The Barbados Investment and Development Corporation (BIDC) has received financing from the Caribbean Development Bank (CDB) in an amount equivalent to US $149,950 towards the cost of a Digitalisation of Caribbean Music and Capacity Building Initiative Project and intends to apply a portion of the proceeds of this financing to eligible payments under a contract for which this invitation is issued.  Payments by CDB will be made only at the request of the BIDC and upon approval by CDB, and will be subject in all respects to the terms and conditions of the Financing Agreement.  The Financing Agreement prohibits withdrawal from the financing account for the purpose of any payment to persons or entities, or for any import of goods, if such payment or import, to the knowledge of CDB, is prohibited by a decision of the United Nations Security Council taken under Chapter VII of the Charter of the United Nations.  No party other than the BIDC shall derive any rights from the Financing Agreement or have any claim to the proceeds of the Financing.

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ahkeem3What initially began as an intimate mode of communication—poetry, bars, lyrics and song to express to his love the way she made him fell—soon became his means of life. As A#keem allowed his passion to spill onto paper; his smooth expressive voice resonating in the air around him; more and more, the feeling that this was his destiny began to set in.

Yet the Grenadian born songwriter, artiste and performer says it wasn’t until his three-year stint in Trinidad and Tobago, from 2012 to 2015, to pursue his studies that he knew for sure that his calling was a musical one.

“During that period, being away from home and family, I spent a lot time observing, thinking and soul searching,” A#keem recalls. “It was then, after having learnt a great deal about recording and the music industry that I decided there was no other path for me, but the path to this musical mission.”

He describes his music as “Urban-Reggae,” and says what drives him musically is sharing messages which induce happiness, boosts self-esteem and encourages greater self-worth and individuality. A#Keem is determined to use his talent to affect permanent and positive change the world over. He’s easily inspired by his surroundings; adventures, people, sight, experiences and his observation serve as his musical muse.

Ambitious, resilient and adventurous, A#keem attributes his music success to hard-work and dedication. Sharing the stage with renowned artists like Ashanti, Sizzla, and Ja Rule, are a few of his most treasured memories and by his account, amazing accomplishments to date.

Life in music, seeking to establish a success career, has not come without its challenges for A#Keem.  As Eastern Caribbean-based artiste, A#Keem says rallying support from the general public is perhaps one of the greatest challenges.

“Eastern Caribbean music should be a lot further than it is today, and that can only be possible with the help of the people being proud, acclaiming and sharing their culture, and not just left to the artiste themselves,” he states. Wistfully he adds, “In the region and in my country I hope to see the music industry explode in becoming so great that it brings all the focus to us, to our culture, to our story, to our Caribbean, let the world see our true value.”

Finding a team of dedicated individuals who believe in the mission has been another noteworthy challenge for the Urban-Reggae artist. Yet A#Keem believes that with determination one can find a way around every challenge. He therefore seeks to continuously educate himself in all aspects of the music industry, while taking advantage of the internet and technology find opportunities to grow his career.

“Self-sufficiency is very useful and sometimes necessary in the journey to success,” he advises We certainly agree!

A#keem Tidbits:


ECCO: When you’re not doing music, what are you doing?

A#Keem: When I am not doing music I spend time searching for adventures, knowledge and inspiration so that I can better equip my music for the battle ahead.

ECCO: What are your other passions?

A#Keem: Besides music, I am also very passionate about the current state of the world, the lack of values and the drastic increase in focus on materialistic and cosmetic things, hence the reason why I fuse music with a positively influential message.

ECCO: What makes you laugh?

A#Keem: Almost anything, both good and bad makes me laugh. I’ll laugh at a funny movie, or at someone telling me I “can’t” make it in the music industry.

ECCO: Name one thing about yourself that most people won’t know

A#Keem: One thing about myself that most people won’t know is that I have accomplished 2 out of the 3 life goals I set for myself many years ago, namely;
1. To work as a bartender
2. To sing in with a live band


—Written by Christine “Chrycee” Charlemagne


cropped-ecco-logo-sc.pngA society of writers & publishers, the Eastern Caribbean Collective Organization of Music Rights (ECCO) is a Collective Management Organization (CMO) responsible for the administration of performance rights and the licensing of public use of music. Through reciprocal agreements with CMOs throughout the World, ECCO represents and can license virtually the whole worldwide repertoire of copyright music for public performance, broadcast, cable transmission, online and mobile use.

