JIS News

Students specialising in music production at the Edna Manley College of the Visual and Performing Arts (EMCVPA) will have the opportunity to further hone their skills and create musical content for global advertising campaigns.

This will be facilitated through an apprenticeship programme as part of a partnership between the college and global entertainment marketing agency the SMC Group, which will see the company hiring five graduates per year from the college.

Representatives from EMCVPA and SMC Group signed an agreement to solidify the partnership during a virtual ceremony on Wednesday (May 12).

With an initial investment of US$30,000, the SMC Group will be establishing a fully equipped music-production studio that will serve to develop the talents of local songwriters, producers, and artistes attending the institution. Work on the music studio is slated to begin in August/September.

This first phase of the venture will focus on Jamaican-based talent, with a long-term goal of recruiting from across the Caribbean. The partnership will also enhance animation and dance specialisations at the college.

Speaking at the virtual signing ceremony, President of Jamaica Promotions Corporation (JAMPRO), which facilitated the partnership, Diane Edwards, said SMC’s direct investment in the EMCVPA will improve the institution’s educational offering by providing students with the physical infrastructure and digital resources they need to develop their music-production skills.

This, she said, “will, no doubt, be a game changer for the college, as they currently have no studio of this nature”.

Ms.  Edwards said that JAMPRO salutes this venture “because we really need to get more into the business side of the music and creative industries”.

She noted, further, that SMC, with its extensive experience with multinational clients such as Coca Cola, Unilever, Gucci and Pepsi, can assist in positioning the country’s local talent to leverage the available opportunities in the global marketplace.

She said that the initiative will also establish Jamaica as the creative hub for the SMC Group by developing a pipeline for talent, including graphic designers, video editors, directors and copywriters, to serve the entity’s global clientele.

In his remarks, Founder and Chief Executive Officer (CEO) of the SMC Group, Maurice Hamilton, who is a Jamaican based in the United Kingdom, said he is extremely excited about the venture and was pleased about the receptiveness of JAMPRO and EMCVPA.

He noted that the company is committed to the arts “and we are looking forward to working with all of the stakeholders”,

He said that in addition to the recording studio, the company will be looking at developing animation and dance studios and several other areas.

“So, this is not something that is exclusive to music or to dance. So if it’s fashion, if it’s animation, film – all of these different areas, we are 100 per cent going to be supporting… the creative industry in Jamaica to get to a stage where we can do more in terms of exporting services and content as a whole,” he said.

For her part, Acting Principal, EMCVPA, Dr. Trudy-Ann Barrett, welcomed the partnership, which, she said, will create greater opportunities for students.

“This partnership with the SMC Group is opportune. Not only does it provide a platform to expand our reach into untapped markets, it also bolsters the quality of entrepreneurial support that we’ll be able to provide in more sustainable ways,” she said.

The initiative is part of SMC’s global strategy to have Jamaica and the wider Caribbean recognised as an international resource for innovative content in the creative and performing arts.

The SMC Group assists clients in developing their brand strategies, creative ideas and entertainment-based partnerships.

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