At least one entertainer has spoken out about what he feels is one of the biggest challenges facing local artistes – the unprofessionalism often dished out to them by local promoters.
“I think it’s a mentality of promoters getting more professional with local artistes. It’s like they are professional towards everybody (other artistes) they bring in (to perform on the island) except the people (artistes) that (are) here already and it’s very difficult”, said three time National Groovy Monarch, Finber Shortpree Andrews.
“I realise (the need) for local promoters or business people to have their local artistes on a high rating as the other regional stars that they bring in”, Shortpree stated in an exclusive interview with THE NEW TODAY on Tuesday.
The entertainer, who hails from Belmont on the sister isle of Carriacou cited a need for artiste to “wise up (and) realise their worth and their strength.
He felt that “a lot of artistes give the promoters a lot of leeway by performing a lot of free events.”
He expressed the view that “there should be more respect and royalties given to local stars because they bring out the people to the events, their performances are always on point and a lot of regional artistes are brought in by promoters (to perform) and their performances most times are not even up to par with the local artistes and they still get that respect.”
Shortpree was speaking with this newspaper hours before travelling to New York to work on some of his upcoming releases for 2017.
The artiste said he is “not saying do not give regional and international artistes respect; or to not bring them, but definitely the respect that you give an international artiste you should be giving a local artiste the same.”
The entertainer started performing in 2001 and was one of the first soca artiste to be copyrighted with the Eastern Caribbean Collective Organisation for Music Rights Inc. (ECCO).
He is preparing to open the ‘Spring Break’ in Brooklyn, NY at the T.A.T.T. Entertainment (tatt.nova), ‘jab jab soca versus power soca’, paint and powder fete, carded for May 6.
T.A.T.T. Entertainment is a Brooklyn-based entertainment company that is managed by a group of individuals from Caribbean islands, including Grenada.
“We (are also) going and do some work with Brooklyn-based music producer, Grenadian-born Shawn Mitchell aka ‘Roots’ at (his recording studio) WIZ Records…he is one of the (top) producers in the Caribbean, who has done a lot of work for (Trinidadian recording soca artiste) Machel Montano and other Caribbean artistes”, Shortpree added.
So far for the year, the entertainer has already released 5 singles entitled: ‘She want to come,’ ‘Sweetest Whiner’, ‘All night’, ‘Another Episode’ and ‘No rum again,’ which he said, will be included in his soon to be released 2017 album dubbed, “Another Episode”.
According to Shortpree, he is currently working on 3 more songs, which are expected to be out within the next two months or so, after which “we will be putting out the album with the release of the last single.”
Shortpree has been able to land several international and regional bookings with agents in London, New York and within the Caribbean and has moved up a notch with music label providing global distribution, Fox Fuse, a leading digital music label for Caribbean music, which he said, has been helping to put him on the international market.
“I have a lot of international bookings around June and July,” said Shortpree, who is hopeful that he will be available to compete in national competitions that are associated with the Carnival Season this year.
“It depends on how it’s going,” said the entertainer, who has taken the decision to incorporate dancers into the mix for enhanced performances to ensure that it’s not reoccurring.
“My line of music differs from most Grenadian artistes,” he said, pointing out that he is “more powerful on the groovy and if I do a power soca, it’s more of a rich power soca with more melodies and everything. So, definitely, the international market is where I make more money to keep me going through the year”.
“Right now, Shortpree is all over Pandora, which never used to happen. My music is being sold at a very good rate on itunes, which never used to happen,” he added.
When asked how he feels about his accomplishments, Shortpree, who has been a Digicel Brand Ambassador since 2012 said he is “very happy,” with where he is at today.
“To be honest, I am happy, but not satisfied,” he added as he disclosed plans to take things to another level by starting up a “live band” with a group of individuals on the sister isle of Carriacou.