Saturday, January 28, 2012

St. Lucian Hip-Hop/Pop Artist Continues To Make St. Lucian Music History

Keen Cotter sits in a chair in a soundproof room covered with pop art; a room that for almost 11 months now he has called home. The House of Wax Studio (Version 2.0) was built for one main purpose: Mecca Mondays.
The studio is owned and operated by his longtime collaborator and lead producer Sherwinn "Dupes" Brice. The House of Wax has a team of interns that keep daily operations running smoothly and the creative energy flowing. The studio is always open for business, so any of the Dupes Did It Music affiliated artists can put in work. Dupes, after a one and a half year hiatus, returned in February 2011 with a sole purpose, launching the careers of St. Lucia's southern talent, and this mission began with Mecca.

Keen "Young Mecca" Cotter is a native of the village of Laborie, a community known for its lush beaches, kind people and cultural diversity. Laborie - the home of calypso queen Jany Williams, Shepp Dawg, best known for his hit “Yes Garcon”  and the now Young Mecca.
After 40 weeks of releasing a series of radio ready, commercially viable songs free to his online and offline fans; the general public is finally beginning to take notice.
At the opening of 2012, after a marathon evening  of club performances which began at Kimatrai in the south and ended at Zayne Night Club in the north on New Year's Eve, Mecca made a commitment that night, a New Year’s "revolution" of sorts, to his fans, that not only will he complete his 52 week journey with the release of yet another mixtape but also that as of January 16th, he and his label Dupes Did It Music will release a new music video once a month for five consecutive months.
"It's been hard for venues and promoters to bill me. I guess they are confused. My style is diverse and I crossover a multitude of genres" Mecca explains when asked about local support from various promoters and show-runners. "When my booking agent lobbies on my behalf for local gigs the answer usually is that they don't book rap acts." This position puzzles both he and his team, on the basis that foreign urban music gets more exposure in St. Lucia than local calypso, soca and reggae. Over the past year alone, pop and dance music has dominated the airwaves.
Dupes, an advocate for Urban St. Lucian music, has never been afraid to voice his opinion when it comes to his craft and the creative industry on the island: "The djs, the clubs, the radio, tv, all of them will eventually have no choice but to support the movement and embrace this so called ‘alternative’ form of St. Lucian music." He concludes "At the end of it all we make music - great music... and guess what, we are St. Lucian and so is the music."
40 weeks into a 52 week journey is nothing easy; life has its way of creating road blocks but as Ringo Starr sang it best you can always "Get by with a little help from friends.”  One thing Mecca has is great talented friends: Dupes, Shepp Dawg, Twizzy, and Bermuda's Force 1 Kombat and J-Silva are just a few of the artists Mecca has worked with.
As of right now and until May, Mecca is steady waving the Dupes Did It Music flag high. This January alone he has leapfrogged from dance (#luvu2nite) to hip hop (‘Diamonds in My Champagne’) and even a bit of Popstep (‘I Can't Breathe’). The first of five music videos "Be On You" is out on all local and regional stations and is picking up steam on Youtube and Facebook.
When asked about the critics who say there is no place for his genre in our culture Mecca says, "Music is subjective and you can't please everyone. Pleasing everyone is the one way to please no one."
So what happens after he gives Mondays back to the world? This is yet to be seen but Mecca and his ‘teamDREAM’ can assure you that it’s going be something amazing.

No comments: