February 9, 2024
Renowned music producer Michael “Mikey” Bennett says he is looking to nurture talent at the Island Music Conference (IMC) songwriters’ workshop between February 22 and 23.
“When it was suggested, I jumped at it because people who come to the workshop will have a chance to actually enrol in the longer programme. It’s something that I’ll be doing throughout the Caribbean over the next couple years, hopefully. This was just a chance to just launch it. I was very impressed with the organisation at the last conference, so it was an easy sell,” Bennett told the Jamaica Observer.
Twenty-five applicants will be selected for the workshop. Up to Wednesday, Bennett said he had gone through approximately 60 submissions.
Bennett disclosed that the selected cohort must exert a certain level of creativity.
“I’m looking for some people who just have a natural flair for expression and details. I’m looking for the metaphors and the absence of clichés… we’re looking at songwriting as an economic potential. There’s a science behind every art form, so we want to apply some science that have worked over the years,” he said.
The IMC will be held from February 21 to 25. It will feature interactive panel discussions with appearances from dancehall producer Rvssian, dancehall artistes Teejay, Masicka and Konshens and Queen of Reggae Marcia Griffiths. Also slated for the conference are Ghanaian superstar Stonebwoy, who will be joining forces with Wyclef Jean, R&B singer Mya, film-maker Jay Will, T&T soca artiste Kes, and St Vincent and the Grenadines’ Skinny Fabulous.
According to event chairman, Grammy Award-winning artiste Orville “Shaggy” Burrell, like last year’s staging, this year’s conference will provide a platform for music professionals to exchange experiences, cultivate alliances, share knowledge and gain from networking opportunities which can contribute to the growth and enrichment of their respective careers.
“I believe that with the right effort we can see a music fraternity wherein artistes and professionals across the board stand to gain more than they lose. That starts with a conversation,” Shaggy said in a statement.
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