Essentially, ECCO serves as an intermediary body between writers & publishers and music users, providing a one-stop avenue for music users to license their public use of a world-wide catalogue of music, and in turn a one-stop collection and distribution avenue for ECCO members (writers, composers and publishers) for royalties due to them from the public use of music emanating from a number of sources, worldwide.

Simply put; ECCO licenses users of Copyright Music and pays Writers and Publishers whose music was performed, in the form of royalties.  That is all ECCO exists to do. A role which according to the organization’s audited financial statements, ECCO is becoming better at; producing growth year after year which exceeds national averages.

Membership in ECCO is not a benefit membership whereby due are paid out to members yearly simply as a result of their membership. Rather, members are paid royalties based on performance logs and data from licensed broadcasters and events. Therefore, it should be clearly understood that no performances means no Royalties. Further, considering the role of ECCO, it should be noted that it is the responsibility of the individual songwriter and/or his publisher to seek out usage of his songs in as many ways as possible.10849765_847622648636923_8512688286548424058_n

In fact membership of ECCO is similar to that of a Credit Union, where although you are a member of the Credit Union, you do not get free money given to you. Rather you can only draw out what you put in.  Therefore, in the case of Songwriter members of ECCO, if your music is performed in a licensed venue or by a licensed Broadcaster you will get Royalties from ECCO.  If your works are not performed you will not be entitled to any Royalties.

ECCO will therefore not perform fraud by giving to members what they are not entitled to. In fact giving free money to any member means that the members of ECCO or its Affiliate Societies whose musical works are regularly performed are being disadvantaged. Further, this would serve as a breach of ECCO’s mandate resulting in penalty action from overseeing bodies and affiliate societies.

Despite ECCO’s success in collecting licensing revenue, the organization has seen a lower percentage of national performances across the ECCO territories. It is an undisputed fact, that currently only an average of between 5% and 10% of Music performed locally is written by ECCO members.  Therefore out of every $1M which ECCO distributes, an average of only $50,000 to $100,000 will be due to ECCOs 600 plus members, as their share of distributable revenue.

Considering this, ECCO General Manager, Steve Etienne believes it is essential that focus be placed on establishing other vital areas of the music industry within the Eastern Caribbean. “I have been advocating for years that what we should be concentrating on is building a Music Industry focused on Exports and to promote the Business of Music, other than wanting to tear down the only successful pillar of the nascent Music Industry,” Etienne offers.

He believes that it is important that others take a cue from ECCO and set up other components of the Music industry that can take its place alongside ECCO.  This, Etienne says, can be supported by ECCO, to do all the things which ECCO cannot do.

The formation and establishment of Musicians Associations, Promoters Associations, Artist and Writer development forums, Audio Visual productions entities, and the development of policies which can influence the creation and performance of more local content; are a few examples recommended by Etienne as necessary components need to boost growth of Eastern Caribbean music industry.

“ECCO should not be the only game in town,” Etienne says. “Other entities should use their areas of expertise to create critical mass and bring real benefits to all participants in the Music Industry. For example, in the case of St Lucia, were ECCO is headquartered, we are hopeful that the Government and people of St. Lucia will use the strategy document produced for the country by the European firm, SOUND DIPLOMACY, as a template for building a viable export oriented music industry. ECCO is ready and willing to play its part in this endeavor.”



DSC00068 - CopyIt all but consumed him. Day and night, sweet melodies replayed in his head. Over and over. Everything he saw, touched, felt and heard, evoked within him the need to craft his thoughts and feelings into beautiful lyrical masterpieces.  His fingers twitched to get it all out on paper. His lips buzzed to sing out loud the songs which radiated from his heart. As his need to create sweet music grew—to a point where it seemed to become even more important than the job he then held, and everything else in his life for that matter!—it became undoubtedly clear to Bomani that music was his true calling.

The Saint Vincent & the Grenadines born songwriter, performer and recording artiste describes himself an optimist and an adventurer who loves life and music to no end. He recalls this his love-affair with music began during his secondary school days, songwriting and singing. Upon his graduation he made a concerted effort to become aligned with musicians, composers and other songwriters in his home island.

