This May marks a special occasion in Belize as it is the third annual Music Week. Running from May 14-19, 2018, and organized the National Institute of Culture and History and the Institute of Creative Arts, this year’s Music Week will be held at the Belize Civic Centre.
Music Week will feature live concerts from some of the top artists in the country and around the region as well as workshops to train up-and-coming artists on how to leverage online platforms to achieve greater global exposure. During the past two Music Week festivals, local artists have learned to record and disseminate their music in a digital format, a key step in helping musicians earn a livable income while sharing their music with a wider audience.
Although music plays an integral part in Belizean culture, musicians themselves have often been overlooked in terms of their contribution to the economy. According to Shyne Barrow, Belize’s Music Ambassador, musicians are often considered as “just musicians” rather than entrepreneurs and businesspeople. Barrow’s goal with Music Week is to help musicians learn to market and sell their music to help Belize’s music industry compete with regional heavyweights like Jamaica and Trinidad and Tobago.
Belize Music industry has been blessed with local musicians Melonie Gillett, Tanya Carter, Big Bang Manifest and TR Shine to name a few, as well as numerous other artists. Tanya Carter’s voice, presence and passion for music has won her local and international acclaims. Andy Palacio, the Garifuna Collective, Aurelio Martinez, Aziatic, Bredda David, and Brad Patico, as well as numerous others, add a cultural musical flair to Belize and the Caribbean.
One of Music Week’s previously featured artists, Melonie Gillett, has become an international sensation. Following her stunning performance on Karaoke TV in 2005, Gillett gained widespread recognition in Belize and abroad. She released her first single, “Rush”, in 2007, followed by a studio album. Her last studio album, “The Dreamer,” was released in 2011. Melonie Gillett won the 2016 International Film Festival Best Music Video Award for Soca Mood, which was filmed at Belize Boutique Resort and Spa followed by Big Bang Manifest, who won 2017 International Film Festival Award for his music video Classy, also filmed art the resort.
From a long line of musicians, Gillett was born in Burrell Boom and schooled in Belize City. Speaking to the press, Gillett has stated that her inspiration comes from remembering her grandfather playing traditional music as well as the beauty of her native Belize.Recently, Gillett visited the Belize Boutique Resort and Spa to record her song. Set against the unspoiled backdrop of the jungle, Gillett’s song effortlessly intertwines the natural rhythms and beats of her surroundings with hauntingly beautiful lyrics on life and her love for her country. You can listen to her song for free by clicking here.
The Belize Boutique Resort and Spa is located on a privately owned, 1000-acre estate located a few miles north of Belize City near the ancient Maya ruins of Altun Ha. With just 16 luxuriously appointed villas and suites, the resort is a popular retreat for travelers, artists, yoga aficionados, and music lovers.