“I wanted to write and record a short musical project dedicated to my late father and my late uncle. Growing up in a Guyanese family, I was exposed to a lot of Caribbean-based music, including calypso and a variety of other music from South America and Latin America. Later on in life when I began writing and recording, my father and uncle could not really embrace the most of the multi-genre music I was writing. They often cited it to be “too jazzy” or “too complex” but it was what I was into at the time. In light of their passing, I was finally able to channel my energies into doing a project I believe they would have enjoyed and been proud of. In preparation for this, I spent quite a while listening to albums from my early childhood from artists like Hugo Blanco, Jorge Renan and The Sandpebbles of Barbados. These people helped me to recapture pleasant memories and provide inspiration. This EP is the result. They are listed below.
1. Carnivals & Guitars—Jorge Renan (late 50s/early 60s)
I began listening to this album of Jorge Renan, an Ecuadorian guitarist, at a very young age--maybe as young as two! Since it has been a part of my life for so long, I’ve always wanted to do a project highlighting some of its musical influence. I love the exuberance and spirit of the music as well as the intimate, guitar combo, sound.
2. The Sandpebbles of Barbados (1973)
I was introduced to this group from Barbados as a child when I traveled there with my parents. It was my first exposure to Bajan calypso. The rhythms and spirit of these recordings captivated me. Their frequent use of “spouge” (a uniquely Barbadian form of calypso using a dotted rhythm and an ever present cowbell), was something new to me.
3. Caribia—Hugo Blanco (1960s)
I didn’t realize until much later in my life that the lead instrument on this album was harp. Blanco wrote very simple, repetitive melodies but they were very memorable.