Spice's voice turns piano man
For years he has been entertaining the world with Spice And Company, but over the last two years Alan Sheppard has taken on a new venture –– solo.
For him it was a new and challenging; but, as he admitted to Bajan Vibes, he loves a challenge.
“Over the past two years, I have been travelling quite a bit. I had got into a niche part of the music market, which is a solo piano bar entertainer in piano bars and casinos around the Caribbean, and some places further a field. I have been doing that for the last two years and I’m loving it.
“Some of my favourite places are St Maarten, Amsterdam, Aruba and Curaçao. One of the most beautiful places in the Caribbean that I have come across is Rock Café in the US Virgin Islands, and I love playing there,” Alan said.
He has performed before many audiences worldwide that have included the likes of Simon Cowell, Richard Branson and Tony Sirico of The
“I’m the piano man these days. I saw some guys doing it and I thought it was quite an interesting type of entertainment because of the huge range of songs you have to know. You have to know over 1,000 songs straight off the top of your head in order to be able to react to people instantly. And I like the challenge of that. So I got into that.
“It’s a lot of freedom; lots of creativity as well. You can be as creative as you want when you want,” Alan said.
However, he noted: “I also like playing when I come back home to Barbados, playing at the beach bars and so on; and I keep happy doing that.”
Last year was very busy for him; and he loved it.
“The year has been a lot of work. I really want to sit down and work out the total hours I have sat and played the piano and sang. I know there are thousands of hours, and it was good for me,” he added.
With regard to Spice And Company’s song Bump And Wine, Alan said that he was really happy but not surprised that it was still doing so well worldwide.
“Bump And Wine is a staple still doing well all over the world. You can’t go on a Caribbean cruise without hearing Bump And Wine. Any Trinidad Carnival, you are going to hear it. Anywhere you go in the world where there is carnival music and a festival, the congaline is still going to be there. It’s still played in the Disney Parade. It’s all over.
“Steel bands in Japan are playing it. Sometimes I play it in my piano solo thing and it always gets the people up. Even if it’s a smaller crowd, they all have a good time when they hear it,” he said.