Tuesday, May 27, 2008

The Origin of Guyanese Music

I found this article online here.

I'm not sure what year it was written by one line says "Guyana fell into a musical coma and remains there to this day." Well Guyana has awaken from the coma, and is now ready to catch up. It's going to be like a koker opening up to let out the flood waters. The rest of the Caribbean is going to be in awe of the diversity of talent coming out of Guyana in a few years. Stay tuned.


British Guiana gained Independence from the British in 1966, and is now called GUYANA and as a result of its history the population is comprised of 6 ethnic groups and is the only English speaking country in South America.
The population of Guyana is made up of 40 percent Africans, 51 percent East Indians and the balance Chinese, Portuguese, Europeans and Amerindians .
Regardless of the make up of this society, African heritage has always been the dominant culture which is displayed in their music and folklore while mimicking their European masters who were famous for their grand marching band parades and Sunday concerts in the Botanical gardens.
In the early twentieth century, most former slaves were now living in the capital city of Georgetown working as paid laborers and part time musicians. As slaves, they were accustomed to celebrating the end of the crop season when their masters would allow them to play drums, dance and sing. This is called Quek Queh or Masquerade Music in Guyana and in other parts of the West Indies it is known as” Junkanoo”.They would also sing songs about their devilish masters and make fun of the way they dressed. To their delight , their masters were amused and threw them coins. The Masquerade band is a permanent fixture in Guyanese culture. Singing songs about their former owners shifted to singing songs about everyday life and experiences. Some Africans learned to play the guitar most likely from their European counterparts. Now they were playing chords and singing simple songs about life and sometimes making fun of each other. This was the beginning of Shanto in Guyana, an early form of Calypso.


Georgetown, British Guiana at the beginning of the twentieth century, was now set to become the musical capital of the British West Indies.During this era, big dance bands emerged such as Tom Charles and the Syncopators who were famous for their Creole “jump up” music.Harry Whittaker played alto saxophone with the Syncopators Orchestra and was recognized as the best saxophonist in this region until his passing.He is remembered for his fantastic solos on GEMS recordings,but mostly by his work on “Cool Dive”(Jazz) an Al Seales composition recorded in the early 50’s on which the performances are remarkable to this day.The Famous Mootoo Brothers were early East Indian musicians who attempted the fusion of Indian music with Afro rhythms. They were the back up band for many of the Trinidadian Calypsonians who came to Guyana after Carnival including the Mighty Lion. They moved to Trinidad and it is believed this is the origin of “soca chutney “ another form of calypso played on the island of Trinidad . Then there was the talented Al Seales,leader of the Washboards, a true musical visionary who always thought that Guyana’s music should also express their Latin American influence even though they were bound economically and culturally to the British West Indies.He used Latin percussion instruments in all of his arrangements.
This was an early fusion of Latin and American dance music which is what the Washboards played at the time.

The arrival of Bill Rogers singing Shanto and his appearing at local Vaudeville Shows was the beginning of a new musical dimension. He is the most famous Shantonian to come out of Guyana and one of the first to sign a recording contract with a known British Gramophone Record Company “PARLAPHONE RECORDS” where he recorded BEEGEE BHAGEE, DADDY GONE, and SIGHTSEEING IN THE U.K to name a few.It was “Beegee Bhagee” that went world wide after Harry Belafonte allegedly used the song on one of his albums.
By 1940 Carnival in Trinidad was set as an annual festivity. However, in Guyana, the VAUDEVILLE Shows were featuring regularly local and foreign entertainers like Bill Rogers, Lord Sweet Dreams, Lord Coffee, King Fighter, Lord Canary, Mighty Sparrow , Lord Melody, Lord Cristo and many others who came to Guyana after Carnival to learn and improve their performing skills.


