Home' Trinidad and Tobago Guardian : June 28th 2013 Contents Thanks to technology, many people
can now sit in their bedrooms and bang
out a beat. All over Trinidad and To-
bago, producers are popping up but
few really understand the finer points
of the craft. A new reality aims to
teach these would-be producers every-
thing they need to know.
Building the Beats, the brainchild of
veteran producer and musician Kenny
Phillips, is giving young producers a
chance to show their mettle through a
series of challenges for a chance to win a
number of prizes including a recording
suite and co-production on one of next
year's hit albums with Precision Produc-
"I used to teach audio engineering for
the Ministry of Tertiary Education. I did
five cycles and they changed the course
from audio engineering to producing. I
used to teach 12 people for six months.
In this day and age, I figured I have to do
better. I thought it would be best use the
media and reach 100,000 in three
months and do it in an informative and
entertaining manner. It is edutainment,"
Phillips, who has produced music for
almost all of the biggest names in ca-
lypso and soca, said the show would not
just be educating the actual participants
but entertain those watching it.
"The challenges will show youngsters
what it entails to be producer. It will
teach producers that if someone comes
to them with a song, they can't just dis-
card that person's melody for their own
riddim. That's the kind of thing this show
will address," he said.
Building the Beats will air for three
months from October to December on a
channel still to be selected. Filming will
begin from the beginning of July to mid-
August. Much of the filming will take
place at a hotel and NAPA, thanks in
part to sponsorship from the Ministry of
Contestants will compete for the prize
package through a series of weekly chal-
lenges involving, among other things,
building beats for a specific artiste, pro-
ducing a jingle and working together in a
Awards would also be given out at the
end of the competition for the Most In-
fectious Riddim over the course of the
season, Best Technical Recording, Most
Innovative Production and Best Attitude.
Judging the participants will be a
panel of established producers such as
Carl Beaver Henderson, Frank Agarrat,
Martin 'Mice' Raymond, Robin
Imamshah, Robin Foster, Pelham God-
dard and Leston Paul. There will also be
guest judges as the show progresses.
Host of the show would be actor and im-
personator Andrew Friday.
Applications have been pouring in
since the show was first advertised said
Phillips but for those interested in ap-
pearing on the show, there is still time as
applications have been extended to July
1. Visit www.buildingthebeats.com for an appli-
cation form and criteria. You can also follow them
on Facebook and Twitter@buildingdebeats
Friday June 28, 2013 • Issue 94
Ever since Collis Duranty dropped
songs such as Mr Officer and Red,
White and Black, fans have been long-
ing to really sink their teeth into every-
thing he has to offer. Come July 6, they
will get their chance when Duranty
stages his first full concert at an event
The concert will also be a pre-release
for the singer's self-titled 13-song album,
which is due to be released soon. It's a
project he has been working on for the
last year and finally, fans will be able to
hear more from one of this country's
most prolific singers/songwriters.
Overground will also see the first of
many formal collaborations between Du-
ranty and Freetown Collective, who will
also perform. And we are not just talking
performances from Muhammed Muwakil
and Lou Lyons but also Freetown's spo-
ken word guru Keegan Maharaj.
"I will deal with life, love, struggles to
deal with my own nightmares, a lot of
politics is inside there too with humour,
call and response, high energy. I pride my-
self on doing work that can move people
with or without music," said Maharaj, de-
scribed by his colleagues as the best per-
formance poet in the region.
Usually clumped under the rubric of un-
derground artistes, a term used to de-
scribe those who have not found
mainstream success on radio and in the
clubs; the musicians said the name of the
show reflects their rejection of that term.
"The title Overground is a play on the
saying that people are underground
artistes. That notion is a germination pe-
riod we use to come out with material so
are not undergound anymore," explained
"It's about going through all the
processes of that concept to now. We
ready to give something," added Duranty.
Overground marks a significant shift in
the way artistes such as Duranty and
Freetown market their music. They are
taking the bull by the horns and taking
their music to the people in a production
that will allow their fans to sit and hear
the messages they have to impart.
"We have to look at our work and value
it, we have to try something different,"
Countering the argument that their
music is too serious, the group of musi-
cians said there is no division between
serious topics and entertainment.
"We have never challenged ourselves
to give people serious messages and
allow them to relax. There are things I
want to say, why can't you come and sit
in a concert and listen," said Lyons
"Come to the show because we are
musicians and it's an expensive thing to
make music when you have a craft be-
Overground will be held in Point Fortin
at Garden Jewelz. A native of Point
Fortin, Duranty said holding the show
there is significant since Point has been a
place that has not only produced some of
the country's best entertainers but has
also shown love for local talent.
"As a serious musician who perform in
everything in Point, I want to make a
statement," said Duranty.
Overground will also feature Richard
Bereaux on pan, Jelani J'smoke Nedd and
Rootsman. Duranty will perform with his
band the Unlimited Soul Project.
For ticket information
call 222-3527 or 371-5335.
Veteran producer and musician Kenny Phillips.
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