Friday, March 27, 2009



Caribbean music and music businesses are set to get a much needed booster shot as Liverpool SoundCity (UK) and Miribai Communications (T&T/Caribbean) join forces to begin a major UK and worldwide promotion for Caribbean artists and music businesses, starting with a launch at Liverpool SoundCity 2009.

The team is headed up by David Pichilingi and Becky Ayres, UK in conjunction with Josanne Leonard, T&T, who is also on the board of the Worldwide Independent Network (WIN) the umbrella organisation for the Association of Independent Music (AIM, UK) and other international independent music associations. The strategic partnership will include the development of Caribbean artists in the UK, promotion at industry events and festivals, and building networks for Caribbean music and entertainment companies within the UK/Europe music industry.

"We are very proud to be working with the Caribbean on SoundCity 2009 and beyond. The love of the music is something we are both deeply passionate about. This is the start of a much wider and deeper business relationship that will see us working on a range of exciting projects together over the coming years."
David Pichilingi, Festival Director, Liverpool SoundCity

“Over the past few years Miribai has been hard at work building up strategic alliances in the UK and other markets to support our Caribbean creative industries. The Caribbean is a major producer of music and other cultural products, with artists such as Eddy Grant, Shaggy, Billy Ocean and Rihanna having major profiles in the UK, so we’re excited about this relationship. Our main goal is to roll out a range of projects to support a sustained presence in the UK and Europe and add real value to our region’s artists and creative businesses. We’re in for the long haul. ”
Josanne Leonard, Miribai Communications

“With over 133 different genres of Caribbean music, and a population of over 40 million people, the Caribbean basin represents a force to be reckoned with. The UK is strategically, culturally and economically the ideal place for the Caribbean to establish a firm foothold, not only to access the UK but also other European markets. As the third largest music market in the world and with 1.3 percent of the UK population being of Afro-Caribbean and mixed Caribbean descent, Caribbean music and culture already resonates strongly on the British cultural psyche. There is a great need to nurture this however, and to help Caribbean music to flourish in the mainstream. This strategic partnership is a crucial step in enabling this to happen.”
Rebecca Ayres, LiverpoolSound City

About Liverpool SoundCity:
Liverpool SoundCity was founded in 2006 by Dave Pichilingi to promote music from the Northwest region of the UK internationally. The festival itself began in 2008 as part of the European Capital of Culture which was bestowed upon Liverpool in recognition of its cultural richness and diversity.

Liverpool SoundCity (20th - 23rd May) is the UK's biggest summer city music festival and business conference. In 2008, it hosted 25,000 music fans and industry, 322 bands, in 22 venues over 4 days and nights. In 2009, Liverpool SoundCity will showcase over 70 acts from 25 different countries, to an audience of music industry and fans, with artists from the Caribbean at the forefront of the event. Music industry delegates invited to watch the artists perform will include those who work in music making (artists, production), marketing (plugging and promotion), film and video making, design, booking agents, venue owners, promoters, management and the core business (record labels, publishing, production companies). Liverpool SoundCity has close relationships across the whole of the UK music industry, including:

Associations: BPI, AIM, UK Trade & Investment, Music Managers Forum, Music Publishers Association, UK Music, British Academy of Composers and Songwriters, Musicians Union, Arts Council, British Underground, British Council

Record Labels and Publishers: Universal, EMI, Warner Music, Sony BMG, Beggars Group, Ministry of Sound, Wall of Sound, Deltasonic, Moshi Moshi, Because Music, DFA Records, Ed Banger Records, Heavenly, Domino, Warp, Anjuna Beats, Sentric Music, the AIM membership, which includes 800+ independent labels

Live Promoters: The Liverpool SoundCity Live promoters include Eat Your Own Ears, one of the most foremost promoters working in live music today, plus promoters who work on the following festivals and events: Leftfield Stage at Glastonbury, Field Day, Underage Festival, The Great Escape, Concrete and Glass, Warehouse Project, End of the Road, and Medication, a student night in Liverpool which has drawn a crowd of 3,000 every Wednesday night for 15 years!

