Saturday, May 29, 2010
He can be credited with being brave; coming out as a rap artiste ready to infiltrate a society which is familiar with foreign rap music and hardly pays attention to local voices trying to be heard. He shot a video and was throwing up dollars in the air, flashing a whole lot of bling and partying with women just like they do it in the videos we are used to seeing. But then he went silent.
“I was still working. I work every day developing my craft because this is my job, this is what I do,” Gialiani said in a recent interview. His tone was sharp, piercing to the point of a decibel [maybe an exaggeration], but he was probably going for convincing. Whatever it was, he was serious about how hard he has been working since his break-out release, “Rude Boi” in 2005.
He is not as obvious anymore, his appearance is like any other guy who is conscious about how he looks, but the baggy clothes and bling are gone; left for the music videos when he said he is allowed to be the rap artiste that he is. So what exactly has he been up to lately?
The rapper is back home for corporate support and to push his latest single, “London Girl”. Corporate support, he said, means somehow getting corporate Guyana to pump money into what he is doing and this is a stretch, but somehow he manages to talk them into sustaining that support. Gialiani has been funding his own projects and he released “London Girl” using his own money. The track is fresh, fun and an improved sound; it is Gialiani reloaded. It is set for release on UK radio stations soon; Gialiani had been in London for several months now pushing his music.
He said it is costly to work out of the UK, but he went because of the interest he said the people pay over there in rap music. “They are accepting of international artistes,” he said, noting that the US is a more competitive market and one he could take years, if ever to break into. Gialiani has been working non-stop since he went to London and according to him; it was hard because he had to build contacts and network starting without any connections.
He has not done any major work yet over there, but performed at a few open mic events and was also invited at a couple of campus jams. He said “London Girl” was done to connect with the London audience and allow them to have something to identify with. “The melody was really important, we found that first and then put lyrics to it, but the song is really strategic,” he noted. Gialiani is hoping the song lands him a solid fan base over there and eventually on an international scale.
Speaking about the song, he said, it is an R&B cross-over and more of “a chill song”. He described it as a laid-back track, which people would definitely want to listen to when it is on. Gialiani collaborated with UK artiste, Haley May, who is also trying to breakout.
Since he has been back there have been bookings, but he is yet to commit to any of it. He said the finances he would pick up from the performances are not “really important right now”, but he is also considering whether the performances can bring him and the song the kind of exposure he is looking for.
Gialiani has plans to collaborate with several artistes plugging away like him in the UK. He said that his tapes are out and are sitting on the desks of people who can make things happen. “I am waiting on them, they have to listen and if they like it that is my break,” he said. He is hoping to shoot a video for “London Girl”, but has to raise the funds to do it.
“I am very serious about my work now, back then I did a lot music that I never really studied that much. I’m a different artiste now, I have grown and I understand now how music can change people,” he added. His focus is now on making music which “relaxes people”. He said his mother could not relate to any of the material he had out previously, but “London Girl” is growing on her. He is largely satisfied with the song, but feels it could have been better; he feels it could have been better lyrically.
He could be really optimistic, but he feels a record deal could be a year away. Previously he had teamed up with a management team out of Barbados after promoting his music on the island but that did not work out. Anyone who is interested in sampling his music can contact him at firstname.lastname@example.org for a free copy.Still in his twenties he feels that he has some time, but “not a lot”. He said that he has been up to-date with his music and has been releasing samples on Face book, Twitter and YouTube. He said that those social networking sites have limitations based on where you are.
From Stabroek News
From Stabroek News:
New kid on the block Jory Hector is going international as he has now teamed up with Barbadian soca star Peter Ram and his Guyanese counterpart Adrian Dutchin to produce a racy piece.
The original song, “OMG”, which was sung by Adrian, produced by musical-genius, Keyes and recorded at Kross Kolor Studios, has reportedly been blazing the airwaves. However, the official remix is anticipated to be a definite “chart-topper since these three amazing artistes have added their unique styles to this groovy dancehall mix”.
According to the release, Jory, who is vividly heard in the second verse articulating his appreciation for well-figured women, complements the chorus with eight bars of cunning rhymes, innuendos and slangs that are sure to thrill music lovers everywhere including his budding fan base.
Friday, May 28, 2010
“I want my own identity in music. I really want this year to be my year,” says the talented Jessica Xavier as she prepares to release her latest single with at least three others to follow for the year.
The 24-year-old musician likes to think that her music officially started when she released her first single “Baby Don’t Cry” last year. However, she has been singing for as long as she can remember at benefit concerts and charity dos. Her venture into music started when she was noticed by Danley Major who she says is “pretty much responsible for pushing me in that direction. He and his wife are fantastic.” Major produced and tracked the single, “Baby Don’t Cry”, Xavier said.
