For the second consecutive year, the La Boucan Creative Center has partnered with Columbus Communications (FLOW) to provide much needed training to young and upcoming soca artistes ahead of the ‘CC6 Carnival Knockout’ competition to be held July 17 in St. George’s.
Some 22 young men and one young lady participated in the training administered by Elwyn “Black Wizard” Mc Quilkin, who is a veteran in the music business, as well as Kareem Alexis, who provided lessons in voice training.
The artistes were also introduced to Artistic Director of the Center, Francis Urias Peters and his wife Ann Peters at the ceremony held last week Saturday at the Emporium Plaza on St. John’s Street, St. George’s.
In an exclusive interview with THE NEW TODAY newspaper, Managing Director of the La Boucan Training Centre, Ann Peters pointed out that the creative arts is an area that can reap significant “financial benefits for young people and one that “the policy makers should explore.”
Peters, a former Health Minister, gave the participants tips on how to take care of their voice, which she called their ‘instruments’ and to pay particular attention to issues surrounding their health and its significance and how well they perform.
“The health aspects of anything you do is very important and even for a performing artiste the quality of your performance and production that you put out is going to be dependent on your own health status and how well you take care of your instrument,” she told the participants.
“Unlike a musician or a drummer who can pick their instrument, you carry your instrument (your voice) as part of your human body and therefore you need to take care of it,” she said.
Though he is not regarded as a calypsonian, Urias Peters played a significant role in the training session, providing knowledge and insight into what he labeled “stage profiles“ including the proper use of the stage among other things.
Kareem Alexis provided an insight on how the participants can effectively use their voice including “what really is your voice or your (musical instrument) and how to treat, use and develop it” to the best of one’s ability.
Veteran calypsonian, Black Wizard, who has been involved in the music industry for the last four decades taught the participants about “good composition skills” including “melody, lyrics and rendition”.
He felt that the participants were very “receptive” to what was dished out at them because they seemed to have learn “something new and they had fun.”
However, he felt that there was need for more sessions like these to be held and suggested that “the Grenada Cultural Foundation and the Ministry of Culture should be doing that (training) on an ongoing basis”.
“We only scratched the surface here today but we need to go deeper and train people…it’s all part of the whole question of training”, he said, adding that “the cultural arts is a very important aspect of training.”
The ‘CC6 Carnival Knockout’ competition formerly called ‘CC6 Carnival Rumble Knockout’ competition is into its 6th year.
Speaking to THE NEW TODAY newspaper was Producer of the competition Shere-Ann Noel who noted the importance of the training out of a realisation that a number of the artistes that are coming forward, lack basic skills such as “proper use of mike and stage and proper dress code, just to name a few”.
According to Noel, several artistes that have excelled in recent years – Mr. Killa, Brother B, Blacka Dan, Boyze, Mr. Lens, Squeeze Head and Laura Lisa – passed through previous CC6 Carnival Rumble and made their way onto the Carnival Knockout competition platform.
“I think the competition has been gaining its objective in that the young artistes are coming forward and producers are calling them and helping them with the actual craft”, she said.
She added that competition provides an avenue of added exposure for the artistes and CC6’s investment in the training was intended to “improve the quality of the show, which would be aired live and is broadcasted in St. Lucia, St. Vincent, Trinidad, Barbados and we stream live on the Internet as well.”
“So it’s a lot of publicity for them”, she remarked.
Noel disclosed that persons interested in participating in the 2015 CC6 Carnival Knockout competition should submit their entry into FLOW’s office by the June 25 deadline date.