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Feeling the hype

Hypasounds receiving his award at the 10th International Soca Awards.

by Latoya Burnham

To say 2012 has been a great year for Damien Hypasounds Etienne, would be an understatement.

Little more than a month ago, he was awarded the International Soca Awards Best New Male Soca Artiste – an distinction he shares with Trinidadian artist Erphaan Alves.

“It was a great feeling, fa real,” said Hypasounds, recently back from Canada where he performed shows with Edwin and Lil’ Rick.

“First thing, being nominated was a surprise in itself. I was nominated in three different categories,” said the soca artist who only opened his own studio a year ago.

And it seems for Hypasounds that it was the best decision he made. While he won the Best New Male Soca Artiste award for Roll Yuh Bumper, he was also nominated in the Best Groove Soca – Male and Song of the Year categories, for the same song.

His two hits this year, Wuk It Up Bad and Sweetness In Me, with Alison Hinds also did well over the Crop-Over season, and were the first two tracks that he was able to produce completely from scratch in his new studio.

“It means a lot and after putting so much work into a record and having people love it was one thing but actually to receive an award for it just took it to the next level.”

Overall Hypasounds said the experience and the exposure was phenomenal, and as he left late this afternoon for Miami, he said he was now in future promotion mode.

“It was a good experience. I got to meet some managers and more people in the business. Since the awards I just came back from Canada, Toronto being a surprise act for Lil Rick and Edwin and I’m off to Miami. There are two shows and I am just going to promote because it is the last set of promotion before things happen in Trinidad,” the soca man noted.

“The next step is music, music, and more music. I am actually still working on stuff because work never stops… I’m still trying to work on the Hypasounds album. The financial part is what got me, but hopefully after this and the tourism board or whoever see de achievement, I would hope that somebody would be willing to help invest into the album because a lot of music there to put out, but it is costly,” he stated.

The freelance DJ and radio announcer who confessed he just keeps “working on stuff” said he was already lining up his music for next year. But he is a man who believes that calypso as a genre can outlive the local Crop-Over season.

“I think it is a good idea to produce out of season because I believe, we get compared to Trinidad a lot, but I think Barbados is doing really great. We have a short space of time to come up with songs. You bus’ ya brain trying to come up with songs but a lot of Trinidadian artistes already got their songs put down and waiting for them by other artists so they just got to sing.

“I think it would be good if we could put more music out there. It is more than just Crop-Over – as an artist it should be more than just Crop-Over. So it is a good thing even if we do it outside of Crop-Over or if as the year goes on you just put a track out for Valentine’s. It should be that you could do a love soca track, if you are a soca artist, it is just the creativity of the person and how they look at it.”

He expressed thanks to Blood and the Soka Kartel for allowing him to show what he could do this year as part of that “family”, as well as Soca Child 360 out of the UK, whom he has been working with.”

His advice for other young artists was to not give up, “keep pushing ya work.”

“It is very important that when ya working on a track that ya ensure the final result is what you want because you cannot call back a track that already release and say that you should’ve done this or that. So basically, be satisfied with the final product.”

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