This month, OECS YES In Action caught up with Brent Hoyte, a 26-year-old musician using his talent and platform to motivate and uplift his peers!
Tell us a little about yourself.
I was born and raised in the British Virgin Islands (BVI). I am the second of three children and the only boy. I grew up in a household where music was greatly appreciated – both of my parents are musicians and I give all credit to them and The Almighty God.
My father played a significant role in my love for music. His father taught him to play all the instruments he knows – starting with the drums and working his way up. Today, he plays every instrument with the exception of the flute and the violin.
Growing up in a Christian home, I was always taught to live by Godly principles and standards. My biggest role models are my parents, Pastor and Mrs. Wayne Hoyte, who are the leaders of the First Assembly of God Church in Lower Estate.
I am a very outgoing and energetic individual, a loving husband, and a father. My favorite pastimes include traveling with my band and spending as much time with my family as possible. I also enjoy the company of my close friends and music-related activities.
I am a member of the 2nd Degree Band, the College Jazz, BTB Trio, Sultry Band, and the Musical Director and Producer for High Frequency Band.
I have served as musical director for esteemed gospel artistes such as Jonathon Nelson, Jekalyn Karr, Myron Butler, Nigel Lewis, Samuel Medas, Emrand Henry, Bridget Butcher, Jessica Reedy, Positive, Jaron Nurse, Deanna Wattley, Ishika Charles, Blessed Messenger, Gabrielle Denae, Dylan J, TGM, Oneyke, Kendra, Verne Profitt and more. In addition, I have played for Kim Burell, David Rudder, Karlene Davis, Todd Dalaney, Susan Best, Donnie McClurkin, Sherwin Gardner and Sinach, just to name a few.
Throughout my musical career, I have produced over 16 albums that include: DeAnna Wattley’s “Christmas with DeAnna”; Ishika Charles’ “I got a Purpose”; Gabrielle Denae’s “Through the Storm”; and Oneyke’s “Songs from My Heart”. I am also the Head of Music Production at Home Grown Studios – my second home.
I have a genuine love for the youth of the British Virgin Islands. Therefore, whatever I can do to give back to the youth and to the entire Virgin Islands, I am going to do it to the best of my ability – as long as God permits. My encouragement to everyone is that no matter what your passion is, always put God first and invest in the things that will allow you to be the best you in what you do.
When did you first notice your inclination towards Music?
From the age of 3, I loved to take my mom’s pots and pans and make rhythms on them – music was always a part of me. Throughout primary school, the love for music grew even more, but I really noticed my inclination towards music when I was in high school.
What inspired you to start?
As far back as I can remember, music has always been my main interest. My high school music teachers changed my life forever – being around them and admiring the level of skill they had, I knew that I wanted to achieve this and that I wanted music to be my full-time job!
What obstacles, if any, did you face and how did you overcome them?
Thankfully, I had no significant obstacles on my journey. It was all smooth sailing – Thank GOD! My journey did entail a lot of hard work, dedication, and focus.
Tell us about the journey from the first spark of interest to where you are currently.
I continued to embrace my love for music throughout my high school years at Elmore Stoutt High School. Once I received my high school diploma, I moved on to complete my Associate Degree at Hamilton Lavity Stoutt Community College in Business Administration. Shortly after graduating, I started a full-time job working as a High School Music Teacher. In 2018, however, I resigned from my teaching post and opened my own music school (Home Grown Music Academy), which is now the biggest music school in the BVI.
What has been your biggest challenge along the way?
My biggest challenge along the way was managing my time between family life and music life. For the time being, I am doing a pretty good job balancing the two, but I know in the future it will become more challenging to balance traveling and studio commitments.
How have you used the current COVID-19 global pandemic to your advantage?
I understood that many people would have been negatively impacted by the pandemic, both economically and emotionally. As a music teacher, I know the power of music to uplift and bring people together so I put together a Praise Party Concert because Gospel music especially motivates and encourages people to hold on and gives them hope.
Is there an achievement or contribution that you are most proud of?
For me, the biggest achievement is when my music encourages people to give their hearts to Christ!
What would you say most motivates you to do what you do?
I am very passionate about my generation. What motivates me is knowing that some of my peers are lost and I want to see all of them be servants for Christ. I will continue to do my part to keep them on the right path through the use of Gospel Music.
Did you have any key mentors or people who deeply influenced your journey?
My Father, Wayne Robert Hoyte, is the main reason I love music. He made it fun for me and he was always supportive. As a child, my father would come to every concert that I played and cheered me on. For me, it didn’t matter how many people were there, all that mattered was that my father was in the crowd watching me! I strive to be half the man that he is, and I’ll be thankful for that.
Kamau Georges Alton Bertie and Glenise Rabbsatt, also played a huge part in my musical upbringing. They spent hours upon hours teaching me, drilling me, to become as good and better than they were.
Raul “JOUGO” Sprauve was critical in marketing the “Brent Hoyte” brand and getting the word out about my music and talent. He invested the time, money and resources to help me become who I am today.
What advice do you have for other Caribbean youth aspiring to get involved in the Music Industry?
Always Put GOD first, PRACTICE, PRACTICE, PRACTICE, and be humble in all things you do.
What’s next for you? What are you looking forward to?
Right now I am about to release my new album “Ear Food, Vol.1” and I am currently working on 2 more albums that I plan to release this year as well. I am also looking forward to things going back to normal post-COVID-19!