YOU CAN MAKE IT if you only try.
Those eight words have been Adrian Clarke’s mantra for as long as he can remember, and though he has not always been fruitful at all his attempts, he believes that simply attempting anything is the key to success.
He attributes this way of thinking for his successes within the music industry to date.
“I don’t think I ever really made up in my mind that I wanted to be a superstar of any kind. I just made up my mind that I wanted to sing. At Society Primary I was the biscuit tin player, but I was always about singing and music. Music has always been a part of me,” he said.
He had the opportunity to tour with the now defunct band Coalishun, and Clarke attributes those experiences to the entertainer he is today.
“Being able to sing for people all over the world has been nothing short of phenomenal. There is just something about a live band and being able to belt out music, and meeting new people and trying new genres of music . . .,” he said, trailing off.
And as far as he is concerned, there is absolutely no reason to attend a show where the performers are not accompanied by a live band.
“I often don’t feel to go to events these days because there is a lack of live bands at most venues. I am not a fan of CDs, computers and flash drives, and certainly am not a fan of karaoke-style music in the least,” he said matter-of-factly.
While the husband and father of three hails quite a number of musicians for their influences on his musical career, he has adopted a lot of their character traits over the years to perfect his own talent and mould himself into the artiste he has become.
“My favourite entertainers of all time are Stevie Wonder and Michael Jackson who have influenced my work vocally all with the melodies and such like. But locally I have had inspiration in the form of John King and The Mighty Gabby. Then out of Trinidad there has been Baron, Sugar Aloes, Tambu, Sparrow and the list goes on.
“I just like to be able to pick something from here, and pick something from there, put it all together and what you get is me; AC,” he said, grinning from ear to ear.
Known for his signature song Nice Time, Clarke said he appreciated people who could sing and those who showed the talent but might need some direction in honing their skill.
“To this day I have a lot of time for singers. No disrespect to the chanters, but my time is for the crooners, the ones who can belt a song. I am very elated about my daughter; she has a voice that only a father can give her,” he said, beaming proudly.
The sales, marketing and operations manager at Pilot Management Services Limited admitted that outside of work, he had very little time for anything else.
“Right now it’s all about work. When I’m not at work I’m usually performing somewhere. I do try to relax by watching some football or taking care of my two dogs, Zeus and Hercules, or cooking which I have found to be relaxing, but I really don’t have much time for anything else,” he said.
“Clarkarotti”, as he is fondly called by some of his peers in the music industry, disclosed that he had big plans for later in the year.
“I have an idea of a show I would love to do, but I don’t want to let it out of the bag yet. I think it would go down quite well with the Barbadian fans from the 90s and so on. And it’s not just me, it’s me and others, so I’m looking to see what could be mustered as far as putting the idea together and then finding sponsors to get things done. But for now it’s a thought and an idea which I am working on,” he added.
Asked how hard it was for him as an artiste to please his fans, he said that a Barbadian audience was indeed one of the hardest to please.
“Bajan audiences are the toughest audience to please. A Bajan audience will stop, fold their arms and watch you, and you better perform for their money. I have seen some very good artistes in Barbados get booed or the stone face. But when these very artistes go outside and do sometimes less, they mesmerise people. I have sung in China and there was nothing much I had to do to please them. I have been very fortunate so far that I have never been booed or had anything thrown at me, and I hope it never happens,” he said.
But the discriminating tastes of home audience should not deter anyone from achieving their goal of becoming an entertainer.
“Anybody thinking of getting into entertainment I say to them expect to do a lot of hard work. It’s not something you can wake up one morning and decide you’re just gonna go into it and it happens. Don’t expect that things would just fall into place. The industry is huge. You think you’re good, there is always someone better than you. And the same things you’re going after, there is someone else going after it,” he explained.
“The better person is the one who reaches the pinnacle, so strive for it. You won’t always reach the point of a Rihanna, even in soca you may not reach the pinnacle of a Machel or RPB, but the thing is to feel good about what you are doing.
“They say the sky is the limit, I say aim a little further, so if you fall short, at the very least you will drop in the sky and that’s still good enough,” the veteran entertainer advised. (RA)