Another French honour – and a date in London for Calypso Rose 

At the age of 78, prolific Tobago-born calypsonian Calypso Rose is having the best time of her career. Next month she will collect yet another honour for her contribution to music, the Grand Prix des musiques du monde, which will be presented at a special ceremony in Paris as part of the Sacem Grand Prix. 

SACEM is the French-based Society of Authors, Composers and Publishers of Music. Each year, the organisation’s directors choose those artistes they feel have made outstanding contributions in song writing, music publishing, humour and classical contemporary music. 

This is not the first time Calypso Rose (Linda McArtha Monica Sandy-Lewis) has been honoured in France. Her 2016 release, Far From Home, proved hugely popular there and last year it won the World Music Album category at Les Victoires de la Musique.

Machel Montano to receive Honorary Doctorate  

Share to FacebookShare to TwitterShare to LinkedInShare to WhatsAppShare to MessengerShare to EmailShare to TelegramShare to More1.1K Soca king Machel Montano will receive an honorary doctorate from the University of Trinidad and Tobago (UTT). Montano will receive the Honorary Doctor of Arts from the University when it holds its graduation on November 14.and 15.Montano is among five special awardees. The others are: Pearl Eintou Springer (Honorary Doctor of Fine Arts), Alvin Corneal (Honorary Doctor of Humane Letters), Leo Martin (Honorary Doctor of Science) and Roy Augustus (Honorary Distinguished Fellow). UTT will be awarding 1700 students with Undergraduate and Postgraduate degrees when the graduation ceremony is held. Among those will be two Masters of Philosophy and seven Doctors of Philosophy degrees.

Trini Soca Star Rising 

Young Trinidad and Tobago soca star Nailah Blackman has been nominated for one of the 2018 Black Entertainment Television’s (BET) Awards — the Viewers’ Choice: Best New International Act. To have a good chance, she would need the help of all Trindad and Tobago by voting and hashtagging her picture #ipicknailahb18. The awards show comes off on June 24 at 8 pm.
On her Instagram account, Blackman expressed excitement at having being nominated, writing: “OMG OMG, I am so excited.” “I am the only Caribbean artiste representing in this category. Winning an award like this will get our music and our culture recognized. I’m doing this for Sokah / Soca Music! She will compete with other world artistes for the award, including MC Soffia (Brazil), Miniola (Nigeria) NOT3s, and Prince Waly (France) Blackman was born into music. Her grandfather, the late Ras Shorty I, was one of the founders of soca music and her mother calypsonian Abbi Blackman was part of the extended family in music.
Last year she shot into the limelight with “Work Out,” a collaboration with Kes Dieffenthalier, a track that has received more than one million views on YouTube.

Spice headed for legal battle with VP Records 

The world has been waiting with bated breath for more than a decade for an album from dancehall's newest queen, Spice. There have been several dates announcing the release of a debut compilation from the dancehall diva but an album is yet to materialise. Earlier this year, Spice told her fans via social media that she had absolutely no control over the album's release date as her record label VP Records had been giving her the runaround. In a feisty Instagram Live video in February, Spice told fans to "Go ask nasty, dirty, stinking VP weh the album deh", adding that she had voiced songs but to no avail. Fans have not heard much regarding the situation since then, but, in a recent interview with THE WEEKEND STAR, the entertainer said she would be heading to court very soon. Speaking in her post-performance interview at Reggae Sumfest last Friday, Spice explained that the album delay results from differences between her and VP Records. 

"I signed a contract with them (VP) from 2009 and that's the worst decision I've ever made in my life," she said. "Up to this day, from 2009 they have not released an album with me, and so I'm ready now to battle with them in court because I have to fight for my fans, my fans need an album from me. They (VP) have left me with no other resort but to fight them to get out of this contract. I've just started the process because I've given them 10 years." The entertainer, who is currently gearing up for her birthday party at Oneil's Place on Hagley Park Road tomorrow night, blasted VP for doing nothing for her. "I don't disclose a lot of things about my career, how hard I work, how I do everything by myself. I finance my entire career by myself because the record company does absolutely nothing for me," she said. "I promote my own music, and I want to tell all the young artistes not to make the same mistakes I made because it's really haunting me right now."

Spice said there were many things she could tell many young artistes based on the mistakes she had made in the past. "Never sign a contract when you're too young. Give it a few years, try to be independent and even put out your first album on your own. Do not sign away your publishing," she said. VP Records could not be reached for a comment up to press time. This is not the first time a dancehall artiste has expressed the belief that their careers have been held back somewhat because of contracts signed with VP Records. Just last year, Ding Dong said that he missed out on a deal with American producer and label owner Swizz Beatz due to the details of a VP contract he signed some 10 years ago.

Oh Shit, the Rihanna Dancehall Album Seems Real 

A Rolling Stone report says the singer is finishing a record that will pay tribute to her "Caribbean roots." Also Skrillex is working on it.
Because pop fans are insatiable, people have been "where's the album"-ing Rihanna more or less since the moment she dropped ANTI back in 2016. I'd ordinarily tsk such needy behavior, but in this case the thirsty fans are right – summer truly doesn't feel quite right without at least one humid jam to blast from your rooftop for a few minutes. But if a new report from Rolling Stone is to be believed, we may not be too far away from a true treat for the year's hottest months: her rumored dancehall record that was first mentioned back in a Vogue profile in May.

Rolling Stone cites eight sources close to Rihanna and Roc Nation that say she's been looking for beats from Jamaica's finest producers for over a year. Some of the names floating around the project include Supa Dups – a longtime dancehall producer who most recently made mainstream waves with the beat for "Controlla" – along with R. City, Stephen “Di Genius” McGregor and Linton “TJ Records” White (both of whom have worked on big records by Vybz Kartel), the producer and singer Ricky Blaze, Tyshane “Beam” Thompson, and local hero vocalists Kranium and Chronixx. Skrillex and Boi-1da have also apparently been around, for whatever that's worth.
Between that massive crew of songwriting magnates and production whizzes, they've apparently turned out 500 sketches of songs that Rihanna and co. intend on narrowing down to 10 for the final record. “Every artist, every producer, every songwriter in Jamaica or of Jamaican descent has been working on [Rihanna’s album] and has little snippets of publishing or production credits on it,” one source told Rolling Stone. “I think they’ve got eight songs, but her A&R is still asking for records.” So it seems still in the works, but it sounds significantly further along than the last time we heard about it, which is reason for celebration. And hey, if we don't get it before fall, that just menas another few months of listening to "Work" remixes, which should be fine. There's plenty of those to go around.

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