An unnecessary scene in the music video for one of his songs caused much frustration to former international groovy soca monarch, Shurwayne Winchester who now just wants to put the issue behind him and move forward.
In the video for “Wine On It” there is an intro that features a man delivering a shipping container to another man who hands over a wad of cash. When the container is opened there are three scantily clad “Columbian” women. The music begins and the first scene features Winchester in a Jamaican nightclub where he dances with several women.
Although there is a disclaimer stating that the producers of the video do not in any way condone human trafficking or any form of illegal trafficking, the intro still angered some people from various organisations who sent out a letter to the media expressing their disgust in the scene as well as other elements in the video they believed promoted irresponsible sexual behaviour.
Among the organisations represented on the letter were; The Centre for Integrated Research and Training (Dominican Republic), the Caribbean Vulnerable Communities Coalition, the Guyana Sex Work Coalition, the Caribbean Sex Worker Coalition, the Caribbean Vulnerable Communities Coalition (Jamaica), the Caribbean HIV and AIDS Alliance, the Oilfields Workers’ Trade Union, the Family Planning Association of Trinidad and Tobago and the University of Michigan.
Winchester responded with a letter of apology to the orgasnisations stating that he does not condone any form of illegal trafficking. Winchester also wrote that he holds great empathy for anyone that has been affected in any way by human trafficking either personally or through a family member being abducted.
It should be noted here that “Wine On It” is produced on the Overproof Riddem, which also features “Settle” by Mavado. The video was produced by Robin Chin of Enhanced Realizm Film. Chin also issued a statement taking full responsibility for the controversial scene in the video, which he stated he stands fully behind.
Winchester told the Express he does regret that people have been hurt and offended by the scene in the video, with which he really had, “no personal association”. He said he dealt with the issue immediately in the best way he knew, issuing an apology and ensuring the intro was cut out. The intro, however, is still attached to the video on YouTube and other video sharing websites, over which Winchester or anyone else has no control.
“What can be said is the “Wine On It” video intro sparked some controversy and when called upon to rectify this Shurwayne Winchester removed the video from his website and gave instruction to the producer to edit the top of the video,” wrote Winchester to the Express via BBM from Jamaica.
In the midst of all this, a look back at Winchester’s career will reveal an artiste who has steadily progressed over the years. From the humble beginnings in Tobago on the junior calypso competition circuit, Winchester has striven to move up another level with each achievement.
Winchester’s driven ambition has lead him to this point where he has evolved from a singer to a successful entrepreneur. The former international groovy soca monarch on November 6 celebrated the third anniversary of his band, YOU with a party for family, friends, clients and members of the media at his home in Arima.
Also being celebrated was the spanking new SW Limited Recording Studios also located in Arima, off the Old Road. Taking a step back for a bit, when Shurwayne decided he wanted to have his own band he began to purchase instruments one piece at a time investing his earnings from Traffik to ensure that when the time came he would have everything necessary.
This is exactly what Winchester did when he set out to establish the studios, which is not only serving him in the production of his own music, but is already providing a place for young developing artistes to create. Winchester told the Express that although his main focus is the creative and performing aspect of his career, he believes that one must look ahead and set things in place for the future.
The state of the art studio offers the latest in digital recording equipment along with a fully outfitted rehearsal room that can accommodate an entire band. Every amenity one would need when working those long hours in a studio are also catered for including showers, a kitchenette and lounge.
There is also a conference room with audio visual facilities as Winchester extends its services beyond only music production. The facility also works on advertising conceptualisation, copywriting, script creation and sources the right talent for whatever projects clients bring. During construction, Winchester said, artistes such as Maxi Priest and Buju Banton gave him advice on what the studios should feature and offer.
As for Winchester’s own music production, he has been very busy over the past months working alongside his musicians from YOU in creating what seems to be a string of hits within recent weeks. The most recent release is a very cheeky, double-entendre titled, “Wining Addiction” that was released on November 7 and is already being requested by many female callers to the radio stations.
Winchester is looking forward to a very active Carnival season because of the popularity of his already released singles, “Wine On It,” “Work It,” “Harder” and “Good Vibrations” with Jamaican artiste, Keida.