Humbled beyond measure. This is the phrase which resonated during our getting-to-know-ECCO-member chat with Shealdon Riley.
Born in Roseau Dominica, but currently residing in Antigua, Shealdon is a composer and music producer who over the years has worked with a number of the Caribbean’s music icons, from Claudette Peters (Antigua), to Doggy Slaughter (Trinidad), Erphaan Alves (Trinidad) and TOK out of Jamaica; to name a few. Shealdon is also the composer/producer behind ‘Chooking Anna’ by Lion King; the leading Groovy Soca Song from Antigua from 2009.
But even as he spoke of his collaborations with some of the Caribbean’s greats, Shealdon said that his vision, goal and passion is to discover new talent and feature them on his productions in order to help them gain exposure. “For me, it’s not about the money,” said Shealdon. “It is more about the vision to see a viable market for those in my country and international market, with talent and potential to move forward.”
To further this vision, Shealdon says he works very closely with producer, Kendal Laurent of Music Box Studio in Dominica, to produce unique compositions. Additionally in 2014, Shealdon decided to rebrand his music company from Black Pineapple Studio, to Goodup’s Blakk Media & Car Rental Services. This rebranding initiative he says is part of his plan to be able to make a greater investment into the recording art form in Antigua, through a multi-business strategy.
Shealdon offers that though he fully enjoys music production, he finds that his greatest joy comes from orchestrating a track from start to finish, by guiding assisting producers and musicians in the direction which would create the very best music arrangement. Shealdon sang nothing but praises for the team of producers, staff, and supporters, who he says contribute greatly to the success of Blakk Media.
“I am grateful to have dedicated, hard-working, talented individuals to work with to create unique music arrangements” says Shealdon. “Kendal “Music Box” Laurent—my right hand assistance, who is a master Keyboardist and drum machine specialist! Possibly the best in the Eastern Caribbean! Jacque “Jac: Leathan, a Great Programmer from Atlanta; and the extended members of our team, like, Kimdale Mackellar (classical keyboardist), June Milles (Keyboardist for old School Soca); Vincent Nicholas (Talent Search) and Rupert M Joseph (Studio Executive Member).”
A firm believer that one can achieve anything they set their minds to, Shealdon says he intends to break through the barriers which currently make it difficult for music from the Eastern Caribbean to be appreciated world-wide. This he believes can be achieved through increased collaborations between musicians, artists and composers through-out the region.
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—Post written by Christine “Chrycee” Charlemagne