by Kimberley Cummins
Former Mr. Barbados World Fabian Fabee Bartlett is aiming to take the Pic-O-De-Crop title.
In the early hours of yesterday morning he was announced as one of the 19 semi-finalists vying to dethrone Pic-O-De-Crop king Popsicle. On Tuesday night at the Headliners Tent judging, Bartlett impressed the judges and his many fans with renditions of No Place Like Home and Red Flags – both self-penned.
Fabee told Barbados TODAY that judging night was good so when his name was announced in the line-up he was not surprised at all, rather he experienced a sigh of relief.
“I know that I put my work in and I tried as best as possible to stick to the criteria the judges were looking for so I was hoping that I would have been fortunate to be selected.
“Judging night went a lot better than anticipated, I always knew that they were people supporting me and my songs were getting a bit of airplay both on radio and television – it was starting to become regular. But I did not know that so many people knew the songs and I did not know that so many people were in love with the songs. I was very much overwhelmed by the audiences’ response,” he said.
The former Combermerian started in calypso in 2007 participating mainly in the Barbados Workers’ Union competition until he took a break to “refocus” and “regroup”. Previous to that, he wrote songs for choral groups and for the National Independence Festival of Creative Arts, where he won an award for Best Original Song.
He was a member of an a cappella group, Rest Assured, at secondary school but he said calypso always appealed to him. Bartlett said he thought calypso was a platform which could broaden his horizon since one could sing about almost anything, while, he said, “other genres stifle your creativity”.
This was the first time for Fabee in the Pic-O-De-Crop Semifinals and he admitted he was an underdog but said he was not worried about it. He further said that while he was nervous as well he still intended to give his best.
“I think it is always better to go in as the underdog and surprise people with a pleasant presentation as oppose to going in with a heavy load of expectations; so I don’t have any pressure in that regard of being an unknown.
“I think it is a bit natural to be nervous, especially if you care about the art form and the industry but the nervousness should propel me to be even better on semi-finals night and get my act together. The nerves will go away when necessary.
“There are not too many surprises that I can let out of the bag but I just know for sure whatever it is that went well for me on judging night I plant to up it by 100 per cent and I plan to give an even bigger and better show. I’m telling you it will be a good show,” he assured. [email protected]