Nagra Plunkett, Assignment Coordinator
Jamaicans involved in first project with Jennifer Hudson
C2W (Caribbean 2 World) Music Limited is poised to change the entertainment industry in the region by increasing its creative and earning potential through the art of songwriting.
"It was Bob Marley's brilliant songwriting that allowed his estate to earn and continue to earn, pretty much perpetually," said CEO Ian Berry.
"What we are doing here is developing and creating some brilliant talent now, but what we doing also is creating wealth management for a very long time for songwriters."
Berry was speaking in an interview with The Gleaner about C2W's first Jamaican songwriting camp at Rockhouse Hotel in Negril last Saturday.
The camp, which featured several internationally acclaimed songwriters, also included Jamaican singer Etana, Candy Gloster from St Vincent and recording artiste Shazelle Gobin from Trinidad. The process involves recording sessions and had the participation of Ayanna Howard, Phamous and Tiffany Fred from Los Angeles and Jamaica-born Rupert Gayle.
The songwriters were in the island to create a pool of possible hits for Grammy-winning singer Jennifer Hudson.
"She gets three weeks to kind of pick what she wants. The reality of it is that they're going to pick three at the most and the other songs - not to say that they are inferior to the ones she's chosen - go back into the pot and they are available for anybody," Berry explained.
"If that song is chosen by Jennifer Hudson, it gets on her album and maybe is a single and she does a video, then that's the C2W model. We then get earnings globally, usually eight months later, as the song is exploited and one third of the lifetime revenues of that song come back to our bank account in Jamaica."
Listed on JSE
He said that the company, which is listed on the Jamaica Stock Exchange (JSE), hopes to sign between 10 and 12 songwriters from the Caribbean over the next year.
"We have six signed already and we going to develop them and when the majority of them are well on their way, we're going to add to that," said Berry.
Max Gousse, senior vice-president of Island/DefJam Records, was also in Jamaica for the songwriting camp. Gousse said he would also use his stay to scout new entertainment talent.
"Our biggest artiste of all time from Island Records is Bob Marley, so obviously the region means a lot to the label," he stated.
"We are actually making a push to develop and sign more artistes from the Caribbean on Island Records ... in addition to the camp, I'm here to also interface with talents and try to find the next big thing."