The participants, who ranged from young, new entrants, to adults who were either in or planning to re-enter the industry, sat through courses that improved their knowledge of the music industry, and specialist areas such as copyright and contracts.
Organised by voluntary Akoben Awards, and co-funded by Fair Share Brent, the courses were taught by music industry tutor Kwaku. The programme was wrapped up by a presentation and networking evening.
Songwriter, record producer and former member of Brent-based reggae band The Administrators, Dwayne Burke, had a pep talk with the participants and presented a certificate to Brent resident Duane Pearson.
“In my opinion the industry is very open, and I believe this is probably one of the best times to be in the industry,” opined Burke. “What’s been done here is under-rated, but it gives you constructive knowledge and sets you a foundation on what you should know,” added Pearson, who is planning on re-entering the music industry.
Broadcaster, DJ and music publisher Da Prezedent, DJ and former manager Mark Jackson, and local reggae and R&B singer and songwriter Chardel Rhoden, were also on hand to improve participants’ knowledge and industry contacts.
“You have to know your craft, and take time to study your craft in many aspects,” advised Rhoden, who has a degree in commercial music and also studied sound engineering. She is a nominee at this year’s British Reggae Industry Awards.
“I learned a lot, and would like to do it again. The teacher knew a lot,” said Brent resident Anthony Lee.
Whilst some participants expressed a wish for follow up courses, unless funding is in place, in the interim, Akoben Awards will be offering paid-for master-classes during British Black Music Month in June.