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Pyramid Barbados

Media

Multi-talented “Skinny Fabulous”

Multi-talented “Skinny Fabulous” more than just a soca artiste

 

Gamal “Skinny Fabulous” Doyle is one of the most decorated artistes out of St. Vincent having secured wins in both their Ragga and Power Soca Competitions. However, he is so much more than just a soca artiste. There are so much sides to this artistes than what meets the eye. First and foremost he is an academic having graduated from the University of the West Indies with a degree in Media and Communications. This experience is obvious when you sit to chat with him as he is so clearly well-read. He is truly engaging and entertaining and has a way of expressing himself that paints a vivid visual.

This trait is what makes him a successful writer. He has penned some of his own biggest tracks which include “Charge Up”, “Behaving the Worst” and this year he also wrote “Godzilla” and “Pompous”.

Skinny is a firm believer in the development of youth and wrote the winning entry in his country’s junior monarch competition. On her win he said “We Stay Winning,” as he extended congratulations to the young singer Kristiana Christopher aka Singing Kristy. The artiste believes that the “youths are the future, let’s invest”.

While he took a step back from all competitions this year to make room for new blood, he has also been working closely with new Power Soca Monarch, Hypa 4000. He was full of praises for him and said he was “happy to have supported an artiste that was humble enough to put his ego aside and show a willingness to listen and apply. Win, lose or draw I am proud of him and his growth. With that said, big up Hypa 4000”.

 

The soca star has even written for the region’s biggest superstar Machel Montano. He wrote “Happiest Man Alive”. In fact, he and Machel have been working closely together. One of Skinny’s Facebook fans Sharon Jones had this to say after a recent performance at the PlayStation Theatre in New York, “To witness how a crowd of primarily Trinidadians embraced and appreciated our Soca Star and to listen to Machel publicly speak about Skinny’s intelligence and thank him for writing some of his songs, gave me goosebumps. I screamed with pride – those folks around me knew I was a Vincy to meh marrow.” The occasion was the premier of Montano’s new movie “Bazodee” at Times Square.

Skinny is also an entrepreneur and operates a toy shop in his native land. He also has a mascot company where he rents out the costumes locally and regionally. The multifaceted artiste also has a section in Candy Mas for this year’s Notting Hill Carnival.

 

Another cap he often dons is that of a promoter. He stages a massive annual children’s event at Victoria Park in St. Vincent and conducts a talent search amongst the youngsters. Black Rave is another Skinny Fabulous production which features a large cast of artistes and has received fantastic reviews. Skinny revealed that he will be taking the concept to Toronto soon. He is currently planning a Costume Party and the business-minded singer is also actively sourcing costumes for his patrons for the event. He indicated, “I’m throwing my first Boat Ride ever and I’m doing it in NY the day after Vincy Day.”

Doyle is extremely active on social media and always posts footage or pictures of his regional and international travels. From his exploits of ‘jab jab’ in Grenada to his recent performance at the One Love Concert alongside Machel in Barbados his fans are always kept abreast of what is new with the performer.

The one role that he cherishes the most is that of father. He is very involved in the life of his daughter Xia. In one post he even revealed the challenges he faces by being on the road so regularly. “Facetime is cool, but I can’t wait to get some actual Face time.”

Skinny Fabulous has been doing big things in the soca arena and has earned a coveted place on the always eagerly anticipated VP Records’ Soca Gold 2016 Compilation Album.

He has high aspirations and realises he has not reached his pinnacle yet. (ST)

 

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LargeUp TV: The Music of Barbados with Peter Ram

Words by Jesse Serwer

 

 

Photos by Martei Korley

 

Peter Ram moves like a general, and his troops are the people of Barbados.

We met Ram at the top of Gun Hill in the parish of Saint George, site of what was once the largest military installation on the island, and now a scenic lookout famed for having one of the best views in Barbados. Ram, Bajan soca’s self-styled People’s Champion, hails from the area, and wanted to show us the best of where he comes from. With a vantage point that literally allows you to take in all of the island, the fort offered us an opportunity to take a broader look at music in Barbados, and what it means to be a soca artist representing the spirit of a people during the Carnival season.

