Earlier this year, Guyanese reggae label, Vizion Sounds Records, launched its latest multi-million dollar investment project in Guyana, with the hope of giving Guyanese music a major boost on the international scene.
The $10 million state-of-the-art Vizion Sounds Promotion & Recording Studio opened its doors in March, enabling Guyanese musicians to now access international standard recording at home.
The hi-tech studio, located on Robb Street in Georgetown, can produce both analog and digital recordings and can accommodate up to 20 persons at one time.
Prime Minister of Guyana, Samuel Hinds, who attended the inaugural ceremony, lauded the continuous efforts of Vizion Sounds in building and investing in Guyana.
According to Guyana's Government Information Agency, the establishment of this studio ensures that international standard recordings can be produced in Guyana at a fraction of the cost.
To mark the opening, Vizion Sounds' promoter and owner, Walter 'Wally' Fraser, and manager Kevin Adonis organised a five-kilometre race in front of the studio and a football match to emphasise the importance of fitness in the music industry. He said that 5k runs along with other exercises would help singers to produce better notes.
"This is a breakthrough for 'Vizion Sounds' group First Born and the Guyanese music industry as a whole, as it means lower cost[s]...and greater access to all Guyanese wishing to make headway in the music industry," Adonis said.
According to Adonis, Fraser's goal is to establish a recording company that will provide greater marketing services to Guyana's aspiring musicians. The studio plans to have regular auditions to give Guyanese citizens the opportunity to showcase their talent.
"This will open the market for Guyanese artistes to attack the international market. We didn't have the quality before...now we have the quality," Adonis said.
Plans are also in train to develop a broad-based music school that will teach the basic composition techniques in music and technical aspects such as sound engineering.
Fraser, a Guyanese who worked for many years in the music industry in England, urged the Guyanese government, private companies and other stakeholders to collaborate in order to advance Guyana's music industry.
Vizion Sounds Records is the manager of Guyana's internationally recognised reggae music group First Born. The group has released five albums since its debut in the mid-1990s. Its latest is 'Irits', which was launched recently and has enjoyed tremendous response from music lovers all around the world.
First Born's recordings will now be done in Guyana at the studio. The savings will be great as the group usually travels to Jamaica six or seven times per year to record.
According to Adonis, a single recording at 'Vizion Sounds’ studio costs $4,500 as compared with the $8,000 it would cost to do it in Jamaica.
Vizion Sounds is a dream realized by Walter 'Wally' Fraser in unearthing and promoting budding talents with positive messages to spread, as well as getting the opportunity to produced some excellent music.
In 1995 Vizion Sounds International Promotions was established in Georgetown, Guyana, with the emphasis on bringing and promoting international reggae shows featuring such greats as Big Youth, Don Carlos, Sizzla, Luciano, the late Dennis Brown, Freddie McGregor, Terror Fabulous and Buju Banton, to Guyana. At the same time the aim was to not only establish Guyana as a country with vision, but also Vizion Sounds as a company with insight, foresight and vision.
With these successes came a renewed sense of positive vibes and Wally chose to once again pursue his ambitions of music production on his own label, nurturing and displaying the talents of the young with positive messages to articulate.
Today, Fraser, Adonis and the Vizion Sounds team manage the careers of Guyanese reggae group First Born, singjay King Prof, singer Andrew Bees and the female trio LMJ.
The company has also released albums for several of reggae's veteran singers such as Bi Youth, Gregory Isaacs and Luciano, and has done work with Dennis Brown, Natural Black and Fantan Mojah, among others.
Producers of some excellent reggae music, some of the albums Guyana and Jamaica-based Vizion Sounds has produced include: 'Exodus Chapter XIII Verse 2', 'Confident', 'Wake Up Call' and 'Irits' from the quintet First Born; 'Iration' from Andrew Bees; 'Running Stream' from King Prof; Big Youth's 'Musicology'; Gregory Isaacs' 'Cutie Cutie' and 'Substance Free'; 'Gideon' from Luciano; and 'King Juggler' from various artistes.
Check out the website www.vizionsounds.com for updates and information on Vizion Sounds Records and their latest releases.