In 1950, Al Seales, leader of the Washboards Orchestra started GEMS Recording Company. This is the earliest Recording Company in the region to create a complete production from musical arrangements recorded locally on tape, to the manufacturing and distribution of gramophone records, through MELODISC RECORDS of London, England. His first commercial release was “Jumbee Jamboree”. This song was later recorded by the Andrew Sisters and Harry Belafonte of the USA.
This was the most flourishing period musically in Guyana with Al Seales recording some of the Caribbean’s best Calypsonians and local Artists like Doreen Greavsande who was his favorite female vocalist. She is known best for her recording of an original song “Dig Me” on GEMS label . Lord Melody’s “The Devil” and “BooBoo Man” were recorded at GEMS, but again it was Harry Belafonte’s version that was played worldwide, e.g “Boo Boo Man” was originally recorded by Lord Melody on a GEMS label # SM-002A 78 r.p.m gramophone record. This became one of Belafonte’s cover songs and and was also done by the Andrew sisters. GEMS was the vehicle for all popular Caribbean Music during this period and most of their productions were licensed to American Recording Companies without their knowledge or proper agreements.
Al Seales was a musician and a talented artist who hated legalities and was therefore denied his rightful share in a business that exploded into something bigger than he could ever imagine.
Vivian Lee of ACE Records recorded the performances of talented Guyanese artists who appeared at the Vaudeville shows. Billy Moore’s Four Lords, made their debut on this label and went on to record with GEMS Records one of Guyana’s and the Caribbean’s most famous original Christmas songs “Happy Holiday”.
Vivian Lee was a talented entrepreneur who ran a successful advertising company and with the emergence of commercial radio he monopolized this new media to promote his music productions and vaudeville shows. This brought about some dissatisfaction and concerns about equal exposure of all Guyanese Music but these concerns were never addressed by the board of directors of the radio station who were mostly the upper middle class in Guyana and cared less about the development of local music in Guyana.
Vivian Lee went on to produce one of Guyana’s best known popular singers, Johnny Braff, who had a string of hits in the 60’s that sold very well locally.
By the end of the 60’s , big band music had disappeared since most of the accomplished musicians had migrated to greener pastures in the UK or the USA.
The electronic age had arrived and small combos using electric instruments and keyboards mushroomed across the land playing music from the US and UK. Pat Blakney’s Rhythmaires and Des Glasford’s Combo Seven were the most popular Electric combos during this period with more than twenty bands in Georgetown alone. Now Guyana was no longer the musical powerhouse it once was and by the end of the 80’s the small electric combos had also disappeared and Guyana fell into a musical coma and remains there to this day.

Saturday, May 24, 2008

Spotlight: Redemption Voice

Someone to watch...

One to watch Colin Simpson:

Just a man with a dream Saturday,

March 17th 2007

The cover of Colin Simpson's self-produced album CD. Colin Simpson has never had a record deal, sparse crowds have heard him sing a few times and just about three persons knows he has lyrical skills, yet when he walked into Stabroek News on Monday and casually sat on a stool outside, people thought otherwise. "Is he a member of First Born?" someone asked and understandably so given that he bears a slight resemblance to one of the members of the local reggae group. But as another observer put it, he has a more conscious look and comes over as someone who is more than he appears to be. Another enquired whether he was a Jamaican artiste stopping over in Guyana. Asked who he is, Colin simply said, "Just a man with a dream", a man, he said, who has struggled for many years to recognise which path he is suppose to take in life while the dream is to bring his music to people. He goes by the name 'Redemption Voice' though some know him as 'Quiet Storm' or 'Colin I'. Colin has actually recorded an album right here in Guyana, arranging all the music himself and doubling as producer and singer but it is yet to be released. What is he waiting for? The right moment. Something about him does say singer and when he speaks you get the impression that he has spent a lot of time figuring out his life. His cool demeanour and easy-going attitude rules out "big shot" though he is somewhat withdrawn and particularly quiet except when he is asked a question. Colin 'Redemption Voice' Simpson Opening up about the person he is, Colin said he is pretty ordinary. For most of his life, well the part that matters, he has been an Ital food vendor pushing his cart around the city day in and day out to raise money for his album. At one time he was a regular feature at Regent and King streets. He said his menu was mostly peas, beans, vegetables, plantains and rice. Loyal customers often followed him around as he journeyed from spot to spot selling his food. Before the push cart days Colin had a permanent spot at Orange Walk, Bourda where he sold his Ital food. He said that the food business is what made the album a realisation though preparing Ital food is a passion. Now that those days are over he is looking at becoming the next great voice in reggae music.

