October 21, 2020

Chune makes it easier for small Caribbean music artistes to become the next rising stars


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chune.-640x357By Bradley Wint  From WYRALIZE

Anyone living in the Caribbean can confirm the fact that it takes tons of hard work to become the next rising star, whether you’re in the entertainment, fashion, or arts industry. One of the biggest problems is the lack of proper recruitment and development channels to get these potential artistes to the big stage.

A Trinidadian start-up called Chune plans to change that by using the power of the Internet and partnering with various music production studios help develop a formal channel for upcoming music artistes to have their voices heard. Their main focus at the launch stage is on talent discovery and exposure. Rather than having recording studios decide what’s hot and what’s not, Chune has developed a mobile phone app that allows the average user like you and me to rate new talent, to filter out the good from the not so good.

ChuneAds_300 x 250Let’s face it, there are many good Caribbean musicians out there but unless you have many connections or a lot of money, your music career would be well over before it even started. Another major problem Chune is trying to solve is the issue of popularizing genres of music such as jazz, hip-hop, and alternative rock that are not as popular on the Caribbean airwaves in comparison to reggae, dancehall, calypso and soca. Most internationals look at the Caribbean and automatically think “reggae” because of the popularity Jamaica has gotten on the International market. Soca is slowly gaining some ground as well, but there is so much more talent out there that is being wasted because these potential artistes have no real avenue of expressing themselves and being taken seriously.

They’ve detailed some of the major issues in a blog post:

Caribbean artists have long struggled to have their artistic voice heard. Of course there are those who have gained unparallelled success, however, these numbers pale in comparison to the amount of artists that have yet to get widespread support across the Caribbean. These artists, while gifted, are still relatively unknown even within their home country. This now presents an issue where there are thousands maybe even millions of Caribbean music tracks that are not heard by the masses locally, regionally and internationally.

However the issue doesn’t stop there. There is also a forgotten section of Caribbean music. This section relates to the hits of old. Access to music of the past is extremely difficult and as such these hits which should last a lifetime, transcending generations, only last as long as memory permits.

Caribbean music is not only limited to Calypso, Soca, Reggae and Dancehall. Caribbean artists have added their own personal touch in many other genres such as Jazz, Hip Hop and even Alternative Rock. The mindset of Caribbean music only being seasonal and limited to only certain genres must be eradicated, but how can this be done?

The Chune app will level the playing field by offering newer artistes the opportunity to have their music heard by a Caribbean audience. They’ve partnered with various up-and-coming production studios and radio stations to bring in the initial batch of talent to the online library and spread content over the online airwaves, but it doesn’t mean that anyone who isn’t signed yet doesn’t have a chance. They’ll also be using these agencies as an avenue to help upcoming artistes on Chune to finally be able to record and publish their songs in a professional environment without having to fork out huge sums of of money or jump through hoops to get anywhere.

Even though Chune welcomes as much new talent as possible, all candidates still have to go through a screening process before their music goes live.

The app itself will feature a plethora of ways to find new music, whether it be by genre, random playlists, or by popularity. There will also be a list of premium/featured artists for those who are looking for a bigger boost in exchange for a small fee. Users can rate and comment on any song, with more social integration (e.g. Facebook, Twitter) and the option to download songs being added to later iterations of the app.

So how do the folks at Chune plan to monetize all this and still deliver a free experience to the end user? As mentioned before, there will be a featured lists where artistes can pay a small premium to boost their songs to the front. They also plan to show small banner ads (nothing to clutter the app itself though). They did mention that their initial phase wouldn’t put too much focus on making money but rather building a solid and loyal audience like how Steve Jobs built an Apple following.

When I heard about Chune’s objectives, it reminded me somewhat of SoundCloud, but more Caribbean focused. As mentioned again in the blog post, there needs to be a change in the way the Caribbean music industry is operated if they plan to harbour new talent.

Radio stations can no longer be the source for new, old and overall great music. Therefore, a supplement is needed to boost the Caribbean music industry, so that music lovers will not hear only what is deemed popular and great music. A shift in the paradigm is needed, which moves the control of played music away from a selected few to the most important stakeholder which is you, the listener. However this can only happen if there is a mutual meeting place of artist and listener. A place where artists will willingly share their voice to listeners who are ready to accept something new and different to what is playing on the airways.

Chune will be officially launched on November 22, 2013, where they plan to reveal more details about the much anticipated mobile app. We’ll be there, so stay tuned for more information about this development.

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