Saturday, March 2, 2024

Local talent shine at concert


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FORGET WHAT YOU’VE heard about how an all-Bajan cast can’t draw a massive crowd.
Last Saturday night at Ilaro Court people of all ages showed nothing but love for home-grown performers, prompting both artistes and emcees to describe the audience as one of the best ever at any show on the island.
It was local talent’s time to Shine at the concert held to raise funds for the construction of a pavilion  at Queen’s College.
And every performer got a good reception – from contemporary gospel acts Karlos Cobham and A Few Good Men through to newcomer Stephie Leigh and headliners Cover Drive.
The experience left some of the artistes overwhelmed. Among them was international soca star Rupee.
“This is one of the most beautiful shows I’ve seen  in Barbados,” he told the audience that had taken  up every vantage point in the open-air venue.
Speaking to the WEEKEND NATION after his high-energy performance, he said the crowd was the “most memorable” one he had ever performed for.
“This is one of the most overwhelming experiences I’ve had in Barbados.
“It was great to see the kids and adults singing along,” he said.
He revealed that he had been globetrotting over the past year, taking soca music and the Barbados brand to a number of countries for the first time. He touched Romania, Sri Lanka, Australia and Panama, just to name a few.
Next on the agenda are Toronto, London  and Cannes.
With hits like Jump and Tempted To Touch maintaining their popularity overseas, Barbados still remained Rupee’s favourite place to perform.
“Like I say in the song, [I am a Bajan] there’s nothing like coming home to the rock. I’m always indebted to Barbados,” he said.
Meanwhile, Philip 7 of the band Masala described the experience as “fantastic”.
“The crowd was amazing and it was good to see the young people enjoying good music and enjoying local artistes,” he said.
He said Cover Drive’s success had opened doors for other young Barbadian musicians.
“I think there are a couple artistes out there with potential including Stephie Leigh. The track went down on her but she continued and that’s the mark  of a true professional,” he said.
The singer, songwriter and guitarist said he would be releasing his second album “soon”.
Meanwhile, the lead singer of NexCyx, Mahalia Cummins, also described the concert as memorable.
“We’ve never performed on a stage with Rupee and it’s always good to perform with Cover Drive.
“It was good to see the crowd supporting all the artistes,” she said, adding that Cover Drive’s success was inspiring.
In addition to working on new music, Mahalia said the band would be performing at Bequia Music Festival this month before going to the National Association For Campus Activities convention in Nashville in February.
Ultimately, the night belonged to Cover Drive  and they were more than pleased with the response they received.
“It was explosive, incredible,” lead singer Amanda Reifer gushed after the group’s third major performance in Barbados.
“You always want love from at home,” T-Ray said as the quartet took a break from posing for photos with their young fans.
Jamar noted that there was “more pressure” performing for a Barbadian audience.
“You’re performing for your friends and family.  You hope they like you,” he said.
“The crowd didn’t just support us, they screamed for all the other Bajan talent,” Amanda added, although the group agreed that Bajans were usually a tough crowd to please.
Fans won’t have to wait too long to see the group again since they will be performing at the Barbados Music Awards on Sunday.
After that they’ll continue writing for their  second album.
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