Colin is 35 years old. He said he started writing songs ten years ago when he was faced with many trials in life and had no one to turn to. He said the book and pen became his closest friends. "I gave up the life I was living at the time and turn from women, quit the wayward direction I was going in and just became focused. I decided what I wanted to do in life and just started working on that so for years I sold food and saved my money because I didn't know if people were going to support my dream. Honestly, no one has to this day except for a few friends," Colin said. In 1996, Colin worked with First Born as a personal hairstylist to the group. He spent five years with First Born and during that period hoped to get his first gig alongside the group. It never happened. He managed to get a spot at a few minor shows but the opportunity of bringing his music to a wide audience never came. Instead of giving up Colin said he prayed about it. His album, 'Good Health and Long Life' has 14 tracks and while he was here on Monday he laid down two of the songs for us. Why he is still waiting to be signed is the question we asked. Colin's lyrics are clean; his message is elevating. He sings it as he sees it and his voice is refreshing. One of his songs, "Black and Beautiful" is a poetic tribute to women of every colour - the word black does not signify ethnicity but strength. The title song questions the "don't care" attitude some people have in life. At age ten years, Colin said, he worked his first job.

Describing his childhood days as nothing too special, he said, things were so bad at one time that he ran away from home and lived on the streets for a little while. He said for a long time home was not a place where he felt comfortable. Colin said writing was his escape and over the years he has complied an unbelievable number of songs. He said there is enough material in his collection to record 20 more albums. But according to him, there is no rush. Over the years rejection has made him stronger and more patient. He has a feeling greater things are in store for his album so he has not pushed to release it in Guyana. Colin migrated to the United States the day after he came to Stabroek News and though he pointed out that he would need to go back to school and get a job in the interim he intends to push his album over there. "It could use more work and with the right people behind me I am going to get it done. I don't foresee a release for another year. If all goes well things could happen sooner but there is no rush at all," he said. Something about him says Colin Simpson is going to get that opportunity to reach people with his music.

Thursday, May 22, 2008

Spotlight: Pamela Maynard - Caribbean Diva

Ms. Maynard has a movie made about her. Never heard of her until I saw her live this monthand she is a Diva all the way, from her entrance, to making the band play the next song so she can sing althought her time was up..

From a magazine:
Pamela Maynard is a new singing sensation from Guyana whose breakthrough has been far too long incoming. Versatile in most areas of popular black music including reggae,soul, R&B, jazz, calypso and soca, this talented Caribbean diva has the kind of vocal range and expression to make an immediate, and we believe lasting impression on all manner of different audiences around the world. Unlike other acts fresh to the UKand European markets, Pamela has extensive professional experience in music. Born in Georgetown, she is the daughter of Guyanese singer/songwriter Mavis Maynard, who wrote Pamela’s debut hit Lost, Lonely and Helpless, and then performed alongside her and Eddy Grant at a memorable show in their hometown. Pamela was still attendingFountain Ame School in Georgetown at the time, but had already been singing at parties and school functions from the age of five. Since her father also ran a local sound-system her knowledge and love of music was built upon rock solid foundations, and this in-dept familiarity with the classics never failed to surprise the assorted bandleaders and galaxy of big name acts she would later sing with in years to come.

