MADE IN GRENADA ENTERTAINMENT NEWS

May 26, 2017

PreeDay teaser poster

During the 2017 Carnival season two of Grenada’s most prominent and distinguished composers and performers will be celebrating major milestones.

The world-wide recognized King of Jab music Wilt ‘Tallpree’ Cambridge will be celebrating his 20th year as a Soca Artiste. Although he was well known on the dance hall circuit prior to 1997, it was in that year Tallpree first made the switch, a fateful move that has led to him being Grenada’s most commercially successful Artiste. Two years later (1999) he released Ole Woman Alone – a song that has made Tallpree a household name wherever in the world Carnival is celebrated.

For his 20th Anniversary Tallpree will be celebrating in a momentous way with his signature PreeDay being the highlight of the celebrations. On Wednesday August 09th at the Grenada National Cricket Stadium, Tallpree along with 20 of his closest Soca friends – Regionally and Internationally- will headline what is expected to be Grenada’s most anticipated and certainly most entertaining event in 2017. Additionally, on Saturday July 29th (which coincidentally is Tallpree’s birthday) the two-time road march winner will host his 2nd annual Uncle Tallpree’s Kids Fete at the Morne Rouge Playing Field in Grand Anse.

Fans outside of Grenada will not be left out of the celebration has Tallpree has already begun his ‘Summer Tour’ which has him in Atlanta this weekend (May 26th – 28th) and will cover other cities in North America and neighboring islands in the coming weeks.

Another King in his own right, in fact an 8 time Calypso Monarch of Grenada, Finley ‘Scholar’ Jeffrey is, in 2017, celebrating his 25th Anniversary as a Calypsonian.

His latest win came in 2016 and already plans are being formulated for a successful defense of his title.

Apart from the Calypso titles, Scholar has won the Groovy title, the Soca Monarch and Independence Calypso titles.  Sometimes considered controversial because of his biting political commentary and his penchant for holding those in authority accountable through his lyrics, Scholar is much more than a political commentary composer. His hits include ‘Voices’ ‘Legacy’  ‘Heroes’ and ‘Belly’, all pertinent and transcendent social commentary. ‘Hold Him’ and  ‘Man Gone’ demonstrates Scholar’s versatility and of more recent vintage, ‘Clip My Wings’, proves that even after twenty five years the ‘Teacher’ still has the ability to produce classic compositions.

Scholar and his friends in Calypso will celebrate his Silver Anniversary with a major Calypso event on Sunday July 16th. The event will befit the magnitude of Scholar’s achievements and his performance on that day will cover the full gamut of his repertoire.

These are two colossal achievements for two of Grenada’s cherished Cultural Ambassadors and in an era of ‘microwave music and fleeting social media fame’ longevity and consistency must be recognized and properly acknowledged.

Made In Grenada congratulates both stalwarts on their collective achievements and look forward to much more entertainment in 2017 and beyond.

Dexter Mitchell

Q AND A WITH PATRICK HUMPHREY (UNLUCKY) (THE 1971 & 1973 CALYPSO MONARCH OF GRENADA

Q AND A WITH PATRICK HUMPHREY (UNLUCKY)
(THE 1971 & 1973 CALYPSO MONARCH OF GRENADA)

Unlucky

How did you get involved in music and at what age?

Music and singing was embedded in my family. My Uncles and Aunts played different types of instruments, and my Mum was always singing at home.

What was the music scene like growing up, some of the bands and influences?

Music scene was limited for me. Strict parentage meant that I couldn’t go out partying until about 17/18 years old. I listened to the radio mostly. At that time most of our music came from Trinidad 610 radio. Bands: Joey Lewis, Dutchey Brothers Etc.
Calypsonians: Sparrow, Kitchener, Bryner, Lord Blakey and others.
In Grenada, were Solid Sinders, Islanders and later Rhythm Riders. Calypsonians were Melody and Papitette. It was predominantly a town affair.

When did you start singing and recording calypso?

I was told my Grandfather organised choirs in his village of St James and went around the area performing. I know my Aunt and her Husband used to perform around the island during the carnival days singing and playing a home-made portable standing Hawaiian-like guitar. My Mother used to be singing all day while doing her chores. I was always a quiet person and surprised myself and the whole family and friends when I started singing, especially Calypso. It bore a stigma at that time.
At first, I experimented with a name; I tried Lord Fortunate, and then was known as Unlucky which I eventually changed to Lucky.
It all began when in my early teens, I joined the Birch Grove Young Man’s Improvement Club and we organised a talent show held at the school. All the categories were filled: ballads, duets, country and western, etc; but there was no one singing calypso, so I volunteered to fill that category and that was the beginning of my singing career.

