Grammy invite a ‘dream come true’
If you’re watching the 55th Annual Grammy Awards next month you might recognise a familiar face in the audience.
Bermudian music industry professional LA Virgil will attend the event for the first time, hopefully with her beloved aunt in tow.
She received an invite as president of His Multimedia, a company that launches the careers of musicians, filmmakers, writers and dancers. She is also a member of the American Society of Composers, Authors and Publishers (ASCAP).
“This is something that most Bermudians in the music industry dream of, an official invite to the Grammys,” Ms Virgil said. “I just wanted people to know that it is possible.”
Her big dilemma? Who she will take to one of the most famous music awards programmes in the world.
“I will be honest with you, the only person I would want to take to the Grammys is my aunt Estlyn Harvey,” she said. “She was the one that always pushed me as far as I have gotten in the industry. I took her to a gospel Grammy show. She was full-steam ahead for that.”
Her aunt has a health condition and may not be able to attend, but Ms Virgil is crossing her fingers.
“We talked and I told her she is the only one I want to take,” said Ms Virgil. “I know this year there will be lots of surprises at the 55th Grammys. If I don’t go with my aunt I don’t know who I will go with. She is my main choice. She was also with me the whole time when I was sick.”
Ms Virgil relocated to the United States several years ago after surviving brain cancer.
She has been involved with music for most of her life. Before becoming ill in the 1990s, she worked as a music publicist on the Island, but always wanted to take her music career to another level.
“When I was diagnosed with brain cancer I said ‘if I am dying let’s go for it’. I approached Kenneth Gamble [an American songwriter and record producer in Philadelphia] who helped me a lot through my illness.”
Ms Virgil worked with him to create her first record label in Philadelphia, Hisrecords Int’l Inc. The company then morphed into His Polishing and then His Multimedia.
“Recently, we have been doing a lot of song placements and stuff for films and commercials, so that is exciting,” she said.
His Multimedia is looking to expand to the Los Angeles, California area.
“We do a TV show called ‘The Lightswitch’ that is shown on Thursdays on Comcast and Verizon at 7.30pm,” she said. “We supply music for that and it is seen by half a million people.”
Now she wants to help more Bermudians get into the entertainment industry.
“There was an industry in the past,” she said. “There was a music industry in Bermuda where people could survive. It is so much more than singing, writing and performing. You have the publishers, and publicity people, and so forth.”
She said while some Bermudians who have made it in the international entertainment industry seem to forget that they are Bermudian, she never has.
“I am so proud of who I am, that that always steps before me,” she said. “People call me ‘Bermuda LA’ or ‘Bermuda Girl’.”
She was in Bermuda for Christmas and brought her husband of three years, Alex Maldonado Jr to see the Island for the first time. “He loves it,” she said.
The 55th Grammys will be held on February 10 and will air on CBS.
Useful website: www.hismultimedia.com .