March 6, 2009
Musicians ECCO at Heritage Square

Move over Grammy Awards and MTV, the Eastern Caribbean Music Awards is on its way.

Chairman of the Eastern Caribbean Collective Organization for Music Rights (ECCO), Gene Lawrence, made this revelation to SEARCHLIGHT last Saturday, February 28, at Heritage Square, where the local arm of ECCO was officially launched.{{more}}

As he urged Eastern Caribbean musicians and artistes to lift their game and expand their horizons so that they can create music with more international appeal, Lawrence said that their excellence will be celebrated when this awards show comes on stream in 2010.

According to Lawrence, now that musicians and artistes stand to reap the benefit of their hard work with the formation of ECCO and the accompanying enforcing of their copy rights, they must now spread their wings and take advantage of the opportunities that exist for them.

“What we lack…we need a much broader base,” he said.

He noted that even in the midst of national carnival festivals in some of the Eastern Caribbean islands, foreign music still dominates the airwaves, but as local artistes make different genres of music, this will begin to change.

Meanwhile, Derek Wilkie of the Barbados-based CRS Music label told SEARCHLIGHT that ECCO is “the fundamental institution we need to build a music industry now.”

Wilkie said that many of the regional festivals turn over a lot of money annually and artistes don’t get their fair share of this money, even though without them these festivals won’t exist.

He had high praise for the talent base right here in St Vincent and the Grenadines.

“Tremendous talent, tremendous, it just needs structure,” he said. (KJ)