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Fay Ann and Bunji create platform to help Caribbean creatives


n an effort to assist artistes and creatives in the Caribbean, soca stars Fay Ann Lyons-Alvarez and Ian “Bunji Garlin” Alvarez have created a platform to showcase their talents and provide them a means to earn an income.

Chrending, a colloquial play on the word “Trending” is the name of the platform which will be developed as a website and app.

Speaking at the social media launch of the brand on Tuesday afternoon at Cascadia Hotel, Lyons-Alvarez said they looked at the landscape and realised with no Carnival next year, the industry has been severely impacted.

“It basically signals a halt in your work, your income, and the way you are able to take care of yourself, your families, and there is a ripple effect to it that a lot of people did not consider. For every artiste you see there is a bunch of people that support that artiste within their particular skill and know-how and their particular craft,” she said, noting that artistes are supported by nail techs, make-up artistes, stylists, graphic designers, caterers, band members, managers and songwriters among others.

She said while many artistes have been using social media platforms to showcase their work, monetisation remains an issue particularly as this region has not been afforded the opportunity to fully monetise some of these platforms.

Chrending will support not just artistes but all creatives through quality live shows on the platform where they are not subject to time restrictions, get access to venues to film shows and possibly sell their merchandise and products.

Lyons-Alvarez said the content will only be limited to the creativity of the people and will encompass everything from pan, chutney, and kaiso performances to comedy, food, and fashion.

She said the platform will function in a similar way to a promoter who puts on an event and charges a cover fee to the patrons.

She said they are in conversation with the Copyright Organisation of Trinidad and Tobago (COTT) to ensure copyright issues are addressed for the virtual space.

Bunji said the idea is to also root out and present content and information that have not been publicised before.

Lyons-Alvarez stressed that while the platform originates in T&T, it is open to the entire Caribbean.

“The idea is to bring the Caribbean audience together so when one person uses the platform you reach a wider audience and you are not just limited to the followers you have on Instagram. There are tons of artiste every single day with the dream of being successful, being an artiste, being a songwriter and we aim to help foster and keep that dream alive,” she explained.

For those who want to work with the platform, Lyons-Alvarez said contact information will be posted on all social media platforms.

The first phase of Chrending is the launch of the social media platforms which will be used to give the public insight into what creatives are doing and to promote artistes in the absence of Carnival fetes and events. The second phase will be the launch of the website on December 28 and the third phase, the launch of the app on January 15

Chrending is being developed in conjunction with the Gillette Group of Companies who have lent their media, website and app building expertise to the project.

Bunji said the project is the culmination of three months of discussions and the idea is for it to be a home where the creative industry could put all of their work in the same way iTunes and other platforms have provided a home for content.

“For years in the Caribbean we never really had a home per se, we always lean on those other residences around the place, we have an opportunity that we trying to make and build and make Chrending a home,” he said, noting that they could have just done something for them.

He added: “We don’t think anyone should be left behind because this whole creative industry in Trinidad and Tobago and the wider region too has done a lot, invested a lot, not only to be respected but all that time invested we can’t just let it go in the wind.”

Find Chrending on the following platforms:

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