The sultry ballad singer admitted that she was sceptical about doing her first single with reggae rhythm but was told by her producer she needed to make a sacrifice. So making the sacrifice, Jessica said, she researched reggae “to feel the music” before she started to work on the song.
Jessica added that she was attacked by nerves her first time recording in the studio. The self-professed perfectionist says that being in a closed box with persons looking on made her nervous but being nervous helped her with achieving her best since she puts “more effort” into what she is doing.
As for a possible video to accompany her first single, a self-conscious Jessica admits that she’s “scared of TV”. Citing harsh critics out there among the reasons, Jessica says, “I hate the attention. Ever since I started singing I rarely go out.” Instead she spends the time with her family and she travels.
Nonetheless, the songbird, noting that she is new in the professional music business, was adamant in pointing out that she was not Megan Vieira who she says she gets mistaken for quite a lot, “I’m not Megan Vieira! I’m Jessica Xavier. I get that too much. I want my own identity in music,” she reaffirmed.
This is likely, as she works towards the release of five songs for the year. The first release, another single is due out soon and the others later on in the year. “I really want this year to be my year,” she adds as she tells of her newest single to be released soon, “A Better Day”.
According to Jessica, “A Better Day” is more of an R&B style single which is being produced by Darrell Pugsley and recorded at Brutal Tracks. Jessica says she is working closely with the producer on the single which is being funded by her.
Meanwhile later in the year Jessica expects to release another single which is being produced in Barbados. The single she says is “R&B mixed with a Caribbean vibe”. Also in the making is a single which she is working on with Dwayne Stephens. All in all, Jessica says she is “looking at three or more tracks for this year”.
But this she note is all dependent on sponsorship. While she is funding her imminent release and she secured sponsorship for the other singles, Jessica stressed the importance of funding if an artist is to make it in the business.
“Music does not pay the bills unless you make it to that level,” she noted. And speaking of achieving a “level” in the music industry, she says all she wants is to be an influence. “The level I’m looking for is not red carpet I want to be an influence. I want to make enough money to give back.
“I like pushing young people,” she adds. Her noble aspirations she says stems from her not being pushed when she needed it even though she was told she was a great singer, she said. But she knows that her aspirations to help other singers can only go so far, the talented songbird says more needs to be done to develop the talents of young singers.
Investing in a music school she says is one way to develop young talent. Everything from vocal training to public speaking she says should be taught. But most importantly, Jessica stressed the importance of an education in the business, which she feels would make achieving one’s dreams more of a reality.
Further, the music industry is too young to be as competitive as it is, she said. Jessica feels there needs to be more collaboration and less competition among artists in the local industry.
Everyone has his/her own style of singing and everyone is trying to make it she notes but it does not require the “fighting” that is currently going on. Using an example, she says that the opening of her upcoming single “A Better Day” has the same line as Tamika Marshall’s “One More Day” single which she hopes does not draw any harsh comparisons or wrong conclusions.
Meanwhile, outside of singing, Jessica heads her own Project Management business. Being self employed, she points out, gives her the opportunity to work on her music on her time. She notes she has been in business before she was in singing but says she works better when music is incorporated in her life and that is how she knew she had to do music as well.
A family oriented person, Jessica likes travelling and spending time with her family who she says has taught her to appreciate the smaller things in life since those are the things that count. The third of 11 siblings, Jessica credits her mother “for doing a great job” and her dad for pushing her.
Her upbringing is why she believes that positive attracts positive and that is why she listens to music with substance and creates music with substance, “When I write I think about who listens to my songs and I think about the message. My songs might be corny and crappy,” she says but she knows that she produces music that will touch someone in a positive way.
From Stabroek News
With talent flowing to her from both sides of the family, Soca singer Michelle ‘Big Red’ King has lots of steam to take her through the busy future she’s planning, which includes thoughts of returning her voice to the church.
Currently, the plus-size beauty is working on a video for the song “Big Daddy”. The music video, she told The Scene recently, is a remix of the song and she will be working along with Jamaican artiste Empress Lyrics (Denise Williams) to produce it.
Michelle started singing at the age of seven or eight in church. Her favourite hymn was “Ave Maria”.
“It was one of the harder hymns but still I sang it… I loved it,” Michelle said.
She has been singing since then but didn’t go professional until about seven years ago. Michelle’s real singing started with the band Mischievous Guys. It was through them that she was discovered by local producer Bonny Alves. She’s now a part of the Kross Kolour family.
At 37, King is a happy mother of two sons and expects to tie the knot soon. She has churned out hits like “Guyanese Wine” and “On De Road Again”. The latter was a collaboration with Venezuelan singer Joselis Suarez which saw them winning the Road March title in 2008. Michelle is still working actively on her career.
“When I was going to Trinidad a few years ago with a group of artistes and Kross Kolour I had to find a catchy name,” Michelle explained, “and since I was big and hot, well I just had to get something along those lines. I couldn’t call myself Big Hot so I had to I went with Big Red… Red represents the hotness.”
