Export Saint Lucia, the Cultural Development Foundation and the Department of Culture and Creative Industries within the Ministry of Tourism Information, Broadcasting, Culture& Creative Industries continue to inject much needed resources into Saint Lucia’s promising Creative Industry.
In September this year, the agencies collaborated to host a development workshop facilitated by renowned industry expert Stephen Phillip popularly known as “International Stephen” 3X International DJ of the Year, Partner At Ibiza Soca Festival & Hollywood Carnival, CEO of ACE WEEKEND ATL, Partner At “SouthCarolinaCarnival.com” and Program Director for TEAMSOCA.com. The workshop sought to assist Dennery Segment and Soca music artistes and managers in improving their image and marketability.
The two-day training initiative covered several areas under image and branding including:
1. Your Music – sound, quality, production, labelling, presentation.
2. Your Brand – profile, logos, websites, imaging, target markets, merchandising, packaging, consistency.
3. Your Business – copyright, distribution, streaming, publishing.
4. Your Digital presence – social media, hashtags, captions, images, tags, video.
5. Your physical presence – appearance, speech, diction, voice projection, gestures, body language.
Following this workshop, six of the most export ready artistes were selected to receive further coaching and market exposure under the guidance of International Stephen. The facilitator provided insight on how artistes should present themselves physically and digitally and included practical sessions to improve interview, performance and networking skills. The workshop also allowed participants to benefit from a mentoring session with the acclaimed Soca artiste, Gamal Doyle better known as “Skinny Fabulous”.
International Stephen was elated about the opportunity to work with Saint Lucian artistes to assist them in taking their music further and gaining more recognition for themselves by improving their image, packaging their musical products and their marketing strategies.
He said “from the first time I came to Saint Lucia I said this place has so much talent, Saint Lucia has some of the most talented artistes and musicians that I’ve seen across the region and of course across the world. The purpose of this initiative is to enrich and enhance the Saint Lucian music product, from what you hear to also what you see; it has to meet international industry standards across the board.”
CEO of Export Saint Lucia Sunita Daniel shared her excitement about pushing the practitioners in the proper direction for success. She said “We’ve found that when we visit outside markets there is a lot of interest in the Dennery Segment and Saint Lucian Music. What we want to do is ensure that our artistes and practitioners are equipped with the tools for marketing themselves in the international music industry and are capable of capitalizing on various opportunities. For us at Export Saint Lucia we are happy to be part of this Image and Marketing initiative. Just as we work with our exporters of products such as seamoss or swimwear to help them improve their branding and packaging, we believe that it is also important to work with our music exporters to improve their image and brand, to help achieve improved marketing in international markets and to help secure the best gigs/performances, which will build their profile as artistes.”
Deputy Executive Director of the Cultural Development Foundation, Ms. Celeste Burton expressed the Foundation’s satisfaction to be able to host this programme which will give artistes the opportunity to grow and develop their skills and competencies, to gain further confidence in promoting themselves and networking in a way that results in greater prospects for their musical careers. “The notion that our artistes have talent is well known. However, we realize that talent alone is not enough to be successful as a performer or entertainer. Therefore, in keeping with the CDF mandate to facilitate training and create avenues for growth and development we are embarking on this process to provide knowledge to the artistes on self-development activities, and on how to navigate the industry to realize success and reach their individual goals. This part of the initiative specifically focuses on building artistes’ image and branding themselves to increase their marketability, a component that is critical to survival in a very competitive and robust industry.”
The Department of Culture and Creative Industries and by extension the Government of Saint Lucia continues to provide financial support to Saint Lucia’s creative sector and endorsed this initiative. The Ministry is proud to collaborate on this initiative aimed at improving the marketability of the artistes and enhancing their potential towards gaining greater economic benefits through their cultural, artistic, innovative and traditional expressions.
The twenty-seven artistes who availed themselves of the training and development opportunity expressed gratitude for the initiative and their eagerness to apply the extensive knowledge acquired from International Stephen. Five-time Saint Lucia Groovy Monarch Arthur Allain expressed his sentiments about the training area “I believe that image, marketing & branding play a significant role in the development of any artiste. As much as we have the talent, it is only a small portion of what it takes to make it in the international arena. I applaud the efforts of all involved to actually give us the opportunity to learn and ensure that we don’t take this aspect of the music industry for granted.”
Soca and Dennery Segment artiste Kisha Joseph said “I believe it was important to attend this workshop so it could refresh my memory and for me to also gain some knowledge on how to market my music to the world.”
Export Saint Lucia, the Cultural Development Foundation and the Department of Culture and Creative Industries look forward to implementing subsequent programmes to continue to energize the industry and enhance the Saint Lucian music product.