There are not many people on the island who can boast about having worked professionally with the likes of JayZ, Beyoncé and Rhianna, but our own Shane ‘Bermuda’ Woodley can do just that.

He has spent the last eight years living in New York where he worked as a musical engineer at Jay-Z’s studio, and in Atlanta where he worked with artist and songwriter Ne-Yo.

His return to the island has inspired him to bring his level of expertise to the local music industry, raising its professionalism and general awareness of our island’s untapped talent.

His determination that Bermuda’s talented artists, writers and producers should benefit from his success has spurred him to launch the collaborative album Da Squad Starting Eleven.

The fruits of his labour will be on sale from Tuesday, and a selection of his hand-picked artists and producers will perform at Shine’s House of Music this Saturday (see info box).

Mr. Woodley’s own success was born out of his love of music. While he could not play any instruments, he knew he had a passion and could make a big contribution to the music industry one way or another.

He moved to New York and found himself helping to build the recording studio Base Line, which belonged to none other than American rapper Jay-Z.

While working there he met Jay-Z’s best friend Juan Perez.

“He approached me because I was a new face and he wanted to know what I wanted to do,” explained Mr. Woodley.

“I said I wanted to do engineering and he told me to come back for an internship when the studio was finished.

“After that they signed a deal with RocAFella Records (Jay-Z’s label) to do all their music out of that one studio. I interned there for two years before becoming a full- time engineer.”

Mr. Woodley then worked with Jay-Z on everything from his Dynasty album to his Black Album. It was in that same studio he worked with some of the best-known global artists.

He is now back to give a helping hand to Bermuda’s own musicians and producers. He said: “I set out for it to be something that everybody could be proud of and the island can get behind. The people on the album are the people who just stood out to me and this is their chance to be heard.”

The album will be on sale from Tuesday for $20 from Sound Stage, Music Box and Music World in Hamilton or by contacting Shane Woodley directly at: dasquadcd@gmail.bm or call: 599-8969.