Booking Agents: William Morris, CODA Agency, ITB, Primary Talent, and XRay Touring.

PR: LiverpoolSoundCity’s PR company Idea Generation will help in promoting the Caribbean music export desk. Idea Generation is the UK’s largest arts, cultural and entertainment PR agency with clients including the Edinburgh Comedy festival, ICA, British Council Film Dept,, The Big Chill festival and Monkey: Journey to the West amongst many others.

Media: Liverpool SoundCity has strong relationships with Clash Magazine, NME, Mojo, Q, Uncut, MTV, BBC Radio, BBC 6 Music, BBC Introducing, NME Radio, Xfm, The Guardian, The Observer, The Times, Sunday Times, Independent, Telegraph, Music Week, Virtual Festivals, efestivals, Stool Pigeon, Artrocker, Record of the Day,, Rushes Film Festival and is working closely with the Miribai Communications to ensure that all relevant media, both mainstream and underground are targeted and cultivated.
Brands: Liverpool Sound City, through its sponsorship partners Big Fish Events has strong relationships with brands such as Red Bull, Red Stripe, Gaymers Cider, Guitar Hero, Smirnoff, and is constantly developing relationships with new brands which are relevant for SoundCity and its partners.

According to Becky Ayres: “We are incredibly excited about our relationship with Miribai Communications to enable success for Caribbean music in the UK, and believe that the Caribbean artists who will perform this year at Liverpool SoundCity will be a huge asset to the festival. We’re looking forward to welcoming artists, music industry, media and officials from all over the Caribbean region and will ensure that the artists performing are given great exposure to give them maximum opportunities to be seen by a music loving industry, media and fan based audience. I think it’ll be one of the highlights of the whole event!”

About Dave Pichilingi:
Dave’s background is in the management and marketing of major and independent record labels, including RCA/BMG, Produce, V2, EMI and Factory Records. He has worked extensively with music artists and has accumulated a total of 3.5 million unit sales worldwide. He is currently Director, Liverpool Sound City, Director of Robot Records, Director of the Masque Venue (Barfly) Ltd, and Director of Tri-tone Music. He is also Chairman, Music Development Agency (North West) Ltd. And an adviser and consultant to a range of music businesses and forums, David holds degrees of BA (Hons) in Drama and English from Lancaster University and MBA from the University of Liverpool.

About Becky Ayres:
Liverpool SoundCity’s International Director, Rebecca Ayres, has worked closely with Josanne Leonard, Miribai Communications, the main driver of the project for over a year. In 2008, she helped launch the Caribbean Pavilion at London Calling at which over 30 Caribbean music businesses and artists participated. As the International Events Director at Liverpool Sound City, Rebecca has extensive experience of working with music export offices worldwide and has helped to develop relationships for these in the UK, through a diverse range of contacts including BPI, AIM, Music Managers Forum, MPA, UK Trade & Investment, British Council, British Underground, and many large and small independent companies, ranging from labels and artists managers to booking agents and promoters.

AboutJosanne Leonard
Josanne Leonard heads Miribai Communications, a boutique consultancy specialising in the media, communications, arts and entertainment sectors. Miribai provides strategic advice, marketing, public relations services to governments, institutions, artists, media and entertainment companies and cultural organisations. Josanne is also an experienced broadcaster, radio/tv producer and public affairs specialist who has worked with clients and affiliates in the Caribbean, USA and Europe. Miribai has built up excellent networks in the entertainment and cultural sectors and provides support for the Caribbean Creative Industries Professionals Business Network to develop and promote cultural enterprises of the Caribbean. Miribai Communications has just launched the brand Clinkx to promote B2B linkages between Caribbean entertainment professionals within the region and further afield; advocacy and lobbying; sector wide development programmes.

For further information, please contact:

UK: Rebecca Ayres +44 7977 201 852

Caribbean: Josanne Leonard + 1 868 633 3397

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