Last Wednesday, the Montserrat Arts Council facilitated access to a songwriting masterclass presented by two international producers,
Local musicians joined more than 50 participants logged on to Zoom for Writers’ Delight – A song writing masterclass. Hosted by Trinidad-born and US-based Darryl Gervais, alongside Montserrat-born and UK-based Vallis ‘Shaker HD’ Weekes, the session ran for a total of five hours. Topics covered included Song Structure, What Makes a Good Song, Writing Better Lyrics, The 7 C’s of Song Writing and much more.
Darryl Gervais is an international songwriter who has penned hits such as Radar, Love It, Jam Dong and Boss Lady for Kes and Tender, Touch and Good by Patrice Roberts, just to name a few. Vallis ‘Shaker HD’ Weekes is a talented music producer and songwriter who has been making waves with his work around the region, with writing accolades such as Hulk by Blaxx, Make It Work by Edwin Yearwood and Sweetness by Marzville to his name. Weekes also produced the Emerald Boys Anthem with Jadine “Soca Deva” Greenaway earlier this year.
The Montserrat Arts Council covered the US$0 cost for all participants who registered via the Arts Council, thereby making it easily accessible to local songwriters.
Singer and songwriter Nia Golden found the masterclass useful. “We got a little guide that we could use to start a song with or make sure that it has all of the necessities for a good song. I would have loved to learn a little more about the lyrics to production process especially when you’re only providing the lyrics.”
The Arts Council thanked the Director of the Disaster Management Coordination Agency (DMCA), Alvin Ryan, for providing a comfortable conference room with reliable internet connection in order for the local participants to be fully involved in the online session.
Director of the Arts Council, Kenneth Silcott, remarked that the “initiative came at the perfect time as it … ties in with MAC’s effort to improve the quality of music produced on Montserrat. Although we were a bit disappointed in the number of persons who registered, we were impressed by the engagement and participation of those who attended. It was a great session and we are grateful to Shaker HD for reaching out to the Arts Council with this project.”