After leaving school in 1976 she joined the Guyanese army, where she sang for visiting dignitaries such as Fidel Castro. She also represented her country by singing at festivals, and from the age of fifteen sang lead and backing vocals with firstly the Yoruba Singers, and then Sid & The Slickers. Both were show bands with a large following in the Caribbean, and would play all kinds of music to their audiences, including cover versions of popular hits. Occasionally they would even make trips to America and Canada, as well as touring the West Indies and South America. Thus Pamela gained invaluable experience during her teenage apprenticeship years, and even managed to frighten a fewinternational acts along the way. “Any time a big artist came to Guyana, I would be opening the show for them” she recalls, “and they would send back for me to do something with them out of Guyana, which was good.”

The list of artists she has shared astage with reads like a veritable Who’s Who of world music, since it includes the likes of Ben E King, the Platters, the Drifters and Ray Charles; also top JA acts such as Jimmy Cliff, Hopeton Lewis, John Holt, Byron Lee & The Dragonaires and Boris Gardner as well as calypsonian giants Lord Kitchener, the Mighty Sparrow, Shadow and Baron. After a year spent living and working in Barbados between 1977-78, where she sang atmost of the island’s top venues and hotel resorts, she then joined a well known Trinidadian group called the Troubadours, enjoying considerable acclaim in the process. The following year she became lead singer in soca creator Lord Shorty’s band, withwhom she toured Canada. It was to prove a memorable experience since the group split up just a year later, with the band members being left stranded far from home. Undaunted by their predicament and confident in her ability to pull through, she began performing both solo and with bands (including Aubrey Mann’s on the Canadian club and talent show circuit) all the while still searching for that elusive breakthrough. A real highlightof her Canadian stay was singing at the Guyanese Consulate in Toronto.

Friday, May 16, 2008

Spotlight: Naycha Kid

From his bio:

Naycha Kid whose given name is Junior Afori Edwards was born in Melanie, Guyana, 26th January, 1981. He is the last offspring of Joyce Wright & Percy Edwards both from Guyana. When asked when his first entertaining performances began, “When I was 9, I used to act in the living room of my home for my immediate family” quoted Naycha. He could also recall clearly that he would sing at school concerts while in Primary School. In 1995 he won the title in the Junior Calypso Competition with a song called Better Life. This was written by Jewel Gonsalves and in 1997 he place 3rd Runner Up in the Guyana Music Festival with a song written by Mr. Gonsalves AIDS is a killer. During his final year in Golden Grove Secondary School he joined a local band Da Boyz as one of the lead vocalists after them hearing him entertain at a Christmas Concert. He remained in that band for 2 years and then migrated to Antigua 1999.

Naycha sang for Dread & the Balhead and his hit song Minute of your Time was produced in 2002. In 2004 he started his solo career with the Chosen Sounds Studio and during Antiguas Summer Festival Carnival in 2004 he placed 1st Runner Up in the Soca Monarch Finals with his hit song Wave It. This piece was the first Soca Song that Naycha ever produced.

After honing his skills with the El A Kru as one of the lead vocalists, he decided to pursue his solo career again in 2006. In Feb of that same year he joined as a disc jockey at Vybz FM and can be heard throughout several islands during the week from 2pm to 6pm , and Saturdays 6pm-10pm. The Kid listens to a variety of music in his spare time, but names Bob Marley, Black Stallion, Shadow & The Temptations as his chief inspirations. When he is not in the studio recording, or on the air, or at a gig, Naycha dedicates his time at home with his family. He tied the knot in December of 2005.
See more of Naycha:

Naycha Kid - Lion Paw

Tarrus Riley and Naycha Kid are essentially singing about the same thing, but the difference in which they present it is what makes great artists. I love Tarrus joint for it's spirituality but Naycha's is more a song of rejoicing, which makes it equally as good.

Thursday, May 15, 2008

In the News: Timeka's creating some buzz

From the Jamaica Oberver:

Timeka Marshall Fighting for a place in the biz
Andre Marriott-blakeTuesday, March 04, 2008

"Beautiful, sassy and talented are but a few words which describe 19-year-old Guyanese singer, Timeka Marshall (TM). With a career augmented from a winning entrance to a local telecommunications company's jingle competition back in 2006, this talented beauty seems destined for greatness.