What was the process like for recording songs during the 1970’s?

As for recording, studios were non- existent. We had to go down to Windward Islands Broadcasting Service (WIBS) radio station in Morne Rouge. Paul Roberts radio engineer at the time would set up and record music, and play the music on the radio.
To Record properly, one had to go to Barbados or Trinidad.

Do you remember how much was the prize money when you won the crowns in 1971 and 1973?

In 1971 it was $250 by 1973 it was $500.

What was the competition like, who were your fiercest rivals?

The competition was very keenly contested with everyone pulling all the stops in a bid to come out the winner. Darkie, Lord Slim, Scaramouche, Melody, Hurricane and the late Defender just to name a few.

Who were the original members of the Rhythm Riders?

Some of the original members were, Dennis Ruffin, Martin Charles, Charlie Lead, Melvin Pierre, Alfie Aberdeen and others. As members left others filled their places. I was about the third generation member of the band.

Tell us about the popularity of the Band. How often did it perform and where are some of the places, both local and abroad that the band performed?

The popularity of the Band never waned. We were performing mostly every weekend. We remained close to each other and practiced hard.
We played all over Grenada, at Mr Hall’s Morne Rouge Beach Club, Grenada Beach Hotel, CSA centre, Birch Grove Community centre, Birchgrove Roman Catholic School; the Anglican school in Gouyave nicknamed the Banana Boat. In those days the venues were mainly schools.
In England, the reception was exceptional and we had a lot of support especially from our Grenadians fans. We played mainly in town hall venues and hotels. Places like Hammersmith Palais and Clarendon hotel. I could remember at the Chiswick Town Hall the police had to come out to control the traffic and stop the crowds from entering the venue because it was over the regulation limit.

What prompted the band to remain in England in 1973? And how was the reception there?

In the light of our popularity, our management kept extending our stay in England. As nature would dictate, before long, members fell in love, got married and living long distances away from each other making it difficult for rehearsals and getting together. Sadly, the band was amicably dissolved.

Apart from 1989 were there any attempts to re-enter the Calypso Competition?

I embarked on a course of study, which took me from college to university for three years getting a degree in Education and Environmental Studies.
I entered Calypso competitions here in the Nottinghill Carnival celebrations and won on two occasions but never got to re-enter competitions in Grenada.

What are your impressions of the present state of local music? Who impresses and what advice would give to the new crop of Artistes and Performers.

I am unable to comment on the state of our local music but I have heard of an emergence of live local bands which is very heartening to hear. I therefore think this presents a very healthy state. I especially enjoy listening to the calypso monarch competition as I love the lyrical content and the way the storytelling is put together.
With regards to advice for the new crop of artistes and performers I cannot give much practical advice as I have been very unwell for the last few years and out of the calypso scene. However, I would suggest they emanate humility regardless of their popularity.

Patrick Humphrey – aka Unlucky joins a stellar cast of Calypso stalwarts for a memorable showcase of the artform – at the Spice Basket, on Mother’s Day (Sunday May 14th, 2017 at 6pm).

THE STATE OF THE LOCAL MUSIC INDUSTRY

THE STATE OF THE LOCAL MUSIC INDUSTRY

One of the themes of the 2016 Carnival season seem to be have been the placement of an expiry date on Veteran Calypsonians/Soca Artistes – the likes of Ajamu and Inspector were chided, in some circles for still recording, performing and competing.

While the comments and admonishes, in particular by the younger Soca Artistes created interesting talking points, they also gave one reason to pause and reflect on the current state of the industry.

Over the past 10 to 12 years some major talent have emerged on the National stage, with sensational performances, sterling compositions and the promise of boundless years of entertainment ahead. That new grouping for all intent and purposes were primed to be the next wave of entertainment stalwarts after the era of the 1980s and early 1990s that gave us classics songs and legendary performers.

However, the promise of the past decade and those who were positioned to be heirs to the glorious kingdom of Grenada music is yet to be fulfilled.

Solid, performances and songs that have energized an entire carnival season seem to be just flashes in the pan with no real potential being fully realized.