Bomani describes his music and sound as “an eclectic Afro Caribbean Calypso/Ragga Soca blend with hints of broader music styles” which have influenced him on his journey. Truly his music reflects the essence of what it’s like to be a Caribbean native.

He draws his inspiration from the wonderful world around him—the universe, God, his environment, friends, family, the stranger he unexpectedly runs into, and even his dreams. Through his music he seeks to share a message of love and happiness for and among people.

Among his numerous music experiences to date, the Vincentian artiste says one of his most amazing moments centered around the release of his very first Album, “Deep” and the subsequent international tour. “Deep,” featured several of his earlier hits which led him to perform the world over. He adds his capturing of the St Vincent & the Grenadines 2004 Road March title and the OECS Soca Monarch title in St Lucia in 2005 as highly memorable accomplishments. A number of Bomani’s songs have also been signed to giant Caribbean music label, VP Records.


He credits his successes to date to his dedication and willingness to work hard, a formidable team and support system and an ability to remain focused on music creation and promotion even in difficult times. And there certainly have been difficult times. As a professional artiste, Bomani notes that one of his biggest challenges in establishing his music career has been a struggle for adequate radio airplay throughout the year in St Vincent. This shortfall, he says, makes it difficult for the general public to become familiar with new material. Related to his challenge is lack of performance platforms for sustainable growth and development.

Yet Bomani and his team refuse to be limited by those challenges; so they are constantly seeking alternative means of music promotion and networking, while exploring performance opportunities regionally and internationally.

With his determined spirit, soulful voice and infectious melodies we have absolutely no doubt that Bomani will achieve his ultimate goal; his music transcending time and generations, touching  people across the world; inspiring aspiring artistes as those before him inspired him.

In fact if you listen to his music releases from over the years it’ll become evident to you that he’s already achieving his mission.


DSC00034ECCO: When you’re not doing music, what are you doing?

Bomani: When I’m not doing music you can find me chillin’ with friends and family at home, watching movies, or at the beach, or at any of several of the hangout spots in SVG having a few drinks and eating great food.

ECCO: What are your passions besides music?

Bomani: Visual arts, helping with the development of young people and cricket.

ECCO: What makes you laugh?

Bomani: Great stand-up comedy and political and social satire make me laugh and good jokes generally.

ECCO: Name one thing about yourself that most people won’t know

Bomani: Most people probably won’t know that I’m a picky eater.

ECCO: Who are you music mentors? Music influences?

Bomani: There have been several individuals who have mentored me over the years here in SVG, Mr Lennox Bowman, Mr Franklyn Edwards who is also my manager. I’ve had great conversations with legendary Vincentian calypsonians like Winston Soso and Becket that I consider as great council. My musical influences over the years have been wide enough to include artistes from several genres such as Peter Tosh, Berres Hammond, Stevie Wonder, Elton John, Gladys Knights, Whitney Houston, Luthor Vandross, Seal, David Rudder, the original Burning Flames, Krossfyah, Winston Soso and Becket.

Stay connected with Bomani on his Musical Journey! Follow him on Social Media 

Facebook ……………….  Bomani Charles (

YouTube ………………..  BOMANI SONGS (

Soundcloud ……………  BomaniMusic (

Instagram ……………….  @bomani_live

Twitter …………………..   @bomani300

Written by Christine “Chrycee” Charlemagne

Fundamentals of Music Business: Drafting a Music Business Plan

Ah! The ever so important Business Plan! In our last post we delved into the importance of a Business Plan for Music Professionals, and provided you with a template—compliments the recently held Music Business Seminar in Barbados by ACCS, COSCAP and CDB—which you can utilize as you create your very own business plan.

Without doubt a business plan is vital to your music success and proves an essential tool which will assist you propel your music career and business further. It’ll come in super handy when you approach lenders and investors in your attempts to seek to build the capital needed for various business ventures. It’ll help you outline to any employees you may hire, the vision and goal of the company, and what’s needed from them to ensure your business continues to thrive.

But more so, a business plan is for you, says Barbados Investment & Development Corporation (BIDC), noting that; “Going through the process of planning, researching and laying out all aspects of the business gives you a much clearer idea of the business itself and your role and responsibility as owner. It also allows you to determine if the business in its current form can work and if it will be profitable in the short or long run.”

