LAST CALL – A Closer Look

Friday night ended a month-long tour by what is arguably one of Bermuda’s best music groups. Notice I didn’t say gospel music group – that was intentional. 

LAST CALL, as the duo consisting of Adrian Jones and Tricray Astwood are now known, have been on the scene for less than a year. Yet still, they’re making waves which many local artists could stand to take note of. 
Each of them are probably the most well-known names among church praise and worship leaders. Adrian leads worship at New Creation Worship Centre and both the Somerset and Restoration Ministries Seventh-day Adventist Churches and has studied music ministry under Pastor Rod Parsley’s music ministry. Tricray is the current worship pastor at Cornerstone Bermuda and has led worship under gospel music singer and pastor Clint Brown. Tricray having previously released a most successful album, Let Judah Reign, has been a mainstay on local stages since that album’s release 5 years ago and both men have backed each other in live concert performances.
The resume is solid. The talent is undeniable. The execution though – that’s the story here!
Introducing Last Call
Less than 12 months ago Adrian was preparing for his own solo concert performance and 9 months later they have; written an entire album, flown to Los Angeles to record, released the album, and rehearsed and toured the island to packed audiences for 5 shows.
I heard it said once that if you want to be a painter – then paint! Want to be a dancer? Then dance! What ever it is you wish to do – seek it out and accomplish it. No excuses!!!
A young person with dreams of becoming a recording artist might be greeted with statements like, “How are you gonna do that?” “You can’t do that living in Bermuda!” “You need a real job!” But here, we have an example of two young Bermudian men who have successfully launched careers in the recording industry. They have shown that it is possible with a clear vision and excellent execution.
Local artists wanting to launch a career can take a look at how Last Call made it happen…
1. Find an audience – and perform for them as often as you can!
Fortunately for both Tricray and Adrian, they’re both praise and worship leaders at local churches which gives them both weekly FaceTime with a loyal following. This not only ensures that there will be a market to purchase their goods but also that they have had a great deal of hours of useful ‘practice’. As a local artist how many hours a week, month, year do you spend on stage practicing? There is real value obtained by those who spend several hours each week on stage, in rehearsals, and planning performances that is absent in those artists who do not.
2. Build a team – partner with those who share the same/similar goals.
Not everyone will decide to join forces with another artist – that is understandable and expected. They ought, however find people who possess the skills they do not. Clive Davis said that he never made the mistake of having Whitney Houston write a song – that wasn’t her gift. Likewise, you may not be a singer-songwriter like Beyonce, or able to handle all your own business deals like Oprah, or play an instrument during your concerts like Alicia Keys. Find out what you can do and perfect it like no other. The credits of 10,000 name a producer who’s resume reads like a who’s who list of music royalty. LAST CALL sought the best.
Last Call TeamLast Call at the Studio
3. Build a brand of your own – what box can we put you in?
I know there is no one who wants to be put into a box nowadays but when it comes to music and artistry – we want to know. Sorry! It matters to consumers. It tells them what music they are likely to enjoy, what concerts they should buy, it tells YouTube what video to play next, how Apple music suggests music, the list goes on… Part of what we enjoy about this technological age is that things seem to come to us with much more ease than before. These conveniences require things to be categorized – like you The Artist! What’s your style of music? What can we expect from your live performances? 

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4. Find someone who can produce a(n) professional/industry standard product for you.
One of the reasons we know LAST CALL is because they have two recorded products by which we can know them. If you want to be an artist then create a product to introduce yourself. Spend a few less dollars partying on the weekend or on that holiday outfit and put some money towards a recording with a professional, pay for a photoshoot and/or a graphic designer, get some voice lessons. There are others where you want to be – find them and use them to grow!
Last Call at the StudioLast Call insert
5. Distribute to your audience by any means necessary
An island-wide tour?! Considering our island is not that wide its a pretty ambitious idea. But then again maybe not. History has shown that local artists struggle to pull crowds necessary for a large-scale concert in Bermuda. Considering all the work and costs that go into making these kinds of shows possible it’s a real risk to hang everything on one event. LAST CALL figured to give audiences across the island an awesome live show FOR FREE while getting support from local churches around the island. This means that for weeks across the island churches have been promoting not only their concert – but the album. Who wants to attend a concert where you don’t know the music? No one! So of course, everyone made sure to get that album off of iTunes long before the concert reached their district.
Of course, there are tons of other things that can be done to reach your goals but it helps to take a look at those done by others. 
Whatever it is you’re doing you MUST have skin in the game if you are going to succeed. This may mean putting up some of your own money, borrowing money, sacrificing time and a host of others things…but IF it’s really what you want – It’s 2016 and it can really happen!