Early Talent Discovery
Charmaine Forde is the first person to sing during one of our interviews. Enjoy a sample from the song which launched her career. At the age of 11, she received a standing ovation at Trinity Church for singing “Hear Oh Lord” which was written by American social justice advocate and at-the-time Roman Catholic seminarian, Ray Repp (1942-2020). And so began this “vocal stylist’s” journey as an international singer.
Marketing is Key
She comments that having talent is just one part of the package because success requires the dedication and hard work of a supportive team. Her advice to young and emerging singers is to excel in a specific genre but master a variety so that you can perform under different circumstances.
Living the Caribbean Rhythm
While acknowledging that Trinidad and Tobago is a difficult space for singers and vocalists to thrive Charmaine is confident that persistence and resilience will eventually result in great success. Look out for her next project – Charmaine’s World which will focus on the rhythm of living your life in Trinidad and Tobago and the region.
Olympic Daddy – Brian Wood
At 15:00 the conversation embraces “Olympic Daddy” Brian Wood, father of Trinidad and Tobago’s first female Olympic Judo qualifier Gabriella Wood. Boring but true Brian shared that his family inspires him to do whatever is necessary for their success. His goal is to improve the lives of each member of his family.
As Gabriella’s business manager, he has vicariously shared her experiences of being trained at dedicated athletic development facilities in Mexico and Hungary. Gabriella was first identified by a Cuban coach in. He lamented that oftentimes our sporting activities are pushed by parents who are helping their children achieve their dreams and once the child moves, the interest of the parents’ wain and the sport is faced with finding a new champion.
Having invested his personal resources into Gabriella’s journey, he has learned that success in sports on a national level requires the development of a robust funding mechanism as well as the creation of programmatic structures to attract youth participation. Gabriella’s journey was multi-country and provided an opportunity for a coach who would otherwise not have had the opportunity in his home country because of the intense competition.
Our future success from identified sports can occur by triaging our natural local talent, under unutilized international coaches, and corporate support. Structure, systems, and processes are the key considerations if we are to make the best use of the talent which abounds in our country.