ECCO Chairman Honoured!


medal received

[ECCO Chairman McCarthy Marie (right) as he received a Medal of Honour from President of the Commonwealth of Dominica, Hon. Charles Angelo Savarin](Photo Credit: Charles James)

November can certainly be heralded as a month of acclaim for ECCO Chairman, McCarthy Marie , who, this month, was bestowed with a Medal of Honour from the Government of the Commonwealth of Dominica and an award from the University of the West Indies Open Campus Dominica.

The citation for Marie’s Medal of Honour lauds his exemplary contribution to the Music Industry, within Dominica and the Eastern Caribbean over the past 35 years. Among his many achievements, Mr Marie is applauded for his establishment of “Mark Off” recording studio, and for his work as the Chairman of the Eastern Caribbean Collective Rights Organization (ECCO) inc.

Specific mention is made of Marie’s advocacy initiatives for greater public education on the proper administration of intellectual property and copyright laws; and his contribution in establishing a framework to ensure major music users within Dominica obtain licenses and pay copyright fees.

Ten days after his receipt of the Medal of Honour, Marie was, on November 14th, presented with an award from UWI Open Campus Dominica for his contribution to arts and culture in Dominica. A UWI graduate with a Bachelor of Arts in Economics and History, and a Master’s Degree in Agricultural economics, Marie was recognized for his tenure as an Economics lecturer from 1977 to 1979 and for regularly providing “unbiased views on social and economic condition in Dominica.” Marie was also applauded for his work with the World Intellectual Property Organization of the UN (WIPO) involving training of legal practitioners and the judiciary in the OECS and Haiti on copyright law and administration.

The Board of Directors, Staff and Members of ECCO formally congratulate Mr Marie on these great achievements.


Breaking Songwriter’s Block!

You’re driving along the highway and it hits you! An epic song title and an idea definitely worth developing. You repeat the idea over and over to yourself as you drive so you don’t forget it. Once home, You rush to your laptop and jot down those golden words! Yup! This song is going to be a hit.

Thirty minutes later, you stare at laptop screen and still all you have written is the song title. Maybe you need a little breather. You get up, stretch and head out outside for a little bit. Some time basking in nature’s ambience should do the trick and get your creative juices flowing.

It’s now half an hour later,and you are back at that computer screen, ready to create your lyrical masterpiece. You jot down a few words… Umm nah.. That doesn’t work. So you hit the delete button. You type some more, only to delete it again. This goes on for another half hour. For some reason you just can’t seem to find a way to develop that awesome song title and capture the essence of your idea. To say your frustration is building is an understatement! How do you work around this mental block?

Ideas written on a crumpled piece of paper next to a note pad

Robin Frederick’s “The 30-Minute Songwriter” offers songwriting tips and techniques which may help you break through that dreaded songwriter’s block.

Expanding the title’ is one technique presented by Frederick. In his book, Frederick notes that “in a song lyric, the title is often part of a longer phrase, which turns up at important places in a song, often the first or last line of the chorus.” Frederick therefore recommends that songwriters spend a 30-minute session expanding the title of their songs into a full statement or question.

Frederick provides examples using the song title “Break the Chain.” In his expansion of the title he wrote the following:
“I need to break this chain”
“I don’t know how to break this chain.”
And “Are you gonna break this chain”

Frederick points out that each expansion suggests a different song. So with this exercise, one is able to brainstorm various angles and possible storylines from just one song title. The thing to do now is to select the expanded title which most resonates with you!

Once a title line has been selected, Frederick believes it is important to spend some time ‘getting to know that title line.’ This is accomplished, he says, by taking the time to come up with questions about the title line which you would like answered in your song or questions which you think your listeners might have.

Examples of questions provided by Frederick are:
“What does the title line mean?”
“How do you feel about it?”
“Why is it important to you?”
“What do you want to tell other people about it?”
“what happened that made you feel this way?”

As a more practical example, let us work with one of the expanded title lines provided by Frederick: “I need to break this chain,” and think of any questions which this title line brings to mind.

Ok we’ve come up with a few:
• What does the chain signify?
• What went wrong to make us want to break this chain?
• Why haven’t we broken the chain before?
• Is there something making it difficult to break this chain?

