Songs fit for crowns
by Kimberley Cummins
But the question is: “Will the judges be able to?”
This is the debate artist Andrew Blakafiah Thomas put forward regarding his chances in Crop-Over competitions this year.
This morning Blaka sat with a Barbados TODAY team at the Warrens, St. Michael office to discuss his chances. This season he will enter Sweet Soca with Show Me, Party Monarch and Pic-O-De-Crop with the West Indies Cricket Song as well as Wondering. All his songs were self-penned and produced by Pernell Farley.
Wondering is a song about Caribbean people who, he said, were just drifting along the tides, with a mentality of “Whatever goes we are going along with it” and as a result they are suffering. On the other hand, the West Indies Cricket Song is not only a “tribute” to the boys in maroon, but also a story about where West Indians, in general, were headed.
In 2012, Thomas had two very popular songs Terrorism and Morality, however, he did not move beyond the tent. This year he is not deterred.
In fact, he is even more confident, stating that based on the strength of his material he should be crowned the 2013 calypso king of Barbados.
“My chances are the best, like anybody else. My chances in the box — the projected imagery of what it takes to get to Finals — depends on if you can see and ‘overstand’ where the music is coming from, where I am coming from and if you can interpret the message the way it should be interpreted.
“If you do that I should be the calypso king of Barbados,” the Celebrity Tent member said confidently.
“It depends on the night too, so if I come the way I know I will and can and everything goes according to that performance and straight I don’t see how you would beat me so easy.
“Even last year, when they left me out I ain’t see how they get me beat yet, and don’t get me wrong, I ain’t vex or bitter, that is their thing. You judge according to the criteria but I would never conform myself to fit into your box to get the crown.
“I want to win the crown — a million crowns I want to win… because that gives me a [bigger] audience to reach the youngsters in Barbados, but I find here in Barbados we don’t judge the calypso, we judge the personality. It is all stereotyping. Look at Observer — ‘The People’s King’.
“I don’t mind being the People’s King but I gine prove too I gine burst that barrier. Locks or not I am going to bring a standard of music and performance and so much class that every year you refuse me I coming again because it ain’t only about winning for me.
“Yes, I want to win, but I coming to bring a message. So I coming every year ’til you realise ‘You, this man don’t give up at all’. Even if you feel for me and give me, I coming and one of these days I gine win that crown,” he stressed.
Thomas has been in music for 20 years. Beginning with the Richard Stoute Teen Talent contest and Rev-O-Dub-O-Lution, but his first love has always been social commentary. He has more than 200 songs in his arsenal, the “truth talker” revealed.
The father of three prides himself on professionalism and said one of his strong points was diction. Evidently this is also one of the strong points of his daughter Princess also. The 10-year-old’s diction was equally as impressive last Sunday night when she performed a song written by him called True Royalty in the Scotiabank Junior Calypso Monarch semi finals under the pseudonym Mighty Makeda.
Thomas described his music as universal, stating it was written in a way that it could be understood, regardless of where in the world you live. firstname.lastname@example.org