Home' Trinidad and Tobago Guardian : May 6th 2014 Contents A30
Guardian www.guardian.co.tt Tuesday, May 6, 2014
• From Page A29
hyperlink, make sure it is visible and that it can take
people directly to where you want them to go when
they hit click," Ifill explained.
Additionally, he said the quality of the music and
videos must be very high as well.
"Picture yourself as executives going through hun-
dreds, sometimes thousands of songs and videos,
what you want is something that stands out. So we
look for originality, consistency, we can tell how much
research you have done on what s trending in music
by the production quality or what s not trending but
can become a trend. So it s all well and good to use
social media but you have got to ensure you stand
out," said Ifill.
Soca on the international scene
When asked about soca music finding a comfortable
home internationally, Ifill who has Trinidadian roots,
said the genre was still struggling. He said soca and
Caribbean music are currently where hip-hop was
15 years ago---a niche genre without mass appeal.
"It is a matter of expanding on your music. Whether
the genre is soca or hip-hop, you have to find a way
to present that song in a way that everyone can relate
to. You don t need to change its originality but you
cannot leave it to be appealing to just one demographic
and expect it to grow or reach the places you want
it to reach.
"That s where research comes in. Check out the
music sites, see what people are listening to, what
they like and find a way to incorporate that into your
sound. So it s still original but it has some edge," said
Kpana added soca artistes can even do cover songs,
taking some of the popular contemporary hits and
recreating it with that soca flavour.
"I don t know if it s done here, but cover songs
are big. A lot of people got signed doing cover songs.
It s really about just being creative," said Kpana.
Don t let people forget you, branding is important.
That s the advice attorney Carla Parris gave artistes
present. She said it was imperative artistes got involved
in the business of merchandising.
"It s important to have an identity. Whether it s
a logo or T-shirts, it is always good to have something
fans can identify you with. This makes you unfor-
gettable and even easy to locate on social media or
advertisements because it becomes your brand...
your identity," she said.
Kpana agreed and gave the example of the G-Unit
line that became so popular and an official brand
after rapper 50 Cent created the brand.
"This was not a brand, it was just an idea he (50
Cent) had that became the next big thing. It s the
brand by which he was identified with and to this
day still is."
G-Unit became one of the world s leading urban-
wear brands, alongside brands like Sean Jean and
Kpana stressed when creating merchandise or a
brand, it must reflect the artiste s lifestyle and music.
Both Kpana and Parris also expressed that it was
important to ensure what ever name, merchandise
or logos created, they should be protected legally,
having been registered to avoid intellectual theft.
Music industry must be cohesive
The music industry is made up of singers, song
writers, producers, musicians, deejays etc, and they
must all work together for everyone to reach their
fullest potential, the panellists emphasised. They said
no one must be afraid to ask for favours.
"An independent artiste may not have all the finan-
cial backing to get off the ground, but that does not
mean that there aren t ways in which they
could materialise their craft," Parris said.
She said making connections and net-
working are great ways for artistes to get
a foot in the right door.
"We always hear about artistes complain-
ing about not getting airplay or gigs, but
maybe these same artistes are not being
smart about how to network," she said.
She said when it comes to music, per-
formers have to think of every avenue and
also think of making connections that might
not seem to be obvious.
"For instance, if you are not getting airplay
or gigs, how about connecting with film or
"You could network to have your song
featured in a film. You may have to do some
remixing to suit the film, but it can be done.
So too with fashion. If you shoot a video,
a designer s pieces can be showcased in that
video." she said.
"The point is, you enter into a partnership
so you don t bear all the cost. However, you
must always keep in mind that music is a
business and you want to ensure that even
in that partnership or style of networking
your intellectual property is protected.
"Make sure some form of contract is
established before entering into any deal,"
the attorney warned.
She added other ways to network included
offering to intern for free at record com-
panies, studios etc.
"The best artiste is the one who learns
the entire business of the music industry."
Artistes must make use of social media
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