Can you think of any more questions which listeners or you would want answered based on the title line?

The next step of getting to know the title line is to then answer the questions. Frederick says answers should be written in short phrases, no more than nine or ten words long.

Another activity which Frederick recommends, rather than simply getting to know the title line, is “Creating a Lyric Path.” Fredrick explains that “a lyric path leads the listener from section to sections using universal statements that underlie many song lyrics.”

Frederick offers that in song verses, the lyric path approach can be used by finishing one or more of the following statements:

• “I am…”
• “You are…”
• “We are…”
• “I feel like this business…”
• “I/you don’t understand…”
• “I never expected…”
We tried using two of those lyric paths with the “I need to break the chain” lyric title from earlier and came up with

“I am tired of feeling this way”
“I never expected to become so caught up on you”

Meanwhile, Fredrick in his ‘The 30-Minute Songwriter” says that in devising a lyric path for the chorus one should include the song title and one or more of the following universal lyric path ideas:
• “I just need to tell you…”
• “All I really want is…”
• “The reason I’m saying this is…”
• “These feelings are like…”
• “My emotions feel like…”

Here are few lines we came up with for the chorus based on the “I need to break the chain” title line

“My emotions feel like a train wreck”
“All I really want is to be wrapped up in your arms
“But you don’t see me at all
“So I need to break this chain that binds me to you
“I need to break this chain”

So next time you find yourself struggling to break through songwriter’s block consider using these 30-minute songwriting exercises devised by Frederick. Meanwhile for more 30-minute exercises and further guidance purchase a copy of Frederick’s “The 30-Minute Songwriter,” which is currently available on Amazon Kindle at an average price of US$5.00
Frederick, R. (2014). “The 30-Minute Songwriter: Write, Develop, Polish and Pitch Your Songs in 30 Minutes a Day”

Photo retrieved from:

The Songwriting Cycle: Getting Stuck…and Unstuck

—Post written by Christine “Chrycee” Charlemagne


TC Brown“I didn’t get started in music, music started in me, from as far as I know… I didn’t choose music, it chose me,” said a clearly passionate TC Brown during his member spotlight interview with ECCO.

Widely known for his songwriting, music composition, productions, as a former Calypso Monarch of St Lucia, and as a senior radio announcer on the Wave 94.5, TC reminisced that at age five, he’d sit assiduously under his parent’s Bagatelle home, creating his very own drum kit. He was also a part of the Cathedral Junior Choir. As he grew older his passion for music led him to perform at local hotels, traveling the world performing on cruise ships, and even a tour of the United Kingdom!

TC says his music inspiration comes from life, noting that he finds joy in simple pleasures that people sometimes take for granted.

Asked if there was any one thing he could pinpoint as his greatest music accomplishment to date, TC responded that he considers every completed music composition or song his biggest accomplished. “I feel fully satisfied every time I finish creating a song, even if the world will never hear it. I also like the feeling that I am at an advanced level in playing and reading classical guitar music.”

With an ultimate goal, to one day write a song that the entire world will sing in different languages, TC admits that being an island-based music professional certainly has its challenges and difficulties. One of which, he says, is the fact that there is no structured music infrastructure or music industry. This is he says has led to a “hand-to-mouth” approach, which will limit the profitability of music within the Eastern Caribbean in the long run.

TC Brown 2Vehemently, TC added that perhaps the biggest challenge with music in the Eastern Caribbean, is getting people to see and understand the strength and power of consuming ours. This overall lack of support and appreciation which musicians, composers, and artistes face within the Eastern Caribbean, continuously causes them to look towards the global audience, said TC.

Yet with a positive nod, TC said he believes that if as a people, we can begin to appreciate and consume music not just from Jamaica and Trinidad, but from the entire Caribbean region, the possibilities for growth and success of Caribbean music would be endless.

For his country, St Lucia, TC, is hopefully that with time, the music structure would transform, creating a viable industry, beneficial to all members; one with great respect for music and arts; a strong and stable music industry, which can turn a Marchand Girl to a Rihanna!

Keep abreast with TC Brown’s music journey via:

Instagram: @tcbrownlslu

Twitter: @officialTCBrown

—Written by Christine “Chrycee” Charlemagne