Blood and sweat
One person who knows the benefits of hard work all too well is veteran calypsonian Anderson Blood Armstrong.
Blood, along with his band Soka Kartel was rewarded for their hard work last Sunday at the Barbados Music, Fashion And Film Awards. Blood copped the top prizes –– Male Entertainer Of The Year and Soca Artiste Of The Year, while the band received Band Of The Year.
“As an individual, I am quite happy and thankful that we were nominated and that we won the awards. The group is extremely elated about the win as this is our first win where the band is concerned,” he said.
But after such a phenomenal Crop Over last year, Blood should not have been surprised by the rewards. He admitted that they were somewhat “expected”.
“It’s never a forgone conclusion that you will win an award once you are nominated, but with a year like the one I had, it was almost hopeful and I am so happy that we were able to win the awards,” he added.
Last Crop Over, Blood walked away with the titles Sweet Soca Monarch, Party Monarch, along with his Soka Kartel partner Mikey, he placed third in the Party Monarch and they also took the Road March title with their hit song Roll It.
But when Crop Over ended, the band’s flames were not put out and they continued on their whirlwind of a year. They put meaning to the band’s catch phrase and took Soka Kartel “to di world”.
They embarked on a tour where they had many performances around the world, with the two most recent being London and Canada.
“We just came back and we will be going back out very shortly. The shows were really successful as far as attendance is concerned. Huge crowds were coming out to see us perform,” he said.
And the touring still isn’t finished for Blood and his band.
“We will be going to Bequia Music Festival at the end of this month and we are hoping that we will get a good response there as well. I think with the band’s repertoire and the high energy of the band, we can look forward to a superb show. I think its going to be a fantastic weekend,” he said.
Blood himself will then be heading off to France, where he will be promoting Barbados, himself and the band.
And the youthful calypsonian with a ready smile, is wasting no time in preparing for Crop Over 2014. Actually, when contacted he was in the studio at the time working.
“I am currently working on some vocals that I will be recording for some of the artistes this year. I am trying to wrap my head around finishing off some songs that I would have started awhile back so that we can get ourselves in gear to release the music,” he mentioned.
However, the “king of the stage”, who is known for his consistency, revealed that he would not be putting out a compilation album this year.
“The music I am doing and the artistes I am working with over the next couple of months, we will still come together and launch our music on May 1 as usual,” he said.
And while last year Soka Kartel “mashed up de place”, Blood revealed that this Crop Over they are going even more aggressive.
“That’s basically our theme. We have to be more aggressive so we can continue to bring a high standard of performance, professionally and just how we conduct our business,” he said.
Blood urged fans to “look out for great things this year because we are striving to provide and maintain the high standard that people expect from us”.