Port of Spain, 17th December 2021: Six (6) artistes have been selected for cycle 5 of MusicTT’s Spotlight programme via its Spotlight Selection Showcase. The showcase, where 13 musical acts competed for a spot in the programme, premiered exclusively on MusicTT’s Facebook and YouTube platforms on Friday 17th December. Spotlight identifies artistes and instrumentalists who have the potential to advance in the music industry and equips them with the knowledge and tools to leverage their creative talent on the local and worldwide market.
The 6 artistes who will be stepping into Spotlight are Daniel Milo Strings, Nzingha Job, Renée Lawrence, EJ Entertainment, Yani Music and ZUWENA. Daniel Roberts, aka Daniel Milo Strings, is one of Trinidad’s fastest-growing young musicians as a solo pianist, guitarist and singer as well as the leader of his own island pop band “The FLICK”. Currently, Daniel studies composition at UTT’s Academy for the Performing Arts and is certified in songwriting and film scoring from NYU Steinhardt summer programs. Even though Daniel has a passion for writing music, he still performs regularly with various soca artistes with the A team band as well as his own band The FLICK where he is the lead, singer and guitarist.
Nzingha Job all before age 11 was singing as a soloist and as part of a chorale, writing poems and recording music. In 1999 she won the May Johnstone cup and the 2002 Soundstage Festival. She has since continued to perform in several languages and across genres – as a soloist and in ensembles in Tobago, Trinidad, Barbados, New York and South India. For Nzingha, lyrical, eclectic and well-composed songs and music are a profoundly beautiful means of fighting malevolence, ignorance, fake news, and intellectual laziness, as well as being a healing balm for fear, anger and despair.
Coming from a musical family, Renée Lawrence has been singing on stages at church, at weddings, concerts and special events. She has a voice that is powerful, yet versatile enough to handle many genres of music including classical and gospel. At the age of 18 she won the Che-mere trophy for Soprano Solo at Trinidad and Tobago’s Music Festival competition (2018). In 2019, she was nominated for the Gospel Music Awards of Trinidad and Tobago, Undiscovered Artiste of the Year.
Emmanuel Joseph, aka EJ Entertainment, is a steelpan soloist who performs with vigor, vibrancy and passion and can adjust his performing style to match the nature of any event. He ‘covers’ popular songs and tests his versatility by approaching various genres of music. He is the winner of; the UWI’s Got Talent Competition (2019), and the Halcyon Steel Orchestra (Antigua) Steelpan Competition (2021). He performed on the BP Renegades Beat the Pandemic Concert Series (2020) and is a member of the BP Renegades Steel Orchestra and the UWI Arts Steel Ensemble.
Yani is a singer, bassist, artist & founder of the fashion jewellery line “Yani Designs”, whose talents have been displayed all over the nation. Yani is also the band leader of Trinidad & Tobago’s first all-female Gospel band known as Axia Nation whose music has reached countries worldwide such as Tortola, St Thomas, St Marteen, the UK, Ghana in West Africa, and billboard including MGM Grand in Las Vegas. Presently, Yani is expanding her repertoire, which includes her current collaboration with award-winning Caribbean gospel artist Papa San and Neesha Woods from Barbados.
ZUWENA is a Singer/Songwriter & Recording Artist from Trinidad. She initially began singing in order to conquer stage fright; in the process, she discovered that she loved connecting with people through song. ZUWENA studied for her B.A. in Music, from 2014-2018 at the State University of New York, Plattsburgh. For a total of 5 years, she developed her songwriting skills and sound. She has chosen to audition her song ‘Selfless Love’ which is inspired by her husband.
The new artistes will receive rigorous developmental training in the areas of branding, styling; afforded vocal or instrumental training; stage performance; intellectual property consultation; inclusive of a professional photoshoot; industry networking and a number of other areas. By the end of the training phase of the programme, each Spotlight artiste will engage in the production process, and release a single on the next Spotlight Album – Project Spotlight Vol. III.
“Since Spotlight first launched in 2017, under the former name Artist Portfolio Development Programme (APDP), 33 Spotlight Artistes have benefited from the programme. Artist development is very crucial to the Music Business as a recording artiste. MusicTT is always excited to see the next “new” crop of promising artistes as they start the programme and even more so, their evolution. We look forward to working alongside them to continue to propel local talent, and the local music industry as a whole, forward.” – Melisa Jimenez, General Manager, MusicTT.
For more information on the Spotlight Programme, visit www.musictt.co.tt/spotlight or follow @musicoftt on Instagram and Facebook for updates.
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