Now Big Red is a name known all across Guyana.
Michelle grew up in Kitty, Georgetown with her adopted mother and Godmother. Her father, she said, was a singer but she’s never met him. However, she spends time with her biological mother, renowned local actress and director and now HIV activist, Desiree Edghill, these days.
“I was an early mother. I was teenage mom,” Michelle explained, “and it wasn’t until after I had my first son that I started singing for Mischievous Guys.”
Being a single mother was extremely difficult, she recalled, and there was a time in her life when she never thought she would be where she is today. In her late teens, Michelle had limited education and was struggling to make a living. It has been singing which had provided for her needs and wants over the years.
“Motherhood at that age takes away some from your childhood… It was really hard. But singing; singing and my children and the other people in my life who I love give me all the joy I could ever want,” she said.
Michelle is an active member of Women Across Differences (WAD), which is a non-profit organisation. It’s never too late, she said, for teenage moms to find something at which they can excel.
“I’ve had a lot of ups and downs to deal with throughout my career,” the singer said, “especially those that arose when I had to be away from home and away from my children. I try when I have spare time to spend it with my kids even though one of them is now an adult.I won’t say I’m the perfect single mom. But my older son always tells me ‘Mom you’ve done a great job’ and that is enough for me.”
In fact, Michelle described her older son as “the man behind my success in many ways”. It was he who wrote the lyrics for the hit “Guyanese Wine”. She recalled taking the track home one day, running it by her son and he said he would write her the song. The lyrics of which include: “… he say Trini//I say Guyanese//he say prove it//I say how babes//he say show me how the GT girls does wine…”
In December 2008, Michelle won Best Groovy Soca (Female) at the Accolade Awards. It wasn’t really shocking to win the title, she recalled, as she was already expecting it.
Next year, Michelle says, she hopes to enter the Calypso and Soca Monarch competitions. Michelle has never entered the Mashramani Calypso competition and she had stopped entering the Soca Monarch contest following the fiasco in 2006, which saw her win, then lose the crown to her now Kross Kolour stable mate Adrian Dutchin after a recount of the judges’ tally.
Despite her success as singer, Michelle said she is still a person like any other. When she’s at home she cooks, cleans and washes like a regular mom. After that’s done she gets busy with the computer games. More recently, she’s started accompanying her mother on walks.
Michelle is sure though, who she has to thank for her talent and for making it thus far. She says: “I’m might be heading right back to God. I want to start singing Gospel again. It’s something I’ve been seriously considering a while now.” This is her way of getting more in tune with her spirituality.
“With God everything is possible,” Michelle stated. “He’s a miracle.”
Thursday, May 27, 2010
Solid Youth is back! More than four years after his last album, the local gospel star has just released his third album and a new video.
The album ‘Solid as a Rock’ was recently recorded in Jamaica under the Readyback Record Label. The 12-track album includes two collaborations with Jamaican gospel artiste St Matthew–the owner of the Readyback label. The singer also recorded the video to one of his songs “I’m Back”, which is featured on the new album.
Speaking to The Scene, Solid described this as his “best album so far”. According to him, his latest release showcases a different side to his music with his slower reggae rhythms. With a bias towards the “one drop reggae rhythms”, the singer, says that this decision has made his compositions more “worship-like” which he says are very popular among certain sections of his fan base. Since releasing the album Solid Youth, whose real name is David Yasin has partnered with St Matthew in performing at various concerts in the USA and this resulted in welcomed publicity.
The story behind Solid’s latest release is one he describes as a “God appointment”. The duo was supposed to collaborate on a single when St Matthew was in Guyana last year, but this did not materialize as planned. However, what was initially major disappointment for the singer soon turned into a major opportunity when St Matthew later invited him to travel to Jamaica to record an entire album instead. This made him only the second artiste, after St Matthew himself, to record under this music label. And while, in Jamaica, he also decided to produce the video to the song “I’m Back” which is the first track on his new album.
The singer’s latest album is expected to be officially launched at the Easter Jam on Easter Monday. However, interested persons can get a copy of the latest release at Giftland Office Max for a cost of $1000.
Copies of the CD will also be available at the upcoming Gospel Explosion which will be held at the National Cultural Centre on the evening of March 27. Solid is expected to be one of the artistes performing at this event.
Meanwhile, Solid is determined to build on his current musical momentum and is working overtime at promoting his new album. He plans on travelling to New York City, in the USA and to several Caribbean islands where he has traditionally enjoyed a strong following. His two other albums ‘Spiritual Warfare’ and ‘Judgment’ have both won him musical acclaim, while his most popular hit so far is the song “Abstinence”.
And as expected, the singer has his eyes set on producing another album and more videos in the near future.