Port of Spain, 13th October 2022: The Trinidad and Tobago Music Company Limited (MusicTT) partnered with Island Wave for the Music Matters 2022 conference and festival in Orchard, Singapore. Kalpee and fellow Trinbagonian musicians Rhys Thompson on drums and Kwami Morrison on guitar, blew away the crowds at the Music Matters Live stage on Saturday 24th and Sunday 25th September as part of the Music Matters LIVE 2022 Singapore Grand Prix (Formula 1) season celebrations in Clarke Quay.
“Island Wave” is a platform which not only provides funding to Caribbean artistes to be able to showcase internationally but also creates spaces on other stages which would not usually cater for a line-up of established and talented emerging Caribbean musical acts. Island Wave, founded by local artiste Kalpee, is dedicated to bringing music of the Caribbean to the forefront of the international music scene. The Island Wave stage was launched at the first ever fully digital version of South by South West (SXSW) in 2021. The stage also took part again in SXSW 2022 featuring top acts from Jamaica and Trinidad and Tobago and is carded for SXSW 2023.
Music Matters is a subset of All That Matters and a global platform representing the Asia Pacific music industry and a gateway for artists looking to break into the world’s most populated region. Dubbed “TED meets SXSW”, the award-winning Music Matters is the only event in Asia that gathers the entire music and entertainment industry in one place. This year, the event featured speakers from top industry names such as TikTok, AEG, Universal Music, Empire, TuneCore, Apple, Spotify and YouTube.
MusicTT’s General Manager Melissa Jimenez, who also attended the conference, was thrilled by the warm welcome that MusicTT and the Island Stage Crew received from the locals. “Phenomenal! That was what the audiences were echoing as the three musicians representing Trinidad and Tobago performed brilliantly creating island waves across Music Matters LIVE 2022 stages. Networking efforts have opened several doors for possible future opportunities for Trinbagonian artists in Singapore, Korea, India, Malaysia and Australia. MusicTT is proud to support Island Wave and looks forward to what 2023 has in store”.
While at the conference our General Manager certainly made it known that Trinidad and Tobago was in the room by asking very poised and pointed questions to the variety of panels. Amongst her targets were executives from Spotify and Apple music on the topic of our local genres having their own category so that we can steer away from the practice of listing local music under reggae and world music. She also took that opportunity to highlight that some of the chart toppers in reggae are actually soca artists. She also sought out conversations with a representative from YouTube Music about their presentation on ISRC’s and metadata and how we can ensure that Trinidad and Tobago’s music is showing up; CEO of Empire – Ghazi Shami about his interest in pushing Caribbean music, signing local artists and artist development; and Cordell Broadus (Snoop Dogg’s son) about investing in music technology and web3 initiatives, amongst others.
“The greatest surprise for us (MusicTT) was seeing our logo up on every major screen acknowledging us as an Event Supporter for Music Matters alongside other major music and media companies and we have Island Wave to thank for that. Just our logo being represented at the largest music gathering in the ASIA-Pacific region has brought much attention and enquiries. (laughing) It also helps that Trinidad and Tobago was the exotic islander attendee so companies just flocked to us to want to learn more and artists to seek out collaborations.” said Jimenez.
Kalpee was also invited to speak at the Music Matters Academy panel, Mental Health Matters, alongside Singaporean artist Inch Chua and Canadian artist Chad Price. This panel was sponsored by YouTube Music. Earlier this year Kalpee and Island Wave opened the conversation amongst Caribbean men, with a media campaign to bring awareness to Men’s Mental Health Awareness Week, specifically shaped around the male perspective within the Caribbean community. Kalpee was joined by a host of Caribbean men amongst which were, Oritse Williams Founding member of UK group JLS and Grammy Award Winners Artist-Producers Izzy Beats and Walshy Fire.
“Coming to Singapore is always an incredible experience, this was my 2nd time at Music Matters… Not only was the performance at Clarke Quay extremely well received, but the reception towards the ethos of the Island Wave platform was motivating…Next year is going to be something special as Music Matters welcomes us back as the 1st Official Caribbean stage with our full 2023 Island Wave lineup of artists of all different genres. To say that this trip was a success is an understatement. We’re inspired and energized and can’t wait to help bring new opportunities and evolve what Caribbean music and artistry can look and feel like.” – Kalpee.
MusicTT will continue to support ‘Island Wave’ as it expands and pushes “Sounds of the Caribbean” across the globe.
For more information, visit www.izaislandwave.com. To keep up to date with this and other MusicTT news, follow @musicoftt on Instagram and Facebook.
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