It was that talent competition which acted as the springboard for recording her first R&B single We Should Separate, which was released and quickly followed by the music video. Produced by Muzikmedia and shot on location in Jamaica, both the track and the video gained popularity on the Caribbean music scene and held their own in heavy rotation on radio and television stations across the region. However, there was much more to Timeka's talents than what meets the eye.
After performing We Should Separate on the Guyanese entertainment circuit to appreciative audiences, Timeka was keen to cultivate her songwriting talents and attended the Barbados Music seminar and Showcase in February 2007. There she blew regional and international music executives away with her obvious talent and enticing sensuality. With just one performance of the gritty dancehall track Nothing At All, Timeka was immediately signed to a developmental deal which would see her working with some of Jamaica's top producers. TEENage, the only place where Every TEEN Matters, could not miss the opportunity to talk to this talented beauty geared for international stardom. Timeka on early life

TEENage: At what age did you start singing?
TM: (smiles) I actually started singing from I was five years old, but I was really shy so hardly anyone knew about my talent. I use to sing in the bathroom though and in the privacy of my room. I, however, started to sing professionally just a year ago.

TEENage: Where were you born and where did you grow up?
TM: I was born in Linden Guyana where I grew up until I was 10 years old, after which I moved to the capital, Georgetown in search of better schooling and way of life.
Timeka on her big break

TEENage: Did you ever think that your entrance into the jingle competition would have spring-boarded your career to the level that it is today?
TM: NO. In fact, I didn't even enter myself, a teacher from my high school showed me the entrance form and we did it together. We worked on a jingle and I really did not expect much; then I made the top 10, followed by top five and at that point I said to myself "hey maybe I can win this thing"(laughs) and it just so happened that I won. I never imagined the success that would come with it.

Timeka on her career

TEENage: What projects are you currently working on?
TM: Since I've been here I've been working with producers like Stephen McGregor, Jeremy Hording, Leftside, and others, and I've been doing some promotions too. I will be performing at the Smile Jamaica - Africa Unite concert on Saturday (last Saturday) and I'm looking forward to doing some more shows.

TEENage: Who/what inspires you to pursue your dreams?
TM: Hhmm. Growing up I always listened to Mariah Carey and Whitney Houston and I always wanted to be like them. It was a dream of mine. My manager, Kerwin Bollers is also a driving force in my success.

TEENage: Where do you see yourself five years from now?
TM: Five years from now I see myself signed to a major record label. (Laughs) Touring, travelling, and most importantly inspiring people across the world to follow their hearts and never give up on their dreams (Smiles).

TEENage: What has been the most rewarding experience of stardom thus far?
TM: I wouldn't say I've reached stardom just yet, I hope I reach there soon though (laughs). I am most grateful for the link with Headline Entertainment, for it has caused me to work with these fabulous producers.

TEENage: How would you describe your music?
TM: Versatile (smiles). Growing up I listened to everything, ranging from soca to reggae to oldies to hip hop, and I try to incorporate it all in my music. I would say though, for the most part, my music is a fusion of pop and dancehall; a unique mix of Caribbean vibes with international appeal.

TEENage: What are some of the difficulties you face trying to break out into the music industry?
TM: (sighs) Being young and inexperienced in the industry has its setbacks. Being a female in the industry is also sometimes difficult as males are taken more seriously. For me, however, so far there haven't been too many negatives.

TEENage: What local/international artistes do you wish to collaborate with?
TM: On the local scene, I would love to collaborate with artistes like Busy Signal, Sean Paul, and Lady Saw. Internationally, I would love to collaborate with 'fantabulous' artistes like Michael Jackson - I just think he is an excellent performer.

