KROSS Kolor Records, a company in the entertainment industry that has come to develop a track record of success over many years, is currently placing a focus on helping young local artistes to hone their skills and better their talent.
At the moment, Director Burchmore Simon, a local music teacher and producer with more than 30 years in the industry, is working with seven young artistes whom he wants to put on stage soon.
These are Jovinski Thorne (Two Times Junior Calypso & Soca Winner), Akeem Alexander (3rd Place Winner, Junior Calypso & Soca 2021), Osei Clarke (Reigning Junior Calypso & Soca Monarch 2021), Theodora Dehnert, Ulex Henry (2nd Place Winner, Junior Calypso 2021), Juneann Hutson and Jeremiah Alexander (Arranger/Engineer).
“We’re working with a new set of talents and we’re trying to highlight the presence of young artistes whom we want to put on stage and have them enjoy some of the benefits that come through working with Kross Kolor,” Simon said in an interview with Buzz this week.
This set of young people, he noted, are bright academically, hence it’s easy to mould them and communicate with them. They also write their own songs and are a pleasure to work along with, Simon commented.
With the amount of experience he’s managed to acquire, Simon just needs to hear someone’s voice once to decide if he wants to work with them. “I have a way of hearing voices and that’s where I begin. Your chances are slim if you don’t have a great voice unless you have exceptional performance talent,” he related.
His training programme is quite rigorous and Simon will not work with just about anyone. You’d really have to impress him with your talent before he starts to work with you. he recalled being sent a video clip of Gavin Mendonca performing four years ago. Even though the rock musician was performing as part of a group, Simon was able to identify that he’s someone he wants to work with.
“We’re serious about teaching artistes how to be civil, respectful, humble, how to save money, interact with people; we aim to develop them in the most rounded way. That’s one of the major differences with us and the other labels; we groom people for the industry,” he pointed out.
“I focus on your singing ability. Once you have a great voice, it just has to be crafted and developed,” he added. And that’s what he did in the case of Tennicia DeFreitas. She didn’t place in the GT&T competition, but because he liked her voice, he worked with her afterwards and groomed her towards winning the Junior Calypso Monarch twice and other awards.
Ever since the company was established in 1997, Kross Kolor has been a “staple” in the local music industry and has come to be widely known not just by the Guyana media, but those overseas as well.
Apart from those mentioned so far, Simon has worked with several big names in the industry and has created some of the well-loved on-stage personalities like Adrian Dutchin (7 Times Road March King and 3 Times Soca Monarch King) and Jumo ‘Rubber Waist’ Primo.
Other big names that passed through Kross Kolor Records include Melissa ‘Vanilla’ Roberts (eight-time Road March Queen), Tennicia DeFreitas, B52, Gavin Mendonca, Bonesman, Big Red, and Malo.