Road March and International Soca Monarch winner Neil “Iwer” George says when TT gets through the covid19 pandemic, he is going to set up a stage and people can “mash it up, shell it down and turn it over.”
He quoted the lyrics to his winning song Stage Gone Bad in a phone interview with Newsday on Wednesday about how he has been coping as an artiste given the spread of covid19.
Iwer said a good bit of his gigs were postponed but he was more concerned about people’s well-being.
“Once it is life and death people of TT and the world, I just want them to know anything with life and death they will get 100 per cent of my support. So I support the move for everyone to practise social distancing and try to keep themselves safe and get through this,” he said.
The spread of covid19 has resulted in the postponement or cancellation of several international, regional and local events. Iwer will not consider giving digital concerts as yet, he said. Some international acts have taken to digital platforms to continue their work and craft. US artiste John Legend live streamed a solo concert as part of the Together, at Home, an online concert series presented by the World Health Organization (WHO) and Global Citizen.
Iwer is taking the additional time to rest as, he had a long Carnival and is really glad for the rest.
Other artistes and their managers were also utilising the time in other ways.
Anson Soverall, music producer and Nailah Blackman’s manager said, covid19 has severely affected the entertainment industry.
He added that most gigs, events and carnivals have been rescheduled or cancelled.
He said a lot of artistes are using the time to be creative; some are spending it with family and others are using the time to write.
“It partly feels like a vacation for some and others are using it to put in work and be creative,” he said.
Soverall said a particular radio station is going to start doing digital concerts and has asked Soverall and his team to be a part of it. He did not disclose which radio station.
PR consultant and artiste representative Adanna Assoon said the entire entertainment and creative industry has been affected by covid19.
Assoon represents artistes like Patrice Roberts.
She said in a phone interview on Wednesday, “The topic of money management is a real conversation that is happening within all the circles when it comes to the creative industry.”
Assoon said Roberts was using the time to spend with family. She also said there are discussions around creative, digital projects but none had been settled upon.
But she said this provides an opportunity to push the creative envelope.
“It is my hope that there would be a music boom to be honest. I genuinely hope that creativity peaks and that the airwaves are flooded with great local content,” she said.
She said she noticed that people were consuming information online even more because of the additional free time and there were ways to engage audiences online since consumption has increased.
“My client Triniboi Joocie who is based in London already released a track/video called Quarantine which was of course motivated by this present situation,” she said.
Marvin “Swappi” Davis said he was taking the time presented by the standstill in the industry to spend time with his family and doing home renovations.
Swappi said he had saved the money earned during this year’s Carnival but hoped that the standstill passes over as soon as possible.
“Financially it will definitely have a dark cloud over the entertainment industry,” he said.
“But thank God I did the right thing from early which is saving up the little crumbs I made for Carnival 2020.”
Swappi said people should be wise, do what is required and stay safe.