TEENage: You recently visited schools in Guyana where you spoke about the HIV/AIDS epidemic. How rewarding did you find this experience?
TM: It was great, I was actually promoting Frito-Lay snacks at various schools, while doing so I thought it was necessary to inform and educate the students about HIV/AIDS and also the importance of staying away from drugs. It was a great experience.

TEENage: How do you balance your personal life with your music career?
TM: It hasn't been such a problem so far as my personal life is my music; my friends are involved in everything I do. I have been pretty good at entwining the two so far.

TEENage: Is this your first time in Jamaica? If yes, how has the experience been?
TM: No, I have been here five times. Jamaica is like my second home. I love Jamaica, I'm glad I will be here for a few months. The nightlife is excellent (laughs), I love the Bembe, the Passa Passa and I'm a big Quad Fan. I'm hoping to move here soon.

TEENage: When you hear a song from Timeka, how are people supposed to feel? How do you want people to remember Timeka?
TM: I want to be remembered as someone with a strong voice with something important to say, I am definitely like everyone else, sassy, sexy and independent and not to be messed with ( laughs).

With such a conviction, there is no doubt that we can expect great things from this talented Caribbean beauty. It's barely been a year since winning that jingle competition, yet Timeka Marshall has accomplished more in that short time than she could have imagined. And I have a gut feeling that the best is yet to come."

Friday, May 9, 2008

Spotlight: Shelly G

I like Shelly G, I think she got what it takes to move to the next level...

Her latest release L.O.V.E although strained as some points sounds hauntingly like Ashanti singing the ballad. I hope that was not intended..

From her bio (edited)

Shellon Onica Garraway aka Shelly G, started singing with Talent Exclusive - a show produced to spot new talents on by Mr Dynamix in 2004. In 2005 she made my professional debut at the National Carib Soca Monarch with the song “Touch Me.” She secured the number two spot over some of the more seasoned performers. Shelly G graduated from Cotton Field Secondary School in the county of Essequibo.

In December 2006 she released her first album titled 'Shelly G Online ' and was recorded by various studios in Guyana. The album was produced by Ian Johnson of Dynamix Recording Studio. Tracks on the album include:
  • Touch Me
  • Tired
  • Come Over
  • Jook – Jook feat Xcelent(Jamaica)
  • Celebration Time feat Fire-Clann
  • Put It On Meh
  • Ooh Boy feat Fyahnese
  • Party feat JB

Other tracks feature collaboration between Dynamix and Platinum Recording Studio, "So High", and "What You Mean To Me". This Album is available on her websites www.shellygonline.com or www.myspace.com/shellygonline.

She worked on a 15 track album recorded in Jamaica in April 2007 for the Vizion Sounds Label. This album is a mixture of Soca and Dancehall flavours and were recorded in New Creation and mixed by Bobby Digital. The musical production was done by the Fire House Band. This project is sponsored exclusively by the Vizion Sound Records Guyana. Tracks on this album includes:

  • Freaky Freaky
  • Bump and Grind
  • L.O.V.E. Me
“My music gives me a chance to bring all races together as one in a world where segregation is just a word.” . I want to take Guyanese music to the next level and bring home Guyana’s first Grammy.” - Shelly G

Thursday, May 8, 2008

Spotlight: StruckRoot

I've heard a few of their songs..Rock isn't my thing, but it's not bad at all...

StruckRoot is a four-piece rock band from Guyana, South America now based in Sao Paulo, Brazil. The current line-up comprises of Ricardo Dupret on Vocals, Andre Rahaman on Guitars, Rawle Staunton on Bass and Samuel Constantine on Drums.
The band was formed in March 2004 by guitarist Andre Rahaman and drummer Jude Mendonca who played together previously in a few local bands. Ricardo Dupret was later recruited in April as the band vocalist along with Romeo Yong as their bass guitarist.

Following the success of numerous live shows performing cover songs and developing a strong fan base within the local rock scene, StruckRoot began working on original material to help promote the band locally and record their first Demo EP. During this period Romeo Yong was replaced as bass guitarist, following the return of Jude Mendonca who took a short break from the band only to depart once again due to personal reasons. StruckRoot continued performing live shows throughout the next two years with various bass guitarists and new drummer Samuel Constantine.

