Koru Green taking Freetown Collective Music to the World

KORU GREEN Limited, based in Trinidad and Tobago, is fast becoming a leading player in the creative industry, providing globally competitive services as management and entertainment consultant specialists for cultural practitioners to commercialise and monetise their creative content.

Led by managing director Keron Niles, Koru Green Ltd which was formed in 2017 has already established itself apart from other talent companies by developing a unique service within the creative sector, primarily focused on transforming cultural goods and services into sustainable livelihoods.

The company’s focus is to assist creative professionals who wish to find new markets for the content they produce and/or to expand the consumption of their works within markets in which they are already present.

One of the success stories from its stable of clients is Freetown Collective, a six- piece band made up of talented musicians, whose lead vocalist hails from an area called Belmont (formerly known as Freetown) in Trinidad which has produced an eclectic sound using a unique blend of Caribbean rhythm and urban pop that is riveting, relevant and authentic.

Freetown Collective performing

While Trinidad is widely known for its famous Carnival in February, Keron was keen to point out that Freetown Collective is not a carnival music band, but rather a dynamic musical ensemble which is not wedded to one specific genre.

There has been a strong increase in demand for Caribbean music in Europe as seen by the rise in popularity for Caribbean artists and music at festivals such as Summerjam reggae festival in Germany, Ibiza Soca festival in Spain and Reggae Sun Ska Festival in France, along with many others.

Last September Keron Niles and Koru Green Ltd participated in the Caribbean Export sponsored CARIFORUM-EU Business Forum and Authentic Caribbean Expo in Frankfurt, Germany and he felt it was good exposure to the dynamics of the live music market in Europe.

He said: “The Caribbean Export Business Forum provided me the opportunity to meet with some stakeholders who were interested in the music and also allowed me to do some onsite marketing. It also gave me a better understanding of how we can best gain more exposure for Caribbean talent in Europe.”

The CARIFORUM-EU Business Forum was a strategic event produced by Caribbean Export which unveiled international opportunities for Caribbean artists and entertainers, by establishing win-win partnerships between EU private sector representatives and CARIFORUM participants eager to gain access to larger international markets.

Keron said: “The music of Freetown Collective appeals to both the deeply personal and wider universal concerns evidenced by its critically acclaimed debut album ‘Born in Darkness’. It’s not only catchy and relatable, but it also helps us to navigate what it means to be human.”

Keron, however, says that Freetown Collective’s new singles ‘Feel The Love’ and ‘We Bad’ released earlier this month was the first time the band produced a headline track for Carnival. “We have had a few soca songs before, but this is our most formidable attempt at really doing carnival music and the response has been amazing”, he said.

Looking to the international scene, the Koru Green CEO said one of the most important things he is doing now is getting traction for the band in the overseas market.

“We are happy that Caribbean music is spreading and becoming more global but it also creates an interesting challenge whereby we have to become even more innovative in trying to get home-grown talent to the international market.

“My job at Koru Green is helping the band to get their message out to the world. Musicians don’t want to have to think of marketing strategies or to conduct the research that is required for them to compete in a global market place, we take on all of that responsibility while they concentrate on creating the music people will love.

“The management service we provide covers such things as conducting research and providing marketing services that would help to drive increased bookings, along with finding out what needs to be done in order to make our music receptive in each market, what are our legal and tax obligations and to source joint ventures and publishing deals.

“We also look at music sales data and the sales data for our live gigs and analyse the demographic trends of our core supporter base. There are not many companies in the Caribbean that provide the services we do at Koru Green”, Keron enthused.

Koru Green Ltd also provides bespoke management consulting services for creative professionals, including musicians, dancers and fi lm makers, that include but are not limited to: Press relations; administrative support (inclusive of accounting and taxation); digital and physical product retail marketing; brand monetisation and creative product marketing strategy development and execution.

This article was originally published on The Voice as part of a series featuring Caribbean entrepreneurs and businesses sponsored by the Caribbean Export Development Agency.