After over 30 years Ajamu and Inspector are still relevant and one can make the argument that Carnival still needs them. Scholar will be celebrating his 25th anniversary as a Calypsonian in 2017 and he proved in 2016 that he can stand head and shoulders above all others on any given night. Tallpree will be celebrating his 20th anniversary as a Soca Artiste in 2017. Apart from his numerous hits he has now injected two significant events in the Carnival season, while continuing to be the figure-head for all things Jab.

Apart from Lava Man, no other Artiste over the past 10-12 years have been able to deliver consistently, have been able to develop the personality and good-will that earns one loyal and devoted life-time fans.

Instead of trying to hasten the retirement plans of the Veterans, the younger and inexperienced Artistes could be well-served in attempting to emulate their senior peers, to aspire to maintain that which they have met and seek to exceed that which the stalwarts had made possible for them.

In a year when we witnessed captivating performances from the likes of Peter Humphrey and Squeezie and danced and delighted in new tunes by Humphrey and Lady Cynthy, longevity and consistency spoke volumes. We still go crazy over the 1980s and 1990s music with the music of that era surviving generations. Let us hope that our newer composers and performers can begin to be so consistent, to establish careers that can survive a carnival weekend and can develop personalities that will excite and intrigue to secure a fan base that is not solely based on likes and shares on social media.

 

ECCO

The Eastern Caribbean Collective Organization for Music Rights (ECCO) has over the past 4 years or so collected monies for the use of music here in Grenada. While over $120,000 has been collected, still to date none of those monies have been distributed to the users of music here in Grenada. In fact, at a recent AGM members were paid an across-the-board cheque of $225, with $25 removed for a St. Lucia-based tax, while being informed those payments were made because of an ECCO/FLOW settlement. The issue of the money collected in the name of Artistes remains outstanding.

During the 2016 carnival season no collections were made by ECCO here in Grenada. The Licensing Agent, Linda Straker, parted company with ECCO on July 1st. At the recently held AGM Wayne Green was voted back as the Grenada Director of ECCO, an unfortunate turn of events since in his previous two-year term he accomplished absolutely nothing with regard to the advancement of the desired agenda of the local ECCO membership. Subsequently Jason Skeete has been hired to replace Linda Straker as the Licensing Agent. Mr. Skeete’s job will be astronomical since he has to repair the public relations disaster that preceded him. Presently, collections will be a non-issue for him and ECCO unless and until there is some public accounting for monies previously collected. Membership drives and registration of music users will have to be Jason’s focus. Anything else will render his tenure another failure.

Music users, ECCO members and the public in general cannot allow this organization to continue to under-serve its constituents under the guise of a public good.

 

TALLPREE

The undisputed King of Jab is once again venturing into new and unfamiliar territory as he continues to spread the phenomenon that is Jab and Jab music.

Tallpree will headline the 2nd annual Latin/Caribbean Festival in Las Vegas, Nevada on the weekend of October 27th to 30th.  It is a much-anticipated stop for the Vendome native, headlining a major festival in the entertainment capital of the world.

The Las Vegas appearance will follow Tallpree’s recent performances in New York during Labor Day festivities and upcoming appearances in Miami during that City’s Carnival during the first weekend in October.

Additional information on the Las Vegas carnival is available at http://www.lvcaribfest.com.

 

Dexter Mitchell

 

 

PETER HUMPHREY – A RHYTHM RYDER

masters (2) L to R  King Ajamu, Praying Mantis, Peter Humphrey and Tangler

 

Like any other Village in any Parish throughout Grenada, Birchgrove provided the nurturing grounds for athletes, musicians and other outstanding citizens who have gone on to National, Regional and International fame and acclaim.

The Humphrey family certainly made its contribution in that regard, first through education (five of six siblings went on to be teachers) and then through music through the exploits of Peter Humphrey, Patrick Humphrey – the Unlucky (the 1971 and 1973 Calypso Monarch) and the Rhythm Ryders.

Peter got his break through the very famous penny concerts hosted by the 4H Club of Birchgrove. One fateful day his friends decided to out-spend him matching his pennies until he ran out of coins and was forced to perform. His destiny as a singer was cemented on that Primary School day in Birchgrove.

Peter’s move to the Presentation Brothers College opened him up to even more musical possibilities, as the successes of Cecil Belfon (the Flying Turkey) influenced a whole new generation of aspiring Musicians and Calypsonians. Among some of those who formed part of that early movement were the likes of the late Dr. David Lambert, Ewart Layne, the late Don Charles and his brothers Ricky and Leon and Jude Henry (Natty Nuclear Dread). Some of these names would later feature prominently in the growth of Grenada’s budding music industry with the formation of bands such as Moss International, Jah Jah Children and Magnificent Six.

