Trinidad-born international musician Roger Ryan says more needs to be done to take local creatives to the next level.
Ryan recently held a meet and greet with several local musicians, who will be part of an Indie Music Project being supported by the NCF.
“There are a lot of brilliant singers here [but] I found most of them at hotels singing, but they don’t have a career,” Ryan said.
“They sing at the hotel every weekend, paid x amount of dollars but they don’t have their own projects, there is no showcase for them and when they sing for 10 or 20 years it’s over, and someone else will fill their spot.”
According to Ryan, too often in the Caribbean, music and other creative subjects are still being highly influenced from a European perspective, rather than the rich history ingrained in West Indian and African culture.
“My whole idea of coming to the Caribbean is to let us show the world how great our talent is here. All of the pop music that you guys are consuming right now, all of them have Caribbean undertones, all of them. [However] none of them [is] from Barbados or Trinidad. Like, what is the problem? We have to start thinking differently, so that is why I am here.”
While acknowledging the major worldwide success Rihanna has had over the years with her music and fashion brand, Ryan says the island may have missed a major opportunity to capitalize on the extra attention the island was getting in terms of providing more avenues for local performers to grow their craft.
“Rihanna is one of maybe 5, 000 or 10, 000 kids here that have the same potential but they did not get lucky. We are not fostering them – some of the other people that have potential, we should have a media centre here already. From the time [Rihanna] hit, we should have started building a media centre here with a studio, a small rehearsal room, a video room so that we have videography [and] people learn how to do media and start fostering, as opposed to waiting to see who gets lucky.”
Artists involved in the indie project are John Yarde, Shadia Marshall, Trinity Clarke, Ruby Tech, Ki’Ann Browne, Judah Goddard and SugaRhe, and though no completion date has been set, the project is expected to be released some time before the end of 2022. (SB)