C2W charts course for Caribbean songwriting success

C2W charts course for Caribbean songwriting success

Written by Editor

Topics: Music

If anything was evident during the C2W Music Songwriting Camp at Rockhouse Hotel in Negril, Jamaica in September, it was this – Caribbean 2 World (C2W) Music Limited is on a mission to unlock the Caribbean’s true economic potential in the area of music. Top flight songwriters and producers from North America jetted in to “The Capital of Casual” to put in some serious work with their Caribbean counterparts, with the short-term goal of writing songs that will be hopefully picked up by American R&B star Jennifer Hudson.

Ivan Berry, CEO, C2W Music Limited, with Mark Cyrus in background.

“Through our songwriting camps, regional songwriters will collaborate with renowned international songwriters to create songs with an international appeal,” explained Ivan Berry, Chief Executive Officer of C2W. “We find that our songwriters are equally as talented as international songwriters, they just haven’t been given the opportunity or platform to shine,” he added.

The songwriting camp featured Jamaican singer-songwriter Etana, C2W writers Candy Gloster and Mark Cyrus (St. Vincent), newly signed Rupert Gayle (Jamaican Canadian) and Shazelle Gobin (Trinidad & Tobago). The complement of producers and songwriters from North America comprised of Rob “T’RON” Wells (Justin Bieber, Backstreet Boys, Selena Gomez & Adam Lambert), Jukebox (Willow Smith – “Whip My Hair”, Chris Brown & Ludacris), Melvin “St. Nick” Coleman (Usher, Rick Ross, TLC, Keri Hilson, Missy Elliott and Mario), Mickey Shiloh (Janet Jackson, Britney Spears, Pitbull, Twister & Shontelle), Ayanna Howard (Jennifer Hudson, Macy Gray, K. Michelle), and the Jackie Boyz duo of Carlos and Steven Battey (Madonna, Justin Bieber, Flo Rida, Chris Brown, Sean Kingston, Ron Isley & Cheryl Cole). Max Gousse, Senior Vice President of Island/Def Jam, also attended the camp.

Melvin “St. Nick” Coleman (Usher, Rick Ross, TLC, Keri Hilson, Missy Elliott and Mario) and Ayanna Howard (Jennifer Hudson, Macy Gray, K. Michelle) at the C2W Jamaican Songwriting Camp.

Mark Cyrus

Berry explained that C2W is committed to fostering the region’s creative talent. “We aren’t a performing rights company where we can find and collect royalties. We are actually developing that songwriter in the same way a management company develops an artiste,” Berry said. In addition to Shazelle, Rupert Gayle, Candy Gloster and Mark Cyrus, the company’s stable of writers currently includes Alexander Larcombe and John King from Barbados.

“I think some of the best songwriters are within the Caribbean,” Berry stated. He noted that to date, Jamaica is clearly at the forefront and has proven that the island can produce world class songwriters. He disclosed to Pree Jamaica that C2W would be looking to add at least two Jamaican songwriters to its roster in the near future.

Berry was keen to point out that C2W is not only interested in publishing songs geared at Caribbean rhythms. “We are not alienating reggae or soca but our model is to write for the international artiste, we are simply writing for export,” he said.

Although the songs produced at the songwriting camp will target a particular artiste, there remain even wider possibilities for the catalogue. “The songs are put on hold for about a month with our partners,” Berry explained. “After that time the songs that are not taken go back into the systems of the publishers involved and those publishers promote the song to anyone and everyone.”

“I think some of the best songwriters are within the Caribbean,” Berry stated.

Candy Gloster (left), C2W songwriter from St. Vincent, and Rob “T’Ron” Wells from Canada.

Max Gousse, Senior VP of Island/Def Jam Records

Shazelle, Trinidadian singer/songwriter signed to C2W.

The company earns from multiple revenue streams such as, live performances, album sales and synchronisation or adaption for use in video games, movies and advertisements. Berry also highlighted C2W’s increased potential for profitability, as the company owns not only the copyright, but also the master, which allows it to become a one-stop shop. C2W is currently listed on the Jamaica Junior Stock Exchange, and is the Caribbean’s first publicly-listed and traded intellectual property company.

The company now boasts a catalogue of over 550 songs, surpassing the 120 songs proposed as the target in the first year of operations in its IPO prospectus. The songwriting camp is being staged to enhance this catalogue, taking the company even closer to its goal of realizing profits of over US$600,000 in 2013.

The camp is timely as global trade in creative goods has more than doubled in eight years, moving from $260.5 billion in 2002 to US$ 559.5 billion in 2010. This supports the philosophy of the regional music publisher to provide a platform to develop and export where possible the superb creativity and talent in the Caribbean.

(Information sourced from Breakthrough Communications press releases)


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