Tuesday 12 November, 2019

Local artistes perform to packed house at Kaiso Blues Café

Front from left – DeZii and Daniel Griffith; back- Melissa Jimenez, General Manager, MusicTT

Front from left – DeZii and Daniel Griffith; back- Melissa Jimenez, General Manager, MusicTT

Last Saturday, MusicTT hosted #MusicOfTT, an Artist Portfolio Development Programme (APDP) Showcase featuring 10 music acts that performed to a packed house at Kaiso Blues Café.

Back in December 2017, 10 budding singers were chosen from over 200 applicants to be a part of MusicTT’s  Artist Portfolio Development Programme (APDP). The programme focuses on local artists who are deemed export ready and those that are in need of specific capacity development in areas spanning across the business of music.

Among the artistes that applied to the first cohort, DEZii, Daniel Griffith, Donald Job, Keoné, Renuka, Xavier Edwardz, Candice Caton, Shannon Z Francois, Voice Queen, and Chinaka were evaluated via a showcase and were then selected to be a part of the one-year programme.

In the weeks leading up to #MusicOfTT, an Artiste Portfolio Development Programme (APDP) Showcase, the artistes were again evaluated by an independent panel of Music professionals as well as their facilitators throughout the programme.

This included Simon Baptiste, Ken Holder, Jean Michel Gibert, Akua Leith, Vanessa Briggs, Glenda Collens, Josh Rudder and Barry Mannette. They then chose 2 acts to move on to Phase Two of the APDP. The two successful artistes announced at the showcase are:

1. DEZii, an artist/songwriter, whose sound is a fusion of genres that include R&B, Jazz, Pop, Soul, Reggae and Rock. During her career, DEZii has worked with Carver Thompson of KMP Music Lab, Azikiwe Kellar, Kitwana Israel of Advokit Productions, and Anson Soverall. Her latest collaboration is an EP set for release in 2019 which was recorded alongside fellow artist Rheon Elbourne.

2. Daniel Griffith, an acoustic crooner who believes music is more than just entertainment, it is art and it is spirit. The discovery of songwriting reinforced his perception of music. He found inspiration from the lyrical content of artists such as Adele, Ed Sheeran, and Passenger because of their ability to relay real-life emotions. Daniel now strives to explore and share real and raw emotion in his music.

“The APDP not only reinforced some things I already had knowledge of in music but through the various sessions in branding and development, I learned new marketing strategies and approaches to expand and build my brand," said DEZii.

"I thoroughly enjoyed my vocal training sessions with the Vanessa Briggs Music Academy and our beginner’s course in music theory and understanding how to work with a band with the Barry Mannette Academy. Moving forward is humbling and exciting. I'm really looking forward to all that MusicTT has in store and I hope to be able to make some more connections and to represent T&T on an international stage leaving my mark and showcasing a drop of what T&T has to offer.” 

Daniel Griffith added, "I’m excited to move forward with the APDP. I’ve met so many people and gotten so much advice that I feel prepared to begin tackling projects. I hope to continue doing what I love, writing, singing and performing but in new settings. Let’s take this internationally! Show the world what Trini’s are made of!" 

“The #MusicOfTT Showcase is evidence of the plethora of musical talent we have right here at home. MUSICTT is very excited to see just how far all the artistes have come since joining the first cohort of the APDP," said Melissa Jimenez, General Manager MusicTT.

"Now, looking forward, we cannot wait to explore and further the reach of our brand of music to the wider world through the talents of both DEZii and Daniel Griffith and the Cohort 2 participants. We look forward to seeing soca, calypso, chutney and other indigenous genres and instrumentalists auditioning.”

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