder and my Caribbean heat is fading. However the sunshine that burns within will not die. Seminars started on time and my hour and a half subway ride took me into the heart of the festival. We got oriented into the weeks activities and needs to knows. Then I sat down to with industry execs off all sorts - who would be important sometime in my not to distant future - (took many cards). Booking and Festival agents were eager to divulge information on the Do's and Dont's of acquiring performances and securing festival slots throughout Canada.
For me, however the Urban panel seemed to generate the most buzz for me because it was tailored to my needs as my genre is a catastrophic hybrid of Rock and Soca. The panel was compromised of producers such as Prezident Jeff, A&R - BlockTradeStudios, PR - Dalton Higgins, and Entertainment lawyers. The panel's moderator Jheanelle Henry of Rebel Wailer was articulate and chaired conversation such as, Dont be afraid to collaborate - Be Atlanta - in Atlanta every producer works together, everyone cooperates, Stay in your Lane, Community is important work within it, Register your Narrative to Socan, Tunecore and Nielsen.
In the end my success all boils down to ME.....
Canada's Indie Week 2017 got off to a stella start at official venue for the Festival "The Hideout" - with all major sponsors displaying their novel marketing strategy that were fun filled and memorable. For me it was exhilarating and not as cold as I anticipated it would be. After collecting my all access pass we were entertained by several live acts including a Brazilian band that displayed similar Rock Soca vibes. Even though they sang in Portuguese it was vibes and they rocked.
A radio personality with a different mindset and drive, from the rest. Met this guy in late 2008 in studio releasing a track featuring Silva and myself. Back then things were tough. RKG was on one of those "STOUT" franchises and doing his thing.
He never once forgot us though. We were always able to link him for a chat or an interview. Full forwards, honesty and a world of respect was his mentality.
Ebuzztt.com has the full article on KG's achievements - but i just want to remind readers RKG is a product of hard work and positive mindset. No favors from nobody home here.
"Caribbean Born" is his crossover album, a fusion of Soca, Dancehall and reggae and is included among the 5 nominees for the category of Best Reggae Album.
When I spoke to him last night. He just reminded me to "keep me in your prayers man...."
Lookout for him, he maybe performing alongside your favorite reggae artist..
Read the full RKG interview via EBUZZTT.com
Purchase his GRAMMY NOMINATED - ITUNES
In conclusion. If you want to be a full time indie artist here in Trinidad and Tobago you are delusional. It's time to wake up and just smell....
Besides selling doors door-to-door, being a full time musician is a risk that many are not willing to take. Here in the Caribbean, job security is as crucial as moving out of your parents' home. You have been told by many, that music doesn't pay. With a day job it can work though:
#1. A Regular Paycheck is a gift. Especially how our local economy is taking a downturn.
Six, seven years ago, a couple friends and I were talking about leaving our day jobs and taking up, music, musical theatre, full time and live the Rock Star dream - just had a stellar performance with the Trinidadian version of Jesus Christ Superstar.
Honestly I never did leave my 8-4.
At the time I was writing Speeches for a local Senator, my girlfriend was amazing and existing loans - plus the inconsistent performances and pay - never gave me the motivation to quit my day job. Lets face it Trinidad and Tobago is not a vast land of music and honey. If you don't do Soca or Chutney you need an 8-4 job.
Today, I won't even have a conversation like the one I had six, seven years ago. As an indie musician yes its easier to get your music out there but the day to day bills, wants and needs as minimal as they can be, will require a consistent cash flow, paycheck. No matter how small the salary maybe once its consistent, you can save, you can budget.
The day job should fund your musical career. All it takes is a little more effort and discipline. Lets face it most musicians want to live the rockstar life before becoming rockstars.
Save some money at least three months worth of your salary
so if your work for $500 monthly you should have saved up three months worth = $1500. Now I am not saying to save all of your money and don't live. It means that you have to be patient and disciplined... Rome was not built in a day... It will take time. Be prepared to Work hard.
DISCIPLINE KEEPS COMING UP...
PEOPLE OVERLOOK IT...
#2. Social Connections
For the past nine years I have been a registered English Teacher with the Ministry of Education. I have moved from one school to another, only twice. Each move left me with at least 60 connections that follow me and come, intermittently to my shows/performances.
Today, I interact with a lot of students, parents and teachers - I meet a lot of interesting people daily. Who I keep in touch with via WhatsApp and Emails.
I have learnt not to underestimate coworkers - who are innate supporters that I've tapped into. I sang at several weddings and parties because of referrals from co-workers. I'm building my brand and I get paid. Some days the bank smiles and somedays - Thank GOD I have my 8-4.
#3. What the Job can offer an Indie Musician.
High schools have great benefits - look at your job and what may be one benefit - from posting flyers on notice boards, using internet and computers to access the much needed updates that occur daily. As a serious musician internet is crucial especially if your market is beyond Trinidad and Tobago.
Printers and copiers are your best friend. The discounted price that I pay, I save at least a $1 on every Press Kit that I copy. If I had to print it outside of school I would pay at least $1.25.
Every job has its benefits. Might be small but at least they are benefits
Teaching has offered me the luxury of having paid Vacation and also helps fund a lot of my recordings. Weather paid or unpaid saving is important and planning your vacation with your desired performances and releases help your career to move seamlessly.
