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Ok I want to say that it is time to form an organization or union to represent musicians. I have been very impressed this year by Voice the 2016 Soca Monarch and i want to take this time to congratulate him on his victory and his winning song, Life has really been good to him and that opening line...From you wake up this morning..Yous a winner" is such a fantastic opening line..I have to congratulate Voice for his song Cheers to Life because it represents what young musicains can do and also that our young musicians need our support. So again I am calling for the creation of an organisation or a union to represent musicians that helps them negotiate the local and international market. Big up Machel Montano who has been working to open doors for our music abroad and a special congratulations to Bunji Garlin and Maximus Dan for their award at the 2016 Grammys. So to all who listening write up the constitution and let me be the fist member to pay my dues.

More Love  -- Len "Boogsie" Sharpe

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Amen to that ... if you are serious about making it a career then its all about marketing and strategy! Nigel Campbell has been lobbying for this for a long time

Me too! Would support anything for progress and for the upliftment/development and in the interest of our artistes.

It's about time we get serious and make this happen.

Very interesting concept and long overdue. Pan is moving in leaps and bounds internationally and Trinidad needs to get out of the box so that pan players can be really classified as musicians. A musician union is important for growth and progress. 

It would be wise to study international models that work and shape the one best representative of all Trinidad musicians.

Best regards

Yes Boogsie, it's time. I, and other members of my band joined the Vancouver Musicians Union in 1962 as probably the first time steel band members. We had to do it or face trouble when playing in hotels and other spots around the city, which were closely monitored by the Union to ensure we were charging no less than their rates and were financial members. If properly managed and having clear policies and objectives, it can be of significant help to the fraternity. My advice would be to proceed cautiously with haste. There must be good models out there to follow.

It's near to impossible to have any kind of musicians' union or any type of association in Trinidad and maybe Tobago because of who we are.

When I returned to Trinidad a few years ago I tried to find out why there was not a film producers union or guild. There was so much talk about having a film industry, I thought it imperative to have one.

What I found out was that the problem was that everyone wants to be the leader and nobody wants anyone else to lead.

Pan Trinbago is a kind of union or lobbying force for the pan fraternity and... need I say more.

When musicians or any other group get serious about having a lobbying presence through a union or association, then we can start talking about a union for musicians or even one for pan musicians. Until then, crab in barrel mentality will keep us in the barrel.

Notably I was instrumental in starting up several associations of film makers across the Caribbean, that are all still vibrant working bodies, but Trinidad is still lagging behind.

Which is why Jamaica is so far ahead in the cultural industries. They have associations or bodies that lobby on their behalf and the government listens. More than 10 years ago, Jamaica zero rated every single input to the creative industries, every button and thread, every instrument, camera or whatever.

Our government decides not only to tax these inputs, but to add more to the list of taxable inputs to the creative industries, putting us at a disadvantage not only to Jamaica and Barbados but the entire world.

For an industry to survive you need three pillars: education, associations and an enabling environment.

In Trinidad we have none of the above.

Wayne: Yuh keeing it real, boy!!! TOO REAL!!!

well written wayne

 too many chiefs and no indians

I wholeheartedly endorse this statement Mr. Sharpe.  Too many people taking advantage of artistes.  

Boogsie my brother,,,you can get it done. People will listen to you,and follow your lead.They already copying all your past music. Talk with Machel,and get a plan set up,,,don't wait on nobody,and think positive. If anybody can get this done,it's you. BLESSINGS.

Way to go boogsie this is something that has been on your mind for a very long time i am glad it finally came out.Let's see who has the testicular fortitude to stand up for musicians and pan musicians alike.

Great idea Boogs, for far too long individual pan musicians have been fighting the issues by themselves and nobody ever hears them. If there was a union, by now we would have had the headquarter built , the Greens idea would have had the union's input, etc.

Please allow me to make another suggestion: EVERY YEAR THERE ARE SCORES OF NEW CALYPSOES  (most of them tailored for pan) YET THEY SELDOM GET AIR PLAY, HENCE WE HAVE A LOT OF BACK IN TIMES TUNES PLAYED FOR PANORAMA, SOMETHING I AM  NOT ALTOGETHER HAPPY WITH. I URGE PANTRINBAGO AND TUCO TO APPROACH THE GOVERNMENT FOR A RADIO STATION TO AIR  CALYPSOES AND PAN MUSIC ALL YEAR ROUND. THE STATE OWNS FOUR RADIO STATIONS AND AT THE MOMENT THE GOVERNMENT IS HAVING CONSULTATIONS AS TO THE FUTURE OF THESE STATIONS. I THINK ONE SHOULD BE DESIGNATED FOR CALYPSO AND STEELPAN MUSIC.

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