Peter himself went on to join the Rhythm Ryders, after the band had completed a tour of England that ended in some discord.

While teaching at the Birchgrove RC School Peter competed in the Catholic Teachers Calypso competition placing first, this would have guaranteed him a spot in a Calypso Tent in Trinidad. However his paperwork for travel to the United Sates come through just prior to that and so he left the island in early 1979.

Once in Washington DC the musical sojourn continued with Peter joining the Image Band. At the same time he maintained his connection to the Grenada Calypso scene by competing locally and in the Independence Calypso competition in New York. The hit tunes during that era included; The Big A, Shake Ah Leg and the Book. 

In 1988 Peter Humphrey formed his own band – the Oasis Band which is still very active and functional and in which he doubles as bass player and lead singer. The Oasis Band is a fixture in the Baltimore, Washington DC area; in fact the band has performed at the Inauguration Ceremony for Presidents George W, Bush and Barack Obama.

The year 1994 was to be Peter’s defining moment with the recording of the timeless Miss Daisy.

The original hook ‘doh come so fast’ was suggested by a friend who insisted that a song could be built around that line. At about the same time the movie Miss Daisy was released in theatres and Peter, with his friend constantly reminding him about the line, combined the two ideas to create the classic story told in song. Producer Martin Calliste added his technical expertise and so the song was completed.

Peter, however, felt that his other song recorded that year Jump Spread Out was the one that audiences would gravitate toward.  The popularity of dancehall music at the time convinced Peter that Miss Daisy would get overshadowed by Jump Spread Out.

On the drive down from Birchgrove to Radio Grenada to release Jump Spread Out, Peter’s two brothers accidently heard Miss Daisy which was on the same cassette as Jump Spread Out. The brothers got extremely excited and insisted on playing Miss Daisy over and over. They concluded that this song was going to be the hit. Peter was still not convinced, but upon arrival at the radio station consented to letting Andre Donald play Miss Daisy. The response was immediate and over whelming.

Miss Daisy, to date, remains Peter Humphrey’s biggest hit, affording him the opportunity to tour Europe, Canada and the USA.

The journey came full circle when Peter headlined the Masters of Calypso show at Spice Basket on Sunday May 08th. Performing in Grenada for the first time in 22 years the audience was treated to a delightful display of showmanship. After the show Peter himself commented, ‘People are going to once again see the value in Grenadian Artistes. It was not just a show it was a validation of neglected talent.’

More of that talent will form part of the 2016 Carnival season as Made In Grenada has forged a professional working relationship with Peter Humphrey that will see him releasing two new songs in June 2016.

The Rhythm Ryder has now become a Riddim rider, working with the likes of dynamic young producer Hector ‘Mr. Legz’ Thomas to bridge the musical gap between generations. Such a collaborative effort should lead to an even better quality sound and brand of Grenada music.

Dexter Mitchell

Made In Grenada Entertainment News

 

Saturday May 28th, 2016

 

Made In Grenada Entertainment News

 

Cultural Ambassadors on the Road

The next month or so will be a very busy time for some of Grenada’s top performers as they take their unique talents to the USA for a series of performances.

Tallpree heads the list with a mini-tour beginning this weekend as plans continue for the staging of his signature carnival fete – PreeDay (the Black Edition) and his inaugural Uncle Tallpree’s Kids Fete.

DATE CITY
May 28th (afternoon) Atlanta
May 28th (night) Orlando
June 04th Boston
June 11th West Palm Beach
June 12th Toronto
June 18th Brooklyn
July 02nd Kingstown, St. Vincent
July 09th Fort Lauderdale
July 17th Toronto
July 29th – 31st (Caribana Weekend) Toronto

 

Elimus ‘Inspector’ Gilbert is in New York for three performances before heading home for the 2016 Carnival season.

He will perform alongside Barbados’ Mighty Gabby and Grinder on June 11th in a pre-Father’s Day affair, and then on June 18th he joins Tallpree, Mr. Killa and Mr. Legz in a Father’s Day soca showdown in Brooklyn. His final performance will be on June 25th, as plans for his annual Specky Sunday (July 31st Grenville Bus Terminal) continues.

Another Cultural Ambassador Finley ‘Scholar’ Jeffrey will be in Brooklyn for a Father’s Day performance on Sunday June 19th. He will join the likes of Beast, Val Adams and Judy Boucher for this special performance at the Mahalia Jackson High School.

