Harnessing musical talent - Fathers United setting up studio in Waterhouse

August 11, 2017
Gladstone Taylor / Photographer A section of the studio.
Romero Tully outlines how the community Studio being constructed in the Waterhouse community will operate.

With its aim being to enhance social stability through meaningful intervention, Fathers United for Change, an organisation that is based in Angola, Arnett Gardens, is in the process of setting up a recording studio in Waterhouse, St Andrew.

Keith Sailsman, a member of the committee establishing the recording studio, said that Waterhouse was chosen for the project by Fathers United because of its rich musical legacy.

"If you know the history of Waterhouse, you will know that Waterhouse has produced some of the greatest persons in music. Waterhouse has King Jammy's Studio and King Tubby's Studio, so based on the history, we know it's a music-rich place, and we just wanted to be a part of that," he said.

Fathers United for Change first established a studio in the inner-city community of Angola, and based on its success, members of the organisation became convinced that it should be replicated in another inner-city area.




"The idea was born after seeing how well the studio in Angola was doing. When we looked back, it was doing something positive for the youths with musical talent. These youth just wanted an avenue to expose that talent, and so we chose to do this in Waterhouse as well to see how best we could help unearth talent there," Sailsman said.

Located on the compound of the Balcombe Drive Primary and Junior High in a container donated by Tank-Weld, the studio is already looking to be a landmark in the community, with persons anticipating its official opening.

"The people in the community are very positive because they know of the talent that the community possesses that's just sitting and wasting by the wayside," he said. "It's a lot of anxiety surrounding the completion of the studio. People can't wait for it to be done."

Patrick Roberts, the councillor for the Molynes Gardens Division, in which the recording studio will be located, has praised the decision by Fathers United for Change to embark on the project.

"The way the society is going, the only uniting forces are music and sports, and it is a good thing to try and get the youths focused," said Roberts, who heads the Shocking Vibes label.

Roberts pointed out that some of Jamaica's leading entertainers are from Waterhouse. The list, he said, includes Beenie Man, Little Kirk, Admiral Bailey, Shabba Ranks, Half Pint, and U-Roy.

"The reservoir of talent is there, and we have to put out every effort to harness the talent," Roberts said.

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