Yes creating a business allows you to gain necessary insight, economically, practically and otherwise, which will allow you to make carefully selected and informed decisions. After all without an understanding of the music business and the market which you plan on targeting, you’ll pretty much be making decisions and spending your limited resources (financial and otherwise) BLINDLY!—with hit or miss results. Can you really afford that? Or would it not be better to take the time out to create a business plan for your music career; which you can of course tailor as the months and years roll on, to ensure continued success?

So let’s jump right in! First click HERE to review the previously provided template which outlines what you should include in your business plan.

Now while all of these areas area, dependent on your overall goal, you should more on certain aspects. As a guide, please see below excerpt from BIDC’s Business Plan workbook.

What to include in your business plan.jpg

Let us now zone in, in more detail, on a few of the areas which should be included in your business plan.

The Executive Summary

BIDC explains that the executive summary of your business plan should essentially be a “bite-sized version” of your entire business plan, which provides the reader with an overview of who you are, what you plan on doing, how you plan on doing it and why.

If you’re looking to raise money, BIDC says your executive summary should indicate how much money you’re seeking.

The executive summary should be short no longer than a page, and should seek to intrigue your reader. Remember that in most cases investors first review the summary to determine whether it’s worth reading the rest of the plan. So you want to have an engaging, informative and appealing summary.

According to BIDC, your summary should cover key points and issues relating to:

  • The business and its product
  • B) The market factors and opportunities
  • C) The financial needs and projections
  • D) Any special research results or technology considerations associated with the venture.

It’s important to note that although you will place your executive summary at the start of the business plan, considering that it is meant to provide an overview of the entire plan, you’ll want to write it last, using information from the other areas of your plan.

Company Summary/Business Data

As noted in our previous post, the company summary or business data section of your plan will discuss how your company was formed—for example whether it is a sole proprietorship or a partnership—as well as provide details of profit sharing.

Of uttermost importance in this section will be inclusion of the business’ goals and objectives.

BIDC explains that your goals will state what you plan to achieve, while your objectives will outline how you plan to achieve them. Your company objectives should therefore be SMART–specific, measurable, achievable, realistic and time bound, advises BIDC. This will help you to determine if they are working.

BIDC recommends breaking your objectives down into short term objectives which will be achieved within 1-3 years; medium term objectives, achievable within 3-5 years; and longer term goals, beyond the next five years.

Market /Industry Analysis

Conducting an Industry/Market Analysis for your business will definitely provide eye-opening for you. explains that a market assessment is designed to provide you with an idea of the complexities of your industry. It involves reviewing the economic, political and market factors which will influence the way the industry develops.

When you conduct your music industry analysis BIDC notes that you should seek to gain an understanding of, and describe the business environment in which you operate.

For example you may want to consider factors such as; is the music market expanding? Are music professionals earning more? What are the new music business trends which are emerging?

Based on information from BIDC we believe you should consider factoring some of the following In your market analysis:

  • How is the music industry structured;
  • Is it currently easy to get into and succeed in the music industry
  • Who is the market leader?
  • What makes him/her/them the market leader?

Additionally BIDC says your market analysis should include a competitor study. Here you will want to identify your three primary competitors and state what makes you stand out from your competitors.

We also came across an extremely helpful article from which gives more insight into conducting and writing the industry analysis. As per, in your industry analysis you should include, an industry overview; profit opportunities; technology; legal, economic and political factors of this industry; logistics and opportunities. Access the article HERE

Financial Plan

In this section BIDC says you should clearly describe the financial requirements of your business and yout plan to use any acquired funds. The following should be detailed:

  • How much money to you need to start your business and achieve your goals o
  • How much money will you need to borrow from external sources? (Friends and family, credit union or bank)
  • If you need a loan do you own any assets that could be used as collateral? (Such as property, vehicles or equipment)
  • How soon would the loan be needed?
  • How long would it take for your business to repay the loan?

Additionally BIDC notes that your financial plan should include a forecast which shows where your business intends to be financially in the near future.

“It should demonstrate the potential viability of your business. These projections should be based on your market research findings and are crucial in helping you to decide how much funding your business really needs. If you’re looking to secure a loan, projections also help lending agencies to determine whether to invest in your business or not.” says BIDC.

Your Income Statement, Cash Flow and Balance Sheet will assist in providing a financial forecast.

