Senator the Honourable Paula Gopee-Scoon, Minister of Trade and Industry, delivered the Feature Address at the Trinidad and Tobago Gospel Music Awards Ceremony on Sunday at the National Academy for the Performing Arts, Port of Spain. This signal event highlighted the contribution of our local gospel artistes that have excelled in this genre of music during the past year and provided an opportunity to promote local gospel music internationally.

In her remarks, the Minister stated that according to Forbes Magazine, Christian music has been growing exponentially in recent years partly due to the rise of digital music and increased use of social media platforms including TikTok. She also noted that popular multinationals such as Pepsi and McDonalds have been using gospel artistes and music as part of their marketing strategies given the popularity of this genre of music.

Addressing the artistes and producers directly, Minister Gopee-Scoon also spoke about the importance of the International Standard Recording Codes for Trinidad and Tobago: “This unique identifier, distributed by the Copyright Music Organisation of Trinidad and Tobago, is a fixed point of reference which identifies a piece of work as originating from Trinidad and Tobago. It also enables tracking and recordkeeping of your material across borders, over different services, and through various digital activities. This is one tangible way in which members of the music fraternity ought to be emboldened to expand the footprint of Trinidad and Tobago’s gospel music in the global arena.”

The Minister further noted that there is growing potential within the industry for sync licensing opportunities for our local gospel artistes to create content for local and international Christian movies, film series and television shows. “The best way to benefit from this is to connect your music to these platforms and create licensable music,” she said. “Music creates more exposure and marketability when it is linked to other mediums.”

The Awards Ceremony celebrated the achievements, of gospel music artistes across various categories including Male and Female Artiste of the Year, Song of the Year, Vocal Group of the Year, Breakout Artiste of the Year, Album of the Year and Music Video of the Year.

One of the highlights was the Young Artiste of the Year recipient, 16-year-old Allyssa Joseph, who received a standing ovation for her scintillating rendition of “How Great Thou Art.”

Additionally, capturing the Male and Female Artiste of the Year were Brandon Best and NISA respectively. The gospel group “Forward” won the award for Vocal Group of the Year. Moreover, the Award for Breakout Artiste of the Year was won by Thandiwe Muller-Mends.

The Minister extended congratulations to all nominees, finalists, and award recipients and commended them for their impressive talent and dedication to the development of local gospel music. She also congratulated the Celian Group for their vision and for hosting the Ceremony for another year.

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