There’s often one person whose ambitions, as herculean as they may seem to the naked eye, is necessary and humbling to those looking on from a distance. In Trinidad and Tobago, a female Primary school teacher is proving that service goes beyond the portfolio that comes when one chooses a particular career path; she’s proving that true service is heartfelt and never dispassionate.
Michelle George Bermudez wears many hats. These days, the school teacher with 21-years professional service is teaching young women between the ages of 11 and 15, the art of photography via a free digital course. The course, provided via her company, Octomedia Studios offers these young women basic photography steps inclusive of lighting, angels and composition. “My aim with this free online tutorial is to simply give back and to empower these young women,” she explained. Prior to the Covid-19 pandemic, a very active Bermudez could be spotted competing on stage as the Queen of the Band at T&T’s Dimanche Gras for bands like Kalicharan Carnival in South, Trinidad, or acting in local productions, or even shooting photographs at major festivals, concerts, sporting events and fashion shows. Her resume is as dynamic as it is strategic. “I’ve always been involved in the arts. I’ve always loved culture,” she said, explaining that both her parents are artists who’ve been intimately involved in the creative sector and more specifically, Carnival. When it comes to giving back and mentoring the young and impressionable, Michelle’s resume also boasts strong involvement in the Girl Guides Association of Trinidad and Tobago where she has served as caption and district commissioner during her 19 years within the organization.
Michelle says she will soon be embarking on a career change and plans on adopting the titles of Director of Photography in addition to film director and producer. Her artistic background, shared by her parents and mastered by her along the way, has afforded her the tools needed to deliver workshops and special classes to those who desire such. “My goal is to teach others – especially young men and women so that they can empower themselves and enrich their lives,” she said, noting that her personal cache of resources includes models that have been crafted for film and photography sets.
Eternally grateful for the guidance afforded through mentorship by Ian Pantin- an entertainment industry stalwart, Michelle says her business model at Octomedia Studios will continue to incorporate passion and love. She understands the importance of truly enjoying a profession, and says there’s never a dull moment in her life. “I enjoy learning and it gives me even greater pleasure to pass on what I learn, to others,” she said.
With numerous years of experience as a Carnival Queen on stage at the Dimanche Gras competition in T&T, in addition to her involvement in Best Village Competitions, playing the steelpan for Panorama and of course, her photography and filmmaking experience, this school teacher is proving that service goes beyond the confines of career and can only be truly shared with the world, from a place of love.
Zess Producer, DNyce Nation Unleashes the Unthinkable. Could Others Follow?
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.
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.
Bunji Garlin’s Got Talent We Didn’t Even See.
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.
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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