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Virgin Islander in Nashville Building A Bridge Home
In 2010, Tropic Heat Studios was the catalyst creating the vision for Nashville based Rock Band, Red Carpet Rats, & their album release tour & travel series reality show in the Virgin Islands. Advising their record label, Chauffeur Records, Gigi de Lugo, of Tropic Heat Studios, helped RCR define & understand the viable path the Virgin Islands held for their upcoming album release, and introduced the Nashville record label to local contacts in the Virgin Islands. Within a few short months & a lot of heart from all involved, RCR landed on St John to play New Year's Eve and launch a winter 2011 "Rockin The Islands" tour that would include 50 shows encompassing venues and beach bars in both the U.S. Virgin Islands and the British Virgin Islands. Their time in the islands will launch their new travel series, “Rockin’ the Islands, starring Red Carpet Rats” which will air on the
Resorts and Residence Network (R&R-TV), showcasing Gigi's homeland.
"I came to Nashville in 1993 from the islands where I had my film production & consulting company. My goal was to plant the V.I. flag smack dab in the middle of Music Row and send up a flare. Done! In just one (1) year that flare became a global hit song called "Love A Little Stronger" recorded by Diamond Rio” (part of the catalog of 12 songs that Gigi's team began composing while on St John, USVI in May of 1993) -” that was my first vision to accomplish in Nashville, the music, because I already had most of my film credits - I came to bring the two together." says Gigi.
Fast-forward 18 years later - Gigi has grown a list of Indie credits in the film and music industry long before being an "Indie" was hip - back when it was "renegade". "I love being a pioneer/visionary - and I think that is solidly the identity in my soul. It's the thing that keeps me believing anything is possible and helping me find the friends who are on the same journey. To me, the Indie road is a spiritual trek, it always has been, which means there have been times I kind of rocked the other paradigms and the industry's belief systems a bit just doing things my way, and times I got my butt kicked and learned a few hard lessons. What an adventure!"
Full Circle - 2010 brought Gigi's heart back to the original intention of her 1993 arrival in Nashville. "Before moving to Nashville, I used to go to L.A. to continue gaining credits in the film industry simply to be able to bring my experience "home" to the islands and help teach and grow our local workforce. It was a tough double-edged sword some times for our islanders when productions would come there to film. You couldn’t get a job in the film industry unless you had experience, and ...there ya go. I was lucky to have been trained by LA. based producer Jay Benson, (who spent the first 13 years of his career as Lou Wasserman's right-hand man with MCA) , while he was filming a CBS Movie of the Week on St John in 1990. I was one a small number of locals who were regularly offered work on productions before they ever set foot on island. The production companies couldn't afford to invest in training our work force so they brought in their own teams. Honestly, to me my greatest film success was a 35mm commercial for Bacardi Rum of Australia filmed all over St Thomas and St John over 3 grueling days back in the '90s. It was the "greatest" because it was the FIRST production to use ALL local hires and we totally kicked ass! Not on a sound stage in the center of movie town - but from an island in the middle of the ocean - I couldn't have been more proud of my team. While my most challenging one was an Indie Feature Film in 1994, "Moving Target", http://www.imdb.com/
As a single-parent to three sons, Gigi chose to stay out of the spotlight. "Sometime around 1999 I started saying , "my work is famous, I'm not", and that was intentional. Growing up as the daughter of such a Virgin Islands' hero as Ron de Lugo was both a blessing and a challenge. Preserving private family moments was rare - I wanted my children to have as much of a childhood outside of the limelight as I could secure for them. Given the choice I some times declined going to receive awards wanting to have them mailed to me so I could enjoy time with my sons. It was pretty tough too, being a single-mom demanded a constant choice of where to invest my time.”
Asked what insight she might share from her 30 years in the entertainment industry, Gigi says, “At this stage of my career all the roads I went down and paths I carved that to some appeared scattered, now prove to have been ahead of the curve, -- isn't that just like an Indie? You have to keep believing you are heading in the right direction, and be ready to make adjustments and turns when they are required of you. The most difficult question I ever hear is "what do you do?". All I can say is - ‘everything I love’ because if you aren't doing what you love you wont have the stamina to deal with the challenges as well as the victories in your career. To that I add, know your end-game, the destination you are heading for."
Tropic Heat Studios http://tropicheatstudiosinc.blogspot.com/
Storm Front Music, BMI , Tropic Heat Studios, BMI
CrindelStar ~ Where The Universe Dreams
Page Updated Last on: Nov 22, 2013