So it now time to get started on your music plan! Click HERE to download the full Business Plan Workbook from the Barbados Investment & Development Corporation (BIDC); a very detailed guide which will assist you in putting together an well-written, thorough business plan.


Barbados Investment & Development Corporation (BIDC) (n.d..) “Business Plan Workbook for Students.”

—Post Written by Christine “Chrycee” Charlemagne

Fundamentals of Music Business: Elements of a Business Plan


“The annoying business side of music is where the creative person often becomes an ostrich with his head in the sand.” While the visual of Patrick Hess’ comment may cause a chuckle, it is indeed a reality that many creatives are not versed in the business aspects of their crafts. This is certainly a leading factor behind why several extremely talented music creatives are never able to obtain noteworthy financial success in their careers. The indisputable fact is that music and business go hand-in-in.

As Patrick Hess sees it—and we certainly agree!—the balancing act of creative versus business should find its roots at the starter’s gate of a career in the music industry. “It’s something every wannabe artist needs to quickly understand before getting their heart and emotions wrapped up in the what-ifs the music industry sells every naively aspiring star,” says Patrick. It is imperative, he adds, that music creatives look at their potential careers through the eyes of an entrepreneur starting a business. After all, he states; “being savvy in the business is the only way a music professional can truly survive in the music industry.”

Gaining a better understanding of the Music Business is the key purpose of the seminar series recently launched by the Association of Caribbean Copyright Societies (ACCS) and the Caribbean Development Bank; piloted in Barbados through COSCAP. A key segment of the June 29th to July 1st hosting of the seminar focused on the development of a good music business plan. This was presented by the Barbados Investment & Development Corporation (BIDC).

Essentially a business plan is a written document which outlines a business’ goals and provides a detailed description of how the business will achieve those goals.

But why is a business plan important, anyway? Why should you as a music creatives even draft one?

According to BIDC, business plans are important because:

  • “Like a map it helps you to think through and plan the most effective route to get where you need to go by setting objectives and targets. It also allows you to monitor your performance, manage cash flow and keep the business on track once it has started.”
  • “It can convince potential lenders, investors and future employees that the business is worthy of their support. (Your business plan will help both you and your banker better understand your business. A knowledgeable and informed investor can be an invaluable asset to your business.)”
  • “It can show potential clients that your business is fully capable of supplying their needs, which is essential when bidding for contracts”

BIDC offers that a well drafted business plan will seek to answer the following common questions which are crucial to the success of any business:

  • What problem is your business solving and how?
  • Who is your ideal customer and how will they become aware of your business?
  • What tools or resources would your business need to operate effectively?
  • How much money would your business need to spend and make in order to be successful?

Meanwhile the following “Business Plan Template for Music Sector” was provided at the June 29th to July 1st Seminar in Barbados:

Company Summary – This section should discuss how your company is formed, is it a Sole Proprietorship? Partnership? The idea is to outline who is involved in your business and to identify how each of you will share in the profits.
Products and Services– Briefly describe what you plan to sell. In this climate certain things are close to impossible, but I’m sure your market research has taught you that. Typical products and services should include live streams, digital downloads, merchandise, live shows, song licensing and physical products (i.e. CD’s; etc.).
Marketing Analysis– As painful as it may seem, it will serve you well to put down on paper, the troubled state of the music industry. Be as frank as possible. Explain that the only way to survive this music biz recession is to come up with something new and improved. Your ultimate challenge is to turn this negative into a positive. Hopefully your band or music business is just the one to prove it.
Membership in A Collective Rights Society– Have you protected your intellectual property? Research shows that music businesses that benefit from the services of their local collective management organizations tend to do better in earning from those IP assets. Registration with your local collective management organization is an important part of operating your music business
Management Summary– This section is a perfect place to delegate responsibility to everyone on your team (do you have a team?). You may or may not have a personal or business manager and that is OK. Instead you should focus on your business relationships with any fellow musicians, band members, web designer, publicist and other parts of your team. It’s important to map out who does what before you launch your plan. It will be much easier to know who is responsible for what beforehand.
Financial Plan– Here is where you put your money where your music is.  Once you determine what you want to sell, you need to allocate money to marketing these products. You will also need to flesh out ways in which you will obtain this money. Will you put in money from your 9-5; request from family, friends or close relatives; or will you get a loan?

