Local musician, Andrew “Hitz” Phillip is credited as the architect behind the rhythm and lyrics of some of the most popular Soca Music from neighbouringTrinidad and Tobago.
The 29-year-old Music Creator, Singer, Song Writer/Producer is from the village of St. Paul’s in St. George’s.
Phillip has reportedly worked with a few local entertainers including Wilt “TallPree” Cambridge, Marcus “Lavaman” James and Tron “Yaga Miser” Stewart”.
However, he has mostly worked in Trinidad for the likes of soca artistes, Dexter “Blaxx” Stewart, Machel Montano, Bunjie Garlin, Destra Garcia and Kes, the Band.
In an exclusive interview with THE NEW TODAY newspaper last week, Phillip said music has been his “passion from very young.”
According to the accomplished musician, he started off the journey by first playing the recorder as a student at 3R’s Private Primary School and entered the pan yard at the age of 10, playing with the Commancheros Steel Orchestra.
It was the stint at Commancheros that provided him with an opportunity to widen his musical knowledge.”
Phillip recalled that while obtaining his secondary education at the Grenada Boys Secondary School (GBSS), he and a group of friends won a talent search competition that provided a life changing opportunity to do a recording with Dr. Trevor Friday.
“We won (the competition) and our prize was to record in studio with Dr. Trevor Friday, and that studio experience with him (Dr. Friday) is what opened me up to the style of production and song writing”, he told the newspaper.
“Through that experience, I’ve made close friends with Dr. Friday, started working along with him and over the year’s honed (my) skills, talent (and) learning different ways of approaching things,” he said.
As a Song Writer, Phillip says he has authored Lavaman’s, “Do thing” and Yaga’s “Love up” &“2k7,” before his big break came in 2007, when Dr. Friday introduced him to Musical Director of Trinidad-based, Roy Cape All Stars Music Band, Carlyle “Juice Man” Roberts.
He said that he did not go to Trinidad with the intention of being in the Band but rather “to work in studio with Juiceman”.
However, he said he got the opportunity to tour with the band for five years from 2007-12.
Phillip then branched off and did some work with Martin “Mice”Raymond of Champion Sound Studio in Trinidad and in 2010 worked with Blaxx on a song called “Zombie,” which made it into the finals of the twin island’s national Soca Monarch competition the same year.
The talented local act also authored Blaxx’s 2011 track entitled, “Tanti woi,” which ended up in the finals of the Soca Monarch competition that year.
Phillip is the producer of Iwer George’s “Come to me” released in 2011 and “Jab no pain” in 2012 – both songs taking the second position in the Soca Monarch competition.
He said he also produced tracks for Machel Montano, including this year’s hit track, “In we blood,” 2012’s “Reveling” and 2013’s “Witch Doctor.”
According to Phillip, over the years he has done quite a few collaborations with other artistes on a few songs that was written and produced such as Tallpree’s 2011 hit tunes “Oil Down” and “Jab all ova”.
Operating under the brand name Andrew “Hitz” Phillip, the Grenadian has obtained a certificate in Song Engineering after participating in a distant learning course in England in 2004.
Phillip recently entered into a collaboration with his Mentor/Manager, DJ Buddha of Therapist Music, a young Miami-based Record-Label, which co-produced his first soca single, “Can’t let you get away” which was released for 2016 Spicemas.
Phillip is currently registered as a writer with the Copyright Organisation of Trinidad and Tobago (COTT) and the United States-based Broadcast Music Inc. (BMI), which collect royalty on his behalf.
He would like to see all persons engaged in the artform to enlist with a copyright organisation.
“Being properly registered with a copyright organisation is key in collecting for radio play…for example your songs can play anywhere in the world but if you are not registered with a copyright organisation to collect on your behalf then you will not get a cent for it,” he said.
As it relates to producing music, Phillip said he has a “management team” that also collects monies on his behalf.
The song writer/producer urges entertainers and music producers to get registered with a copyright body so that they can reap the benefits of their hard work.