… in the promotion of local music and the development of artistes
NICKNAMED, ‘Uncle Wally’ and `Father Wally’, this son of the soil, Walter Fraser, is the man behind the scene, who promotes local artistes and their music, through his recording studio, Vizion Sounds Recording Studio.
Having left this country many moons ago for London and Jamaica, Fraser wanted to do more for the locals, so he returned to his homeland and first established a recording studio in Robb Street. Later, he moved to Anira Street, Queenstown.
He along with manager, Gail Vieira, successfully manages the day-to-day operations of Vizion Sounds Recording Studio, which has been in existence for the past 20 years at the Queenstown location. The first studio was established in Robb Street in 2004.
Vizion Sounds Recording Studio has five full-time employees, but there are also part-time staffers such as the engineers, graphic/media people.
Fraser said, “What we do here is from beginning to end. At the studio, you can get your music recorded, there is the mix master and we also do distribution, publishing, promotion, artiste management and act as a booking agent, as well.”
He added that he has been in Guyana since 1990, working in his studio but still visits Jamaica and London, where he grew up. He, however, stated that Guyana is his home.
“I used to go from England to Jamaica, worked with a lot of people there and even wanted to live abroad, but a good friend of mine, Trevor Douglas, called “Leggo” inspired me to return home to contribute to Guyanese music. Then I started to bring people like Sizzla, Luciano etc. to Guyana,” Fraser said.
He stated that he used to take people to Jamaica to record their songs, after which he decided to establish his own recording studio.
Fraser said, now he is settled in his own studio where he is every day, it has become a part of his daily life and he is doing some work with some people in Texas, USA, where he has recorded an album of some hip hop songs.
He is also looking at establishing deals with distributors in America, like VP Records and others, in an effort to market our local artistes and their music.
Giving a background of his journey in the music scene, Fraser said, he started out from a young age, with his company originally opened in London before he came back home.
The aged, music icon told `The Buzz Magazine’ that he used to put on shows here, with some big names in music like Gregory Isaacs, Dennis Brown, and some more, then took on First Born with Russell Lancaster and the others.
Fraser related that `Alabama’, `Shelly G’, `Big Red’, `Lil Red’, `Heatwave Band’, Mark Batson and many others, have had their songs recorded at the studio.
Speaking about his experience working with artistes, Fraser explained that “success doesn’t come overnight and in the music business there is many ‘ups and downs’.”
“In Guyana we have the problem of getting the youths to understand that the music business is not what it seems, it has its good and rough times and they drop out and come back in even after you put in a lot into an artiste,” he added.
Fraser talked about many success stories as it relates to several local artistes, such as, Mark Batson, `First Born’, `Alabama’ and `Natural Black’, adding, that some have even made it to the international music scene.
Then there are some one-hit wonders, noting that nevertheless they are still working with those artistes to develop them, and promote their music both locally and overseas.
Fraser stated that they work in collaboration with Drew Thoven and with the Heatwave Band on board, recording at the studio … they have a lot going on.
He pointed out, also, that they have the music charts programme where people vote online as it relates to local music, they do a Hits and Jams radio programme on Sunday Night which is called the Vizion Hour where only Guyanese music is played on the airwaves between 21:00hrs and 22:00hrs.