Singer, songwriter, producer, and astute businessman Sherwinn “Dupes” Brice, has been making tremendous strides in the music industry.
Born in St Thomas to Saint Lucian parents, ‘Dupes’ as he is professionally known, spent his first nine years abroad before his family returned to Saint Lucia.
Sherwinn was first introduced to the world of music by his parents – Samuel and Esther Brice. From early, he was influenced by their love for Caribbean music and particularly his mothers’ fondness for R&B and pop music of the late 80s and early 90s. Recognising his appreciation for the art form, Samuel enrolled him in private music lessons where he earned distinctions in Cambridge Music Studies. His deep fascination with music took off at the age of eleven with the gift of his first portable Walkman recorder from his mom. This saw the beginning of a very bright music career.
After his formative years with the Vieux Fort Comprehensive Secondary School band, where he met his wife Genelle. Dupes returned to the U.S. to further his education and during his spare time he would explore music production.
Upon his return to St. Lucia whilst developing his small business venture Wegosite Internet Cafe in Vieux Fort, Dupes began making waves as a music producer. “I joined the group PCL Krew whilst producing for other acts, a Dr Dre type of thing ya know,” he chuckled.
After years of producing for several local acts, namely The Mecca, Shayne Ross, KAYO and Ninja Dan, Dupes decided to pursue a solo artist career. In 2011, he released his first single “Take Me Back This Time” with a music video to accompany. That same year, Dupes and The Mecca recorded and released a total of 72 songs as part of a promotional campaign from Dupes Did It Music entitled “Mecca Mondays”. But it was the passing of one of his eldest cousins, Remus Brice Jr., that would change Sherwinn’s life forever.
“After my cousin died, I realised that we’re only here for a time and now was time to focus on Dupes and developing my career,” said Sherwinn. “This decision led to my partnership with Jonelle James to explore and develop the income earning potential of various sectors of the music industry.” Armed with a collection of unfinished songs the duo set out to collaborate with some of Saint Lucia’s finest musicians; role models who inspired Dupes including Francis “Leebo” De Lima, Ronald ‘Boo’ Hinkson and Zach Popo. “Demos are important,” said Dupes, adding, “I’m a student of Quincy Jones. I studied his career. Michael Jackson always had a demo at hand when he visited Quincy and that was where their magic begun.” Dupes believes that the demo acts as a rough draft and makes studio time more productive.
Dupes has many facets to his character. He is humble, smart, well-grounded and has no qualms taking a backseat to savour the talents of some of the musicians who work with him. “It’s nice to have good people on your team to give you the thumbs up when you are performing,” said Dupes. Not that he needs any reassurance, given his exceptional work ethic, his faith and confidence.
He categorises his musical genre as Caribbean Pop. “I love R&B music but I see myself as a genre buster because I enjoy playing all types of music,” he explained. Since 2013, Dupes has released five singles – ‘Keep Pressin On’, ‘Your Body’ , ‘Dip Pon De Floor’, ‘Guilty’ and ‘Seasons’, all demonstrating his versatility with music videos that always show his love for St. Lucia.
His songs have wowed audiences locally and internationally. Highlights of his career include:
Although his performance at the Independence Day concert in Vieux Fort ranks as one of his best, Dupes’ stint at the Opening of the 2015 St. Lucia Jazz & Arts Festival, sharing the stage with Chronixx and Destra was one of the high points of his career. It epitomised his brilliance as an artiste. “It took hours of rehearsals with my dancers, Princess Tashii and Queen B (Onyx Dance Crew), and Evalucian band to improve my stage presence.” He was thrilled by the response of the audience who showed their appreciation by singing along. He described it as “an amazing experience” that filled him with pride. He added, “When I exited the stage and I saw my son and my family and the team, I couldn’t ask for more.”
According to Sherwinn, one of our biggest challenges as artists is getting the corporate community and the government to understand the value of the music industry and the strong contribution it can make to St. Lucia’s economic development. Success in the music business depends on an artiste’s ability to market their product effectively. As Sherwinn explained, “The internet plays a big part of it. Through social media, namely Facebook and Instagram, we post updates, motivational messages and shine a light not only on our art form but other creative avenues. Networking and travelling are equally important. I like to meet and get to know people before I introduce my music to them.”
Sherwinn offered sound advice to young, upcoming musicians. “Success is defined by the people you inspire, not by the amount of money you make.” He pointed to the classical genius, Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart as an example of a man who was committed to his music. “Here was a man who was obsessed and crazy about his music. Little did he know that it would still be making its impact years after his death. Stay creative, work hard on your craft, pursue greatness and success will eventually come to you.”
When he’s not writing or performing, Sherwinn spends time applying the same positive attitude to his family’s businesses Shernell’s Pizza, Global Travel and Par Avion Liquor Store.
Sherwinn ‘Dupes’ Brice has certainly made a name for himself and he’s increasing his fan base, not just locally but worldwide. We wish him continued success in the future.