Monday, April 22, 2024

‘Saved’ by Gabby’s big move!


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THE MIGHTY GABBY had no intention of entering the Pic-O-De-Crop competition this year. He just wanted to focus on helping young people develop the calypso art form.But when he heard that his tent had failed to live up to its high expectations at the initial stages of the festival, Gabby decided to make a big entrance to save the day.And that is exactly what he did, turning up at the eleventh hour and impressing the judges with two songs he had written for other people, and which he had to memorise just hours before judging night for the semi-finals.Then on Friday night he again demonstrated why he is the calypso maestro by seizing his eighth crown.Speaking to the SUNDAY SUN at Hilton Barbados yesterday morning, Anthony Gabby Carter, who – judging from the boos after he was announced the calypso king – was not the popular choice among the masses, stoutly defended his two song choices Haiti and the Latin-flavoured Ole Ashe.He gave a historical sketch of Haiti saying that he had done a lot of research on the earthquake stricken country and was influenced by distinguished author C.L.R James’ book Black Jacobins.As for Ole Ashe, he dismissed the critics who questioned the song’s calypso authenticity. “The crowd did not understand the music, and I forgive them,” he said in relation to the boos he received. He explained that the music was a fusion of Brazilian flavour,  spouge, calypso and African rhythms that only a trained ear would detect. And he predicted that in the coming weeks the song would grow on people and like many of his other hits stand the test of time.Gabby said he had no intention of competing this year since he was focused on the children, having written six songs for Junior Monarch and 23 for other artistes. But, according to him, the bad Press his tent De Big Show got on opening night spurred him into getting back to Barbados from an overseas assignment to help out his tent mates.“I returned just hours before judging; and rehearsals were finished.I have to thank the musical director Emmerson Browne for allowing me to rehearse on Friday night three hours before judging and I felt confident in the two songs.He said he had written one of the songs for calypsonian Ras Iley and the other for young Anya Lorde, but neither could do their songs. So he spent time memorising the lyrics while returning to Barbados.He also thanked arranger Mike Sealy “for being there for me every day”.And while he is savouring his win, Gabby says his main focus is still about “developing the arts and culture and developing Barbados’ reputation in providing high quality music”.


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