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PULSE: A New Steelpan Company is Coming.

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The Caribbean Buzz Podcast Ongoing
Approx. 2 min read

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

Zess Producer, DNyce Nation Unleashes the Unthinkable. Could Others Follow?

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Approx. 4 min read

Known for his involvement in the Zess music fraternity in Trinidad and Tobago, producer DNyce of DNyce Nation has made us look, unleashing something far from the norm, and proving his ability to masterfully go beyond the typical. He sings on the single, collaborated on with none other than multiple title holder, Shurwayne Winchester- something he says, is a first for him. What’s funny is, his first vocal effort, is pretty extraordinary.

D Nyce believes the Zess style can reach far, but appealed for all involved to be mindful of the need for the music to be commercially viable.

Speaking with Ebuzztt following the release of “Ring De Bell”, DNyce, who’s real name is Dike David Pererria, said the song came from a place of gratitude. He explained that his single with Shurwanyne sits on the Colours Riddim and features several other artistes, among them, Potential Kid, Ace Boss and Vice, Bass, Skem and Melick. “It’s an honour to be able to sing alongside such a great artist like Shurwayne himself and it’s an honour to be able to produce a song like this,” said the young producer. He noted that the track was meant for Shurwayne and he had no intention of singing on it however, upon realising a need for a second voice, he offered to give it a try. “The song really came about due to me being so grateful and so happy about life itself and knowing that I am blessed with the opportunity to still have something to do, knowing that there are other people who aren’t as fortunate,” he said. DNyce acknowledged the support given by Shurwayne over time, saying, “Shurwayne being a person who has taught me so many things in terms of the music industry and how to go forward with my business, I couldn’t think of anybody else to sing something like this.”

The single encapsulates the concepts of spirituality and life; “It connects both life and God in one song,” said the writer and producer. Speaking on the Zess movement, he made it clear that it is not a new genre but rather, something created by Trinidad and Tobago, that he believes, once packaged properly, could have global impact. “A lot of the new acts coming up, I’m behind,” he admitted, noting that Zess is a new style of Caribbean music, that has originated from T&T. “It’s a taste of Soca with a branch of dancehall,” he clarified, adding, “I know where I can see this style going- I know what I see and what my passion when it comes to the production of the sound is, the whole happy side of the Zess thing. I can see that reaching very far as a new style of our music; I believe it can reach global markets but yet, we still have the negative side so while I can see it going global, I can only hope that the other artistes that support the style, turn their direction into a more commercial side of things.”

DNyce told EBUZZTT that this single is one of the most positive singles delivered out of the Zess style. “For the 90% of the time that T&T’s dancehall has been getting a hearing, the radio stations and the people in charge have only been promoting the negative side of the movement,” he said, going on to say, “This is one of the most positive crossovers ever to be created within the whole Zess forum. I’m not saying that there haven’t been positive songs before that have gotten a hearing but this is something that a lot of people have been trying to do, which is to make the whole cross between the Soca and the Zess. I feel this is one of the real openings that could affect these young people’s lives not just by telling them what’s the right thing to do, but by giving it to them in a way that they can enjoy.”

“This is one of the most connecting songs of the last three years. It has connected life and God in one message.”

DNyce

A part of the music and production business for over 15 years, the DNyce Nation boss told us that he had to move his business from his home in St. Barbs, Laventille, to Belmont, noting that many artistes refused to enter Laventille, to work at his studio. “I had to use Belmont as my address for artistes to be attracted to come to the studio. For years it was a fight. I was unable to reach where I wanted to reach because nobody wasn’t coming to me so I really can’t forget Belmont,” he said. Confronting his truth, the young producer lamented that Laventille- his home, remains a crime hot spot, something that saddens him. “Being born and raised in a high risk, crime riddled community, I had to move my business to attract my clientele. I hope and pray for change one day.”

DNyce Nation is now located at SW Limited, Darceuil Lane, Arima.

‘Ring De Bell’ has been unleashed, complete with a video. Be sure to check it out below.

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Bunji Garlin’s Got Talent We Didn’t Even See.

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The Caribbean Buzz Podcast Ongoing
Approx. 2 min read

Spittin’ lyrical fire is all he’d touted for years but as Covid-19 offered the chance to lay back and watch the world from the confines of his home in Trinidad, entertainer, Bunji Garlin has shown a different side of himself that could very well bring in some extra cheddar.

Yankey’s been selling his Pepper Sauce

In a time of economic uncertainty, we’re seeing some of our Caribbean entertainers showing their diversity. Yankey Boy’s been selling pepper sauce in the United States and Jadel’s been modelling for endorsed local retailer, Cache. Patrice Roberts and Nailah Blackman have been marketing their branded merchandise, Patrice for her Coco Body line of soaps and Blackman for her line of acrylic nails. It’s all truly commendable!

A couple days ago, Garlin, who’s been relatively quiet over the past few months, expressed his feelings artistically, showing a level of accuracy in imagery that’s stunning to say the least. Bunji and his wife, Fay Ann have been actively assisting with efforts to aid the people of St. Vincent and the Grenadines as they continue to deal with the challenges of the volcanic eruption. Together with ITNAC (Is There Not A Cause), Garlin and Fay have been on the ground packing supplies to send over to the islands.

Bunji’s artwork, posted to his social media platforms, showed his interpretation of photos he saw coming out of that said volcanic eruption in St. Vincent and the Grenadines. Take a look below.

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