“Soca music in Grenada has taken a downward spiral where all they (entertainers) sing about is rum, girls and whining up and while some may say it is part of our culture at the same time our culture is much more than that.”
That was the view expressed by local entertainer, Akeem David Abraham, who goes by the stage name “A#keem,” as it relates to the quality of soca being produced by his fellow entertainers and often played on the airwaves throughout the country.
“If you think back on the older days…and you listen to a road march (song there was always) a little something creative, where you infuse something totally non-related to carnival…you show creativity, artistry, because that is what this thing is all about. It’s not just about rum and girls,” A#keem told THE NEW TODAY in an exclusive interview last week Thursday.
The Grand Anse, St. George resident, who has witnessed firsthand what he described as a “lack of thought and serious effort (some artistes) put into creating (their) music”, said there is a serious need for entertainers to realise that “this thing (making music) is not a joke”.
“You have to see this thing (making music) as art so that it would have substance and a shelf life that would last longer than the Carnival season,” A#keem noted, while pointing out that “as soon as the Carnival season done, you not hearing them again.”
In 2015, the young entertainer who has been dabbling with music for a number of years, decided to dedicate himself towards creating music that will “usher in positive permanent change” in the country.
The young artiste also met with Entertainment and Events management company, Spice Concoctions, which is managed by Angus Steele and his perspective on the entertainment in Grenada and management of artists was to undergo a complete change.
A#keem said: “He (Angus Steele) taught me a lot of things that (are) necessary in the industry that most people don’t seem to know. A lot of people think it’s about just writing, recording a song and putting it out there but there is a lot behind that…you have to study about marketing, publishing your music properly, copyright, graphics, videos and the right methods, targeting the crowd and how to efficiently do it.
“So it’s not just about making a crowd wave their hands…It’s about getting a crowd to actually listen to the message and find the confidence and the willpower within themselves and reason with themselves to see the actual truth behind the message and apply it to their life”, he aded.
According to the young man, who has also been taking time off to reach out to schools and youth organisations across the nation, “music for me is just one method in getting my message out”.
“…Another thing I am very passionate about is living an exemplary life that it will inspire people…every chance I get I am in the streets talking and reasoning with the people trying to find out what is going on (and) how to better equip my music to reach out to them…and that’s how I get the inspiration for my music as well”, he said.
A#keem described his journey so far as a “surprising” one.
“A lot of the things I wanted to accomplish, unfortunately some did not happen; while on the other hand, a lot of the things that I never thought I would have accomplished I actually got done…”, he quipped.
“So far it’s (been) about just putting out the right energy and having confidence in myself and the decision I made to embark on this journey,” he said.
In April 2015, A#keem released a mixed tape containing 8 songs and has released a total of 7 singles since then.
“Right now I am getting ready to release another single entitled, ‘In my city,’ (which was) produced by a very well known German producer, DJ Densen,” he said, adding that he is also working on “another mixed tape called ‘revolution’ so stay tuned.”
The up and coming entertainer also spoke of plans to launch a website very soon, where persons can download his music “for free…so am just gonna channel everything right there on my official website”.
Although, he is not keen in getting involved in national competitions associated with the carnival season with his style of music, A#keem has been able to land a number of local gigs with local promoters.
“Things have been progressing very well over the last two years,” he said, referencing performances at the recently held Grenada Sailing Festival, Pure Grenada Music Festival, and Sunshine Promotions, ‘A Night of Love’ and ‘A December to Remember’ events.”
He said one of his greatest accomplishments is hearing a long time friend, who is a former inmate at the Richmond Hill Prisons, relate to him about how the message in one of his songs inspired him to change for the better.
“For me that is a great accomplishment, the fact that my music is being played in the prison because the people that you really want to reach are those that have done wrong…I speak a lot about individualism, being a revolutionary…fairness, love, dancing and all kind of things.”
The entertainer, who believes in evolution of music said, he does not bound himself by genre “and say ok, I am a reggae artiste”.
“…You never know, you can expect everything from me and that positive message is going to be there geared to usher in positive and permanent change”.