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Burgie: It’s okay once you pay

SHERRYLYN CLARKE, [email protected]

Burgie: It’s okay once you pay

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SONGWRITER EXTRAORDINARE Irving Burgie has no problem with modern-day artists sampling his work. That is, of course once they go through the right channels.
“I don’t have any particularly negative feelings about [his work being sampled] because in reality, as long as something is out there they can use it as long as they take out a licence for it,” the composer of the Barbados National Anthem told an audience at the Citrus Book And Poetry Night at the Lime Bar last Thursday.
Day-O, one of the more popular songs written by Burgie, was sampled by international artists Jason Derulo and Li’l Wayne.
“Unless there is something in it that is extremely offensive, it is a sign of recognition, particularly the youth of society have accepted it and on top of the whole thing, it brings in quite a bit of money. It could make a difference in your yearly payroll . . . by a couple hundred thousand dollars.”
He admitted that not everyone who used the music obtained the proper rights to do so, but the legal battle had to bring about significant payoffs.
“It has to be worth it in order to pay lawyers and that kind of thing,” he added, “You only attack it when there is value.”
Hosted by Keoma Rhy Minister Mallet and Justin Sunrokk Taylor, Thursday evening’s event highlighted Burgie’s second autobiography, Day-O.
The famed songwriter spoke about his early days in music, what kept him going and the importance of introducing the world to Caribbean music.
“There were double entendre songs that were to be sung in bars and nightclubs for mostly tourists and my aim was to write about the lives of the people of the Caribbean, and this was really quite different . . . ,” Burgie said.
“Many old songs that you might hear were just a phrase repeated and repeated, but then I took these things and made them into a story in 32 bars . . . and dressed it up. I wrote the music to Island In The Sun also and it became one of the biggest hits of the time, which was great because no one even knew what Caribbean music was the year before that.”
While he acknowledged that “there was nothing new under the sun”, Burgie encouraged budding artists to find ways to make their music stand out. (LW)