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PULSE: A New Steelpan Company is Coming.

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A new steelpan manufacturing company will be operational in the fourth quarter of 2021. The company, Musical Instruments of Trinidad and Tobago (MITTCO), will produce a full range of high quality steelpans to supply growing demands both locally and internationally.

MITTCO is the brainchild of Akua Leith, Artistic Director and conductor of the National Steel Symphony Orchestra (NSSO) of T&T. He is a Fullbright Fellow and graduated from Northern Illinois University with a Masters of Music in Conducting, with emphasis on Steelpan Performance. He also holds a Bachelor of Arts degree in Musical Arts from The UWI. Akua has played and conducted in tours throughout Europe, Asia, North America, Central America and the Caribbean. He is also a teacher of the steelpan.

Akua says he envisioned a full-service pan ecosystem that would provide year round employment in the production and craftsmanship of steelpans. “I’ve had this idea for a while now…but was very protective of it until I felt I could collaborate with a team who shared the same vision and values as I did,” he says.

He approached the Hadad brothers, long time supporters of the national instrument and together they created a team to implement Akua’s vision. The company’s Board of Directors and shareholders combine musicians and pancrafters, and seasoned professionals – Akua Leith, Mario Joseph, David Hackett, Robert Hadad, Joseph Hadad and John Hadad.

MITTCO’s goal is to offer the best musical instruments coupled with flawless service to music and steelpan enthusiasts in both local and export markets. To do so, the company will work with a team of experienced and dedicated steelpan craftspeople, using the highest quality raw materials, and integrating tradition with innovative manufacturing practices. MITTCO will engage the wider steelpan fraternity to create more employment within the industry.

The pan facility will be based in the e-Teck Diamond Vale Industrial Park, Diego Martin and will feature a robust production process. “We believe in collaborating to compete,” says John Hadad, “and have entered this joint venture with a genuine desire to promote this musical instrument globally.”

“Trinidad and Tobago is the home of steelpan,” says Akua. “We have, without doubt, the best artisan steelpan craftspeople in the world, and this is no better time than now to establish a world class company with international reach. MITTCO’s goal is simple: to keep the authenticity of steelpan manufacturing alive, here where it belongs, in its country of origin.”

For further information, contact Micah Jodhan (762 6073).


Written by: Peter Ray Blood

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Caribbean Buzz

Buju Brings the ‘Summer Bubbler’. Entertains Fans Online. VIDEO INSIDE.

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New music now making the rounds, reggae and dancehall heavyweight, Buju Banton stays focused and happy at home in Jamaica, delivering to fans worldwide, pieces of himself via online platforms like Instagram. On Wednesday, on the heels of news that he’d unleashed a brand new summer bubbler with the ladies in mind, Gargamel solidified the promotion of the track with a mini concert that engaged fans from as far as Ghana.

It’s been almost two years since Buju’s career, like that of many other Caribbean artistes, has been halted- with no major concert events being planned. He appeared alongside Beres Hammond on a virtual stage in February this year, but of course, that was nothing like a live show would be. Still, Buju’s creativity remains powerful and present.

The latest single, “Summer Body”, is aimed at offering fans a little fun and enjoyment, according to the artist. In a statement, the song is described as one that borrows signature sounds from the 90s reggae/dancehall era and features Buju’s quintessential deejay style over a hardcore Dancehall riddim. The song was produced by Buju himself, alongside dancehall staple Jon Jon. According to Buju’s team, the new release encourages fans to celebrate life, remove doubt and any sense of restriction from their minds.

On Wednesday, as he engaged fans on his Instagram live, Buju smiled happily, singing his new release and even belting out familiar tunes from the past. Take a look at how that went down…

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Caribbean Buzz

Shenseea’s New Video “Run, Run” Bashed As “Demonic.” Rvssian Retorts.

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In just five days, Shenseea’s latest music video, “Run Run” has been streamed over 2.4 million times on YouTube. Whether that’s fueled by criticism over the “demonic” imagery of the video, as some call it, or just plain curiosity and fan loyalty, we’re uncertain, but 2.4 million streams in a week, is big news.

Costuming from the new video for “Run run

Earlier this month, Shenseea announced her new management alignment with Canadian, music exec, Wassim ‘Sal’ Slaiby. In an Instagram post, the Jamaican artist who had previously been managed by Romeich Major, said she was happy to now have a manager with “such dynamic character on my team.” Shen alluded to big moves ahead, saying, “we’re about to unfold a new chapter.”

Just a few days later, a promotional video was posted to her IG, showing what was on the way. The video for “Run Run” portrayed visuals that leaned more toward the international trends seen in videos like Megan Thee Stallion and Cardi B’s “WAP” and Lil Nas X’s “Montero” music videos. Some fans dug in after the video’s release on Friday. “Omg, I’m so sorry for Shenseea… she don’t know what she’s getting into,” one person wrote on YouTube. Another said, “We need more music videos with artists ascending into Heaven, normalize ascending instead of descending into hell.” Some even posted prayers for their Jamaican dancehall sweetheart.

The new single is the first track off of Shen’s debut album. On the weekend, Shenseea posted a scene that showed her being lowered into what one can only assume is “hell.” She wore bull horns in the excerpt. She told fans this was her favorite scene.

In response to comments against the visual creativity, producer Rvssian took to Twitter. “They say people sell them soul. But how much do these type of things go for? 😂 and is a store or what? Mi confuse😂😂” he retorted. He continued by saying that he praises God and has given all his success and credit to Him, lashing out at critics with biblical reference, saying, “The Bible say Matthew 7 – do not judge…do you know the rest? But you guys are more holy than we are- look into ya self.”

His response was quite similar to one given by incarcerated dancehall artist, Vybz Kartel who was asked about allegations that he had sold his soul for fame, by On Stage host, Winford Williams, prior to his incarceration.


HERE’S SHENSEEA’S “RUN RUN” VIDEO

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