In June 2007, StruckRoot began recording at the Brutal Tracks Studio in Guyana, three original songs for their Twisted World Demo EP. Bass guitars were contributed by Rawle Staunton who filled the vacant bass slot in January 2008.

The Twisted World Demo EP includes the songs: Twisted World, The Passing and Purify (now available at www.indiestore.com/struckroot)

Influences of the band include Metallica, Alter Bridge, Alice In Chains, Stone Temple Pilots, Pink Floyd, Sevendust and Tool.

StruckRoot relocated to Sao Paulo, Brazil in 2008 to promote their music to a wider audience. The band recently participated in the Manifest Rock Fest held at the Manifesto Rock Bar in Sao Paulo.

Contact info:

Tel: Andre: 55-11-8814-5770 / Ricardo: 55-11-8825-2602

Email: struckroot@hotmail.com

Web: www.struckroot.com


Friday, May 2, 2008

Timeka Marshall - Nothing at all

Timeka Marshall - Nothing at all

Timeka Marshall - Separate

Timeka Marshall - Separate


Spotlight: Timeka Marshall

Not sure who wrote this, butgot it off her myspace. http://www.myspace.com/timekamarshall

I'm yet to see her perform live, but I like what I see so far. Atleast she's cuter than Rihanna :)~

For release

Who would have thought that a simple jingle for a local company would be thestart of a music career that seems destined for success? Well that isexactly how young Guyanese singer Timeka Marshall got her break. In 2006 alocal telecommunications company staged a competition for their new jingle.Timeka entered and won. This became the springboard for recording her firstR&B Single "We Should Separate", which was released and quickly followed bythe music video. Produced by Muzikmedia and shot on location in Jamaicaboth the track and the video gained popularity on the Caribbean music sceneand held their own in heavy rotation on radio and television stations acrossthe region. Yet there was much more to unearth in the way of Timeka'stalents.

After performing "We Should Separate" on the Guyanese entertainmentcircuit to appreciative audiences, Timeka was keen to cultivate hersongwriting talents and attended the Barbados Music seminar and Showcase inFebruary 2007. There she blew regional and international music executivesaway with her obvious talent and enticing sensuality. With just oneperformance of the gritty dancehall track "Nothing At All", Timeka was immediately signed to a developmental deal which would see her working withsome of Jamaica's top producers. Timeka's commitment and hard work in the months she spent in Jamaicahas paid off, with the release of two singles – "Free" and "Ice-cream Boy"(a fresh taste on a classic) produced by international reggae producer CliveHunt and his team of talented musicians. Her relationship with Jamaica andthe treasure trove of musicians, directors and producers there continues togrow. As soon as the two singles were in heavy rotation on Guyana's airwaves, Timeka returned to Jamaica to continue recording. This dedication is a clear indication of her intention to take her music throughout the region and beyond and add to the growing list of Caribbean artistes who now rank among the international superstars of the entertainment industry. But this intelligent young woman is already acutely aware of howfickle the industry can be, and as such has already landed lucrative endorsement deals. She has been chosen as a spokesperson for the DDLFritolay brand and in this role she has visited several schools in Guyanaimpressing on the students the importance of education and HIV/AIDS awareness.

When she's not in the studio, Timeka can be found gracing thecatwalk of numerous fashions shows and is one of the most sought aftermodels in the Guyanese fashion industry. Such is the diversity of hertalent.It's barely been a year since winning that jingle competition, yet TimekaMarshall has accomplished more in that short time than she could haveimagined. Following on the heels of veteran musician & producer EddieGrant, Natural Black and First Born's reggae success, Timeka has begun toreposition Guyana as a viable force on the international music scene. Andher work is far from over.