 

Made In Grenada Expands

Made In Grenada has expanded its portfolio beyond the management of performer and recording Artistes. In the past week four Artistes have signed to Made In Grenada, with Made In Grenada providing exclusive Booking Agency and Public Relations services. 2016 Road March winners of Carriacou, PPM and Smalls, also from Carriacou D’ Regulars, Pupa Leendi and former Road March winner Soca Banton are those taking advantage of this new division under the Made In Grenada umbrella.

 

Beyond the Soca Riddim – the Soca Beat

In 2003 the Grenada music industry gave the world the phenomenon known as the Soca Riddim. The first such Riddim, known as the Cell Phone Riddim was recorded by Emmanuel Duncan through a collaborative effort with Nordley ‘Fatman’ Frederick. Since then Riddims have become the norm with producers of soca music the world over utilizing the idea that originally generated from Grenada.  Another such idea is in the making with the idea of creating a Soca Beat. The Beat is to create a musical foundation from which a plethora of songs can be built around, giving each song its own unique sound without the repetition associated with Riddims.  The evolution of the Beat will coincide with the 25th anniversary of the release of the 1991 hit tune Jambalsie Rule and will feature music created by some of Grenada’s top producers. The first songs on the new Soca Beat will be released in early June.

Dexter Mitchell

 

 

CULTURAL AMBASSADORS ANNOUNCE PLANS FOR CARNIVAL 2016

Thursday May 12th, 2016

 

CULTURAL AMBASSADORS ANNOUNCE PLANS FOR CARNIVAL 2016

Two of Grenada’s more prominent and consistent performing Artistes, Wilt ‘Tallpree’ Cambridge and Elimus ‘Inspector’ Gilbert held a joint press conference this morning to announce plans for the upcoming Carnival season.

Tallpree who will be celebrating the 5th anniversary of his annual PreeDay show, which takes place on Wednesday August 03rd, announced that he will release a new album which will carry the same name/theme as the PreeDay show – The Black Edition. Tallpree also announced the addition of a new signature event – Uncle Tallpree’s Kids Fete which will take place on Saturday July 23rd at the Morne Rouge Playing Field in Grand Anse. The Kids Fete will feature an assortment of games, rides, appearances by Cartoon Characters and much more. Also included will be live performances by the reigning International Soca Monarch winner – Voice along with St. Vincent’s Skinny Fabolous and a plethora of Grenadian Superstars. The Kids Fete will be a 6 hour affair from 1pm to 7pm.

It was also announced that Tallpree just concluded a deal with regional carrier LIAT that will make an official brand ambassador of the airline. Additionally, Marketing Executive of FLOW, Mr. Kelly Mitchell announced that Tallpree has been retained by the company (after the FLOW and LIME) as a Brand Ambassador, with considerations to make Tallpree a regional Brand Ambassador.

After a very successful 30th anniversary show in 2015, the holder of ten National titles, Inspector, announced today that the event will now be held annually under the moniker, ‘Specky Sunday’. In 2016 the show will be held on Sunday July 31st, at the Grenville Bus Terminal, in St. Andrew, in conjunction with the St. Andrew Development Organization, as part of the Rainbow City celebrations.

Inspector also announced plans for a new album entitled ‘The List’ which will feature a list of old favorites and the tunes of most recent vintage.

Inspector’s first release for the 2016 will take place at the end of May, a duo with Valene Nedd, entitled the ‘First Horn’.

Both Artistes emphasized the crucial role that sponsors have played and continue to play in the success of their events. Among some of those Corporate Citizens are;

FLOW

Netherlands Insurance

The Grenada Breweries Ltd

Duty Free Caribbean

Colombian Emeralds

Independence Agencies Ltd

Venus Restaurant and Sports Lounge

 

2016 marks the 35th anniversary of Carnival in August here in Grenada and the 25th anniversary of the release of Jambalasie, the song credited with giving birth to the new sub-genre of Jab Music.

With those two milestones forming the backdrop of the 2016 carnival season, based on the presentations by the two Cultural Ambassadors, one can safely conclude that musically this season will be a very special one.

Dexter Mitchell

ruth, pree and specky

Cultural Ambassadors Wilt ‘Tallpree’ Cambridge  and Elimus ‘Inspector’ Gilbert in the presence of National Queen contestant Ruth Bailey – Miss St. David