Peter Ram got his start in music making “dub” recordings for minibus drivers to play in their vans, rhyming over Jamaican dancehallriddims, in a Bajan style and dialect. Like his peer and good friend, Lil Rick, he moved into the soca arena, creating tracks like “Pumpin,” “The Pledge” and “Woman By My Side,” Carnival anthems which captured the Bajan massive at Crop Over, on their way to becoming hits across the region. A chronicler of ghetto life and of what some might call the real Barbados, he also recorded the song “Pat and Crank,”immortalizing the suggestive dance style since brought to stages worldwide by Rihanna.

In recent years, Ram has turned his focus to the people of Barbados, creating patriotic anthems that get the Bajan massive pumping like no other. Last year, his song “All Ah’ We” took Crop Over’s “triple crown,” winning the titles of Stag Jam, Party Monarch and Tune of De Crop, the latter for having his song played throughout the entire parade route on Kadooment Day, Crop Over’s climactic grand parade. This year’s big Peter Ram anthem is unquestionably “Good Morning,” produced by long-time collaborators De Red Boyz, a song that’s earned praise locally for addressing Crop Over directly, as opposed to the more universal approach taken by most Bajan soca songs and artists. It will be a tall order for anyone to top it on Kadooment Day morning this Monday.

In episode 3 of LargeUp’s Music of Barbados series, Ram tells us why he’s taking extra care to lift up the people of Barbados, takes us through his trajectory from dub to soca, and shows us why you need to be in Barbados for Crop Over. Hey, it’s not too late.

Watch The Music of Barbados with Peter Ram above, and listen to “Good Morning” on LargeUp’s Crop Over 2016 playlist on Apple Music.

LargeUp TV: The Music of Barbados with Lil Rick

Words by Jesse Serwer
Photos by Martei Korley

 

If you want to talk about bashment soca, if you want to talk about wukking up, if you want to talk about any of the things that make Bajans get dibby in a fete, you have to talk about Lil Rick. For an entire generation, the artist, DJ and producer has been Barbados’ preeminent party starter. In 2010, his voice spread across the Caribbean and beyond, as his single “Guh Down” (or “Go Dung,” as it’s sometimes styled) took Barbados’ dancing culture worldwide. The track, as perfect of a bridge between dancehall and soca as there ever has been or possibly ever could be, is still a must-play in any Caribbean fete, guaranteed to bring the energy levels to their peak. Just ask Rihanna…

Rick’s enduring popularity was confirmed this past weekend, as he was crowned Barbados’ Party Monarch for his 2016 Crop Over single“I’z A Bajan.” And it will be once more this week as he hosts his annual Dis is Rick concert, one of the biggest fetes of the Crop Over season. Two decades after he first hit the scene with songs like “Hard Wine,” Lil Rick is the walking embodiment of Bajan soca culture.

LargeUp visited Rick in June at his house in Crane, Barbados, home to his Kennel Studios, as he and fellow producer Dwain “Dwaingerous” Antrobus were putting the finishing touches on the Zika Riddim, a collection of bashment soca singles for Crop Over 2016, including Rick’s “Brek Down De Fence” and “Bubble-ish” by two of Rick’s children, known as the Hypa Kidz. We were surprised to learn that, for someone known for wild performances and turning parties all the way up, Rick is actually quite shy and introverted. In the second episode of LargeUp’s The Music of Barbados video series spotlighting the sounds of the Crop Over season, Rick opens up about his “two personalities,” his roots in reggae, creating Barbados’ bashment soca sound, and the art of wukking up.

Watch The Music of Barbados with Lil Rick below, watch Pt. 1 with Alison Hinds here, and listen to “Brek Down De Fence” and more tracks from Lil Rick on LargeUp’s Crop Over 2016 playlist on Apple Music.

 

Series Produced by Jesse Serwer and Paul Parris
Directed by Martei Korley
Associate Producer: Tashida Cox
Shot by Martei Korley, Kwesi Trotman and Ross Lavine
Edited by Ravi Lloyd
Music: Zika Riddim by Bass Ink Productions
“All is Rum” by Lil Rick (produced by King Bubba FM)
Assistance Provided by: Barbados Tourism Marketing Inc.
Special Thanks: Dwain Antrobus, Santia Bradshaw and Ruel Ward

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