Digital Platform For New Artists and Creators Launches on St. Croix With Aim of Bringing More Exposure to USVI Talent
New, independent and upcoming artists in the U.S. Virgin Islands now have access to a digital streaming platform that can help propel their careers by making their music more visible to the world.
Thanks to the team behind Audiomack — an on-demand music streaming and audio discovery platform — artists and creators in the territory can upload music and podcasts using the mobile app and website without limitations or restrictions.
Audiomack promoter on St. Croix, Xavier Acevedo said the app also puts the power in the hands of users to pick and choose who are the next and hottest up-and-coming artists and local DJs. Mr. Acevedo will help the company to break ground in the territory by highlighting the best talents in the USVI, particularly those with new and original content.
“Most of the time we hinder ourselves or we put ourselves, and there are so many people around the world that want to taste our flavor of music, taste or flavor of culture — just get a glimpse of how we live. So by them reaching out to me, I think it’s a great thing because they have someone on the ground that’s basically telling them what’s next,” he said.
Unlike other streaming platforms such as Apple Music and Spotify, Audiomack is free to use and it removes the need for a middle man for new creators, Mr. Acevedo said.
“You know, I’m just here as a promoter but you as an artist, you basically download the app, upload your music, no beat around the bush, no second step. You upload your cover profile, and you upload your music and it’s there. If you want to monetize, it’s a different step where you submit couple documents, but it’s simple and easy. You just have to request it,” he explained.
Mr. Acevedo currently works with one of the premier artists in the Virgin Islands – P-Nut D Real Nut (PNDRN), partnering on a label to push PDRN’s music. “He’s very special. I believe that he’s the next big thing. He’s the one that, in my eyes, is the one that’s really going to take us to the next level — place the VI on the map like R. City and Jam Band did,” the promoter added.
Tanya Lawson, director of Audiomack’s Strategic Marketing for the Caribbean and Gospel Music Division, told the Consortium that she has a good feeling about expanding into the USVI and eventually into the wider Caribbean.
“We started to get an interest for the Virgin Islands because it’s the U.S. We think people tend to neglect the fact that they have a different sound than the mainland,” she shared.
Just shy of two years ago, Audiomack brokered a deal with big labels like Sony and advanced from being a digital streaming platform that functioned like a social media service. In the past, she said fans uploaded music and shared it with each other. Now, the sharing has become global with participating countries including the United States, Ghana and Caribbean islands like Jamaica and Trinidad and Tobago.
“We’re the number one music digital streaming platform in Jamaica; we’re number three in Trinidad and so forth … Basically we’re just like a Spotify, Pandora, YouTube, we all do the same thing,” she said, with the platform also catering to more niche categories and sounds that are often neglected.
According to Ms. Lawson, Audiomack has also launched other programs in Grenada and is working to include Antigua and Sint Martin/Saint Maarten in the “Made in Caribbean” playlist series.
The expansion of Audiomack comes as Ms. Lawson gets ready to launch her new “Made in Caribbean” quarterly playlists which features content from 25 Caribbean Islands. Troopah Live, a DJ on St. Croix, has been recruited for the new series “Made in USVI” and will be representing a specially-curated playlists that consists of local sound and artists handpicked by him. The series is expected to premiere this month on Audiomack’s official website.
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