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Gov’t-sponsored studio time ‘open doors’, promotes local talent

– Musicians thankful to President Ali

SEVERAL Guyanese musicians have lauded the government-sponsored studio time initiative, which they said is “timely and transformational” for the local entertainment industry.
The talented Carlvin Burnett, in an interview with the Guyana Chronicle, said that this initiative now opens the door for local musicians to walk right through and share their craft.

Government will spend some $9 million on free studio time for Guyanese artistes to record their music. President, Dr. Irfaan Ali, after making the announcement had related that the plan is to cover studio time costs for the next 12 months at three local studios, for musicians to record their music at no charge to themselves.

Burnett stated that he believes that the initiative will be especially impactful as it would give artistes the chance to focus on crafting the perfect sound to represent their talent and capturing their target audience without having any financial burden.

“I think it’s a great initiative because as creatives what the president did is create that space for us where we could now have complete access to studios and we would be able to produce albums and the government will fund and be fully invested in,” he said adding that for the first-time artistes will not have to worry about studio costs and can now focus more on the creative process.

Burnett noted that he is proud to see the recent move by the government to not just promote local talent but also to invest significantly in creating a platform for all local persons in the art and entertainment sector, to showcase their talent.

According to the singer, the initiative will see artistes getting the opportunity to market themselves locally while bringing a wide-range of music art styles to Guyanese.
Burnette stated that the government’s commitment to have these recorded songs played on local radio stations, would significantly increase the reach of local artistes and in many cases make them household names.

Tennicia De Freitas, the artiste known as “NEKEITA”

“Based on conversations, the President is going to engage certain radio stations to have more Guyanese music being played and that is great too because it gives us a chance now for the music to be heard, for the music to be played all over, so now whenever we hit the stage, we can have the same reaction and the same results as the foreigners we bring here,” he added.

Meanwhile, award-winning psalmist and gospel singer, Samuel Medas, told the Chronicle that the announcement and President Ali’s plans for the government-sponsored studio time, came as a “surprise” as it was something that has never been done locally before.

He opined that the initiative will allow for a wide myriad of opportunities, more than what is anticipated.
The ‘Stadium’ singer stated that he believes that this initiative will open up doors for not just the singers or vocalists but will allow writers, producers and instrumentalists to share their talents while boosting the local arts.

“The process of recording a song doesn’t just start and end with the singer, it includes the writing. There are great singers that don’t write so writers will also be employed, instrumentalists would also be hired because some of the music [will be] recorded with the live instrument. Also, there’s the recording session and the mixing session,” Medas said.

He added: “If they have to get backup vocalists for the track then we have to hire backup vocalists too and then there’s the mastering, so, it’s a process of getting the music composed, written, recorded, getting it mixed, and then getting it mastered so this money is not just going just to the studio, it’s creating space for everybody.”

Tennicia De Freitas, who goes by the stage name “NEKEITA”, also lauded the initiative, noting that this removal of the financial burden will open the door for the younger artistes to enter the sector as many musicians have been forced to not follow their talent due to financial constraints.

“Being able to have quality work produced is one of the most important things for any artiste but this usually comes at a steep price. It brings some relief knowing that many would be able to afford this and be encouraged to continue working on their craft. Many younger and upcoming artistes have been afraid of pursuing a career in the arts field because of this same factor of not knowing how they will be able to afford studio time. This initiative will also assist them in a major way,” she said.

De Freitas told the Chronicle that she believes that the work government has been doing to provide a platform for the growth of the local entertainment and arts scene is tremendous. She noted that there is much to offer in this sector and she believes that this adds to Guyana’s tourism product.

“I’m very happy about His Excellency’s decision to assist our creatives with free studio time. I’m grateful that he is genuinely interested and heavily invested in the future of Guyanese entertainment……As a performer of over 19 years, I’m truly grateful for any effort made to promote Guyana’s creatives. I believe that arts and entertainment add significantly to a country’s tourism sector. It’s how we showcase our love for our culture and impacts how our visitors experience what we have to offer,” she added.