Entertainment

Leadpipe toast of Crop Over

BY RICHARD JOHNSON
Observer senior reporter
johnsonr@jamaicaobserver.com

Friday, August 16, 2019

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IT was not possible to be in Barbados for the recently concluded Crop Over festival and not hear Sometime, a groovy soca number from Leadpipe.

In addition to being played on radio, it was high on the playlist of every selector at the fêtes. And, Leadpipe was a headliner at all major events for the season.

By the end of Crop Over, he also had an impressive list of titles thanks to the catchy tune. Sometime was named Tune of the Crop; Leadpipe also won the People's Monarch title; and placed third in the Soca Monarch competition.

Crop Over Festival is a three-month long festival of Barbadian music, arts, food, culture.

The Jamaica Observer's Splash spoke with Leadpipe following his whirlwind of activities and he shared how much he has been influenced by the music of Jamaica.

“I came up on reggae and dancehall. That was the first thing I was doing before I made the move to soca. Aidonia is my real good bredren, we on a level like that. The last time I was in Jamaica, I was with Beenie Man and Fambo. Right now, there is a great set of Jamaican artistes who are doing really good things out there and are inspiring on so manly levels. I've got mad love for man like Sizzla and his music, every time I link up with Sizzla it's a good vibe,” the Barbadian soca singer said.

Born Osvaldo Reid in the Paddock Road and Carrington Village areas in the parish of St Michael, on the outskirts of Bridgetown, Leadpipe began singing and performing from age 13 with Most Wanted Entertainment, which was a local group. He then collaborated with fellow artiste Saddis, under the moniker Porgie and Murda. Those days it was all about dancehall music.

Then the shift came and he started mixing the dancehall with soca to create the sub-genre known as bashment soca. This type of soca has not always been accepted by soca purists, but for Leadpipe it is all about the music.

“I will always do the bashment soca, mix up the thing and do my music all the time. I will always do it, dabble with a little hip hop and do my thing every now an again,” he said.

“From my perspective ,I never really try to bash anyone. Not bashment soca, not traditional Barbadian soca, not anyone. I will never try to bash the bashment as I am one of the people who really worked to get this type of soca out there from the time we did songs like Condense and Ben Up and those tunes, that really took bashment on an international level. So, I will always do all types of soca. Bashment is not my main factor in soca, but I will always contribute. Groovy soca is my main area, although my groovy is strange. I tend to do a groovy that is not as slow, it has a little tempo to it. Sometime was the first time I was going that slow, so I was a little out of my comfort zone. I normally sing a little more uptempo groovy, it's still groovy but has a little pace to it,” he continued.

He believes that for Barbadian dancehall and bashment soca to become accepted at home as well as in the region and, ultimately the world, Barbadians will have to support their own artistes.

“If an entertainer is not being supported here in Barbados, why would anyone support something that is not being supported by its own people,” said Leadpipe.

Meanwhile, he is still basking in his success this Crop Over season and is pleased with how Sometime was accepted.

“The season was hectic, but that being said it was a great season too because it really allowed me to get the name and the music out there, not just for Barbadians, but for the visitors too. Plus, being so active this season allowed me to keep my mind occupied as well. It's a real good feeling when I see how people love the track and support the movement. I sat down and I had the idea for the track for a little while and I was getting the melodies first and I was like 'I not sure what I'm gonna sing on this , but what ever it is is gonna be really bad because the melodies is sooo infectious'. So whatever I was singing was going to be a hit. So, I started going over concepts and ideas and what was relevant in the times. Obviously the subject that I'm singing about, the sometime topic is always a relevant topic and something audiences can relate to, so I just decided to go with it,” Leadpipe noted.

He is currently preparing for two trips to Canada within the coming weeks as well as finishing recordings for his EP, which is set for release in November to coincide with Barbados' Independence celebrations.


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