THE Incredible Myron B is no longer, incredible or Myron B for that matter.
The 2018 extempo king will now be known as Calypso Nite. The reason for the switch, he told Sunday Newsday was to send a message through his moniker.
“About 12 years ago my team and I sat down and was looking at the way things were changing and we wanted to rebrand. We wanted to say who or what we are in a sentence, so Calypso, you know what you are getting and Nite, well is in the night time. Yes we will do the upbeat songs and the soca but is calypso we are packaging.”
Christened Myron Bruce, the 39-year-old said the concept of the entertainer has changed and now is the right time to make a shift with the understanding of the power of having a digital presence. That shift is what made Sunday Newsday reach out to Bruce. His extempo news on social media, which gathers over 100,000 views per episode, was formulated about eight years ago but only materialised last year. It is one of his ways of moving with the changing times.
“I am a digital marketer by profession so I have been studying how the social media landscape has been working and how it will shift. The evolution has shifted the way people consume entertainment, people are coming online for their entertainment so entertainers must not only be able to entertain but to generate content” Bruce said in response to why he began doing his extempo news series.
In true Myron B style, Bruce uses comedy and video editing skills to touch on timely topics in roughly five-minute segments. He has touched on topics like the Venezuelan migrant registration, decriminalisation of marijuana, the arrest of MP Marlene Mc Donald, covid19 and all associated with it including a suggestion by US President Donald Trump to use disinfectant to treat the virus.
He added: “I have always been ahead of the curve. So far it has been profitable, we have gained corporate sponsorship and it is working out well for us. We are focused on not just creating content but monetising the content that we create. I have been using YouTube and Facebook and these other platforms for quite some time. I will say I am a pioneer in that digital landscape.”
Working with a three-man team, Bruce said he produces his extempo news within two to three days, a herculean task he said that should normally take two weeks. Last year when he introduced his extempo news, there was one season with four episodes. So far he has three episodes, one per week beginning in April.
“We created content strictly for online. We will continue to do that with the consideration of both the audience and creative burnout. We are conscious of over exposure and the novelty of it now.”
His team, who he said has not met for some time thanks to covid19 social distancing restrictions, consists of his manager, Cevel Richards, his editor and graphics designer Ellij (pronounce Eli) Nicholas and his videographer Brandon Bruce.
Bruce said he and his team spent years creating content outside of Carnival season yet centred on cultural expressions associated with Carnival. His style he said was taking the richness both in terms of successful crossovers and style of calypso of the 1940s through 1970s, and adding modern topics and production to it.
Going forward, Bruce said he and his team will be looking back. They are not reinventing the wheel, he said, and for the past decade or more, have been doing “in depth” research on calypso music and have designed a body of work to connect with markets outside of the Caribbean diaspora and the regions where soca and calypso already have a footing.
“We are not re-inventing the wheel. We look at the golden age of calypso and watch how they were able to cross over to various cultures. People like Calypso Rose, Harry Belafonte, Sparrow, Roaring Lion. In that era the music was a bit slower. We are looking at what they did and reproducing it.”
Extempo news is a paradigm shift that has been in the works for some time. Stymied by covid19 restrictions, Bruce said plans were already afoot to sign with international distributors to have his content, not just the extempo news but animations and music videos, “get into the right hands”. He stressed that it is not a record deal but a marketing move.
Even with two decades below his belt, Bruce said for him and the rest of Calypso Nite team, the journey now start.