"But I want to go on tour!"
In the Caribbean there are few places that can afford an indie artist the ability to tour as compared to USA and Europe - so flying aboard is a must. This means that your savings have to bolster you. Remember we spoke about using your work environment to assist your music.
Your job gives you two weeks "no pay" leave in October. Using your free internet at work apply to as many festivals, pubs, clubs that will showcase artists in the month of October and apply.
Budget wisely and take a trip... New York, Canada, UK - you may get back , just in time to get the Monday morning meet, but at least you are fulfilling your innate dream....
Additionally, look at your calendars and choose your dates for touring and performances to fall on the long weekends. Know when there are holidays close to the weekend.....
In the beginning ...
There are many resources in front of you stop looking for the problems on the job and find the resources that can help you....
I read music blogs avidly and my knowledge and strengths come from those who have gone before me and have taken the time to document it.... I don't have to make their mistakes and neither do you...
So was reading a couple "New Researched Articles" one was titled NO need to floss .. researchers have proven that ... and well you can complete the rest...
Has the world gone mad?" YES!!!!
As a result of such I had to get a Dentist's view on such ...
What the FLOSS……….WTF
Believe it or not, flossing is the most underrated act in personal dental care/oral hygiene. Brushing and using a mouthwash, Easy. Flossing , not so much. Flossing twice, or at least once, a day is worth its weight in teeth gold. And NO, I am not stringing you along…
Flossing helps prevent cavities and gum disease (gingivitis/periodontitis). By removing food debris and bacterial microflora (aka germs, bacteria and stuff) from between the teeth and gums, a healthy mouth/oral environment is promoted. A clean mouth with reduced numbers of pathogenic (bad/disease causing) bacteria serves to reduce the formation of cavities and help in the maintenance of healthy gums. Don’t get yourself too floss-tered, with practice it takes less than a minute of your time.
So, flossing 1-2 X daily will significantly improve your oral hygiene and smile (cause you will have your teeth).
TRUST ME! I am a Doctor.
Thanks Dr. G...
and to qualify it scrub your tongue too...
Sometimes the mind can truly make your worse feel as if its your best effort. One true way of knowing if your effort is the best maybe to compare it or simply ask an honest person.
I truly hate to ask opinions but I have surrounded myself with honest and brilliant people - friends. This equals progress and my effort is no longer mediocre rather its become progressively better. I have not gotten to my best but soon....
Satisfying for mediocrity is a suburbian drug that many fall into because it flourishes on not working hard, make just the minimum, not going too far for anything - everything should be within your physical reach or space. Why give your BEST when so many are already doing it? ... I'll just sit back and reap the benefits of their hard work...
This actually makes sense for the lazy, drone. Karma however is a bitch...
Got the free time to take in Robert Ludlum's fictional character - did I say fictional - well we'll keep it that way - Jason Bourne in action yet again on the big screen.
Bourne is the ultimate warrior and the ultimate hero - the new HUMAN. Knows all things, knows no fear.
His one weakness is his fickle memory...
Jason's peace only came with a settle mind. The world is like this. People with unsettled ideas moving around unsettling others.
Beside the Krav Maga and Jedi like abilities - if we were to set those aside - look beyond the thrills, sifting out whats the real deal..... we can adopt some of his ...
Be smart, be healthy and be cunning....
Challenges and difficulty nurtures hard work.
...Now don't get me wrong here - some may say that it may do the inverse where the challenged become overwhelmed and give-up or move to something within their comfort zone....I am not discussing that paradigm.
Working hard-ER is a mentality, a culture, a lifestyle
According to your passion you work be it for: love, money, appreciation, grades etc. you work hard....
What about the "er"?
To be extraordinary then hard-er is the key. Self motivation, goal scheduling and a strict routine become an innate religion.
To be original means to -ER everything.
..for your passion - go hard-er, fast-er, become hungry-er,
at the end I am sure the journey with all the processes I will become happi-ER...
Some how many don't like to work hard...
Is it cultural?
2013, a cold breeze found its way backstage. The band on stage was electric. Water in hand, dancers stretching and going through their last minute warmup routines, managers and production assistance pacing the 14x14 tent, my make shift comfort zone. From Rock to Soca, from lead singer to backup singer? A whirl wind of thoughts, a tornado of questions ripping apart my desire to be on stage - my desire.
Music school was a harsh reality. It came at a time when I truly needed it. Many musicians still work the self thought route and find confidence in their years of experience. I lost it.
Why go to school, when I have natural talent?
Gone are those days when its just natural talent.
How can one be all of these and perform. One thing I can say is that school gives you the necessary techniques and tools in less time than it would in the real world.
Many musicians are not equipped to deal with the anxiety and responsibility that the stage provides - I surly wasn't ready. After performing for eight years prior - I developed major confident issues riddled with anxiety and writers block. I could not perform, I could not perform, I could not be me.
The 'product' is not just your recorded music. your performance at the end of the day will be your sole advert. To be set apart from your peers and to build that much needed fan base a well thought of performance is key.
Three years later, music school completed. I return to the stage - oh how I missed you.