Management: Pyramid Entertainment Management Inc. Bath Village, Dover, Christ Church, Barbados
Email: pyramidartists@gmail.com Tel: (246) 420 8039 /(786) 380 4606 Fax: (246) 420 5950 Bookings: Headline Entertainment Inc. 8 Haughton Avenue, Kingston 10, Jamaicawww.headlinejamaica.comEmail: headline@headlinejamaica.com Tel: ((876) 745 1526 Fax: (876) 906 3634

Timeka Marshall - Free

Thursday, May 1, 2008

Jory - Let it guh so

Jory - Let it guh so

Spotlight: Jory

Raised on a diet of Jamaican dancehall music that enabled him to hone his skills over the last ten years Jory is now writing and promoting his own sound signed with his trademark "a de real thing".

The artiste, who is one of Guyana's up and coming entertainers, is an accomplished stage act known to rouse crowds to laughter and frenzy with his homespun lyrics and witty punch lines. Jory also achieved some level of success on a recent tour to Jamaica with Brutal Jammers.

Not far from the norm, the emerging career of Jory Douglas Hector began with a love for music and nothing else. Love for the music led to imitating popular songs of the day, not only for personal pleasure but also for fans and rivals.

The artiste told The Scene that while he was in high school fellow students would pay $20 to hear him sing the hot dancehall tracks. Back then, he had only one original. "That was like what I used to study," Jory recalls, though he employed his lyrical skill to memorize certain answers when exams came around. He also got involved in musical clashes with schoolmates from other schools "I found it fun."

Incidentally, Jory, who is now 24, attended several secondary schools, Campbellville, North Georgetown and St John's College.

Out of these early experiments with performing, the artiste who is now with Brutal Traxx Studios realized he could do his own songs. "I said to myself if these guys could do it original and make millions of dollars I could do the same," he tried a number of songs, moved a variety of audiences and figured well, "I better go a step ahead".

Venturing out in to the world of the unknown, Jory found that persons were not interested in giving him a chance because they did not know him. "People now only deal with people they know and the business is not like that you should be dealing with people on the basis of talent."

As a result, he decided to try neighbouring Suriname to see how things would go over there. He found it was more of the same since he had no real links to any one in the arena who could open avenues.

Returning to reside in Sophia, Georgetown, a place which he has a lot of love for, Jory got into a group called Hi Tech, which was featured on several local TV programmes, with Malo, and two other guys Keon Brown and Darwin,. "Everybody from that group is real powerful in music. Everybody knows Jory; Malo, the Soca Monarch; Darwin is a very good writer and Keon is still singing he should have an album by now," said the artiste.

The group eventually dissolved and he got together with Roger, who performs with Fire Clan, which is a part of Brutal Jammers, and Sheldon another local artiste. They then met Devon Roberts, the studio engineer for Brutal Traxx Studio, and Jory was drafted into the Brutal mix.

Of the year-plus arrangement with Brutal, Jory says, "It's nice; I'm seeing my way 100%." Though he has not signed anything official, he is not fazed, "'cause [they are] good people. They treat you as an artiste; make sure you get what you should get financially. I'm comfortable and happy. I accept this music thing as my career and job."

The artiste who once hosted 'The Crib', a show that highlighted local acts on HBTV Channel 9 because he thought if he did not make it someone should, is working on a 15-track album for release in November.

In the interim, he has four songs on the airwaves: "Buss a Wine", "Nervous", "Last Bad Boy Dead" and "She Need a Man" featuring Alicia.

Jory, before heading back into the studio where the Brutal crew is always hard at work, expressed the wish to improve his country's image by building a school where music is included on the syllabus.

"Right now I got a vision to just keep moving, boring like a plane through the clouds to success and when I make it I would do good things for the country. I would build a school teaching normal subjects but including music. Not only Maths and English because music slacken up; right now in the country there are schools with no music classes. Guyana is way back. We used to cannon the whole town with music and now look how far back we are with music. We're now heading back to the top."

-- Fron Stabroek New's The Scene