Triple Carnival Crown winner Machel Montano continued his winning ways last week, as he officially launched the first single from his Government-supported Going for Gold: Project Gold CD, which is due to be released on August 31.
Entitled Going For Gold, the inspirational song was written by hit-maker Kernal Roberts and produced by Roberts and Arbise Motiff Gonzalez. An accompanying video featuring footage of our Olympic hopefuls was also revealed during the official premiere at the Hyatt Regency Ballroom last Monday evening and was said to have been directed by Peter C Lewis and edited "just a few hours before" by popular videographer/DJ, Cowin "Dori" Thorpe.
Inspired by a post-Carnival conversation Montano had with Jamaican dancehall star Moses "Beenie Man" Davis, the idea for the project was then explored in subsequent meetings with Minister of Planning and Sustainable Development Dr Bhoendradatt Tewarie. A release from this Ministry says the project is designed to fulfil several objectives, among them: "to create a sound encapsulating the lifestyle, energy, creativity and spirit of Trinidad and Tobago to not only showcase to the world, but to position T&T as having artistes that can hold their own globally" and "to bring international attention from major producers, artistes and recording labels to Trinidad and Tobago".
As a result, the final product will see a number of international artistes and producers collaborating with Montano, including: Chaka Khan, Pitbull, Beenie Man, David Guetta and Black Eyed Peas' collaborator, DJ Afrojack.
Questioned by reporters following his performance at the launch, Montano defended the move to include international artistes on the project, saying "the album will open the doors of the world to young upcoming local artistes".
He said: "The album will prove itself in time. We are building relationships with powerful producers and there will come a time when artistes like Kees will be able to just go to them and work. It will give young people the opportunity to take local music further."
Montano added that the album will also serve as a template for the Government to follow while working with other artistes.
Minister Tewarie addressed recent criticisms made regarding Montano being the artiste in charge of the Anniversary CD.
"He is it right now," said Tewarie. "He represents the musical genius of Trinidad and Tobago to the world. People need to understand the significance of this album, not only for Machel, but for the country. He is a great musical talent and he has not reached his full potential."
Montano reiterated that he was the one who approached the Government with the project and asked for their support to do the album.
"When I took the project to them, it was like an alignment of the stars," he said. "It was not Government choosing Machel, but I went to them and they were open to talking about the album."
The reigning double Soca Monarch and Road March King described the album as the "soundtrack of a Golden summer", which will serve to encourage the momentum of the public as Trinidad and Tobago competes in the 2012 Summer Olympics in London and celebrates 50 years of Independence next month.
Other local acts said to be included on the album thus far are: 2010 Digicel Rising Stars winner Neval Chaitlal and Black Ice Studios producer Keron "Sheriff" Thompson.