With more than 150 entries in the competition, St, Lucian artists Jean Atem and Ryie were able to rally their worldwide fan base to get the votes necessary to win a place at the Machel Montano Music Academy from December 19th to 22nd in Jamaica. Nine (9) persons from across the Caribbean were selected to attend the 3-day Academy to be hosted at luxury resort and international recording studio GeeJam, where they will be mentored and coached by Machel and other top personalities from the music industry.
Born and bred in St. Lucia, the 'Caribbean Pop' duo began singing together 5 years ago and are currently signed to the locally managed 'LMG' (LucianStyle Music Group). These prolific artists have been releasing hits over the past five years and have cultivated a captivating and unique sound. They have been ramping up appearances at local events and shows; most recently opening for international artists like Popcaan and Kalash.
"We are definitely excited to take things to the next level," commented LMG Director & artist manager Eliot Bailey, "Jean Atem and Ryie are extremely talented and they have worked hard for this opportunity. It is time that the world had a chance to hear their sound. St. Lucia is a small island with world-class talent and we want to showcase that. "
The young, up and coming St. Lucian vocalists are inspired by international pop, rap, dancehall and R&B artists but their Caribbean upbringing also has a major influence on their beats and lyrics. The result is a unique and unexpected sound to come out of the tiny island; with catchy beats, relatable lyrics and smooth melodies that easily rivals international chart-toppers.
On receiving the news that they had secured a spot at the Digicel sponsored Music Academy, 22-year-old Ryie exclaimed, “its absolute euphoria! I feel blessed and honoured and this is just the beginning for us. Thank you to all the fans who voted, St. Lucia we will do you proud!"
Jean Atem echoed these sentiments saying, “big up to our supporters, our family, friends, even to those who don’t know us but want to see St. Lucians win and people from the Caribbean win. Shout out to all of ya’ll for making this happen; we are going to do you proud.” The 21 year old singer/rapper went on to explain why music is such an important aspect of his life, "creating music is how I live and express my truth, it's such an incredibly personal process but when I'm finally able to share my music I aspire to inspire and rewind.”
Coming out of the Digicel sponsored Machel Montano Music Academy, Jean Atem and Ryie could go on to win an opportunity to perform with Machel Montano live at the 2018 staging of his Machel Monday concert in Trinidad and Tobago.