Additionally, crowdfunding—a financial funding avenue which has been gaining a lot of steam in today’s music industry—is another financing avenue to consider.

In our next blog post, we delve deeper into the elements of a Business Plan and what you should consider as you draft one. Click HERE for more on how to draft a music business plan.


Hess, P. (2014). “Balancing Creativity Against Business in the Music Industry” Retrieved from:

Barbados Investment & Development Corporation (BIDC) (n.d..) “Business Plan Workbook for Students.”


—Post Written by Christine “Chrycee” Charlemagne

Understanding Music Copyright and Licensing


Photo Retrieved from

Unfortunately, when it comes to public use of music—despite the myriad of information on music copyright and intellectual property—there are still some who hold the view that public use of music should come at zero cost.

We recently came across a passionate debate on Facebook where a music creator sought to explain to one gentleman the justification for music creators being compensated by way of royalties when their copyright music is publicly played/performed. Perhaps what was most disconcerting as we read through the online discourse, was the gentleman’s view that not only should store owners who publicly air music not be required to pay for music performance licenses, but his statement that music creators, artists and producers should in fact see the store owner’s performance of the musical work as advertisement and therefore should be the ones to pay the store owner.

Despite the absurdity of the gentleman’s comment, it brought to the forefront the fact that more still needs to be done to increase public awareness and understanding of music copyright, public performance and music licenses.

A BBC article explains that copyright is the legal right which protects the use of one’s work, once the idea has been physically expressed. UK-based Performing Rights Society (PRS) further notes that copyright is “a property right that subsists in a number of works.”

In musical works, such as a song which we hear over the radio, copyright exists in two forms—copyrights associated with the musical composition, and the copyrights associated with the sound recording. The differentiation between the two was examined in a previous blog post.

According to the BBC article, “Copyright law lays out a framework of rules around how that work can be used. It sets out the rights of the owner, as well as the responsibilities of other people who want to use the work.”

The following excerpt from the Saint Lucia Copyright Act, notes that “the owner of copyright shall have the exclusive rights to do, authorise or prohibit the following acts in relation to the work:

“ (a)   reproduction of the work;

“(b)   translation of the work;

“(c)    adaptation, arrangement or other transformation of the work;

“(d)   the first public distribution of the original and each copy of the work by sale, rental or otherwise;

“(e)    rental or public lending of the original or a copy of an audiovisual work, a work embodied in a sound recording, a computer programme, a data base or a musical work in the form of notation, irrespective of the ownership of the original or copy concerned;

“(f)    importation of copies of the work, even where the imported copies were made with the authorisation of the owner of copyright;

“(g)   public display of the original or a copy of the work;

“(h)   public performance of the work;

“(i)    broadcasting of the work;

“(j)    communication to the public of the work.”

 As is evident in the above, authorization or permission must therefore be obtained if any third party would like to make use of copyrighted works in the manners listed in the Saint Lucia Copyright Act. For the purpose of this article we will focus on the public performance of music.

According to PRS, “Music is performed ‘in public’ when it is performed outside what could be regarded as the domestic circle or home life. This includes music performances – of live and recorded music or music from TV and radio – in premises from concert halls to corner shops. For example, the composer’s audience in a workplace would be people at work, whether in an office or staff canteen, a factory or the kitchen of a restaurant. A workplace is obviously not a domestic environment and therefore a Music License is required if copyright music is being used.”

“If music is ever played on premises for customers, or staff, for example through radio, TV, CD, MP3 or computer speakers, or at live events, this is considered a public performance,” PRS further notes.

Meanwhile the Saint Lucia Copyright Act  expressly states that the copyright in a protected work is “infringed” by any individual—who is not the owner of the copyright—who publicly performs the protected work without permission or license. Considering that Copyright Acts across the globe are relatively standardized, the  same applies to copyright law worldwide. Therefore public use of copyright music without permission or license constitutes as an infringement and against the law across the globe.

Music licenses grant individuals and companies this permission to publicly perform music. Dependent on the copyright different music licenses may apply. For instance performance rights licenses in regards to the composition copyrights; and related rights licenses in regards to the sound recording copyrights. Collective Societies like ECCO exist to easily facilitate the administration of music rights, licensing the use of copyright music worldwide.




—Post Written by Christine “Chrycee” Charlemagne