stories by Leigh-Ann Worrell
From songs like Let Me Love You to Turn Up the Music, it is hard to turn on the radio without hearing tracks powered by David Guetta-esque electronic dance music beats. The Caribbean has not escaped the trend, heard through Li’l Rick and King Bubba’s 2012 Crop-Over hit We Want Drinkz as well as songs by Kes the Band, including this year’s Come for Dat.
Some music critics have said it is a sign of artists straying away from their roots and perhaps the end of “good” music. However, a few musicians have expressed the belief that the trend spoke to the fluidity of the industry, as opposed to the total abandonment of the genre they were better known for.
One such artist is Ne-Yo. Real name Shaffer Smith, the artist started out singing ballads, including Sexy Love and One in a Million. On his latest album, R.E.D (Realising Every Dream), he split the tracks between EDM/pop and traditional R&B.
“…To be an artist is to expand and evolve that they will continue to grow. I know there are one or two artists that will see the trend and jump on it but that has never been the case with me, R&B of course is my foundation, where I came from,” three-time Grammy award winning artist Ne-Yo told Bajan Vibes on Sunday morning. He was one of the three featured acts at the CHUM FM 104.5 Breakfast in Barbados concert held later that day.
“The soul that is in my voice is going to be there whether I am doing R&B, pop, country, whatever. My voice is my voice. I decided to experiment and try some things and I got a whole new fan base behind it. Not to say I have abandoned R&B, nothing could be further from the truth, but to be music is love, and my aim is to spread that love as far as possible…”
As for whether this was what fans should look forward to in the future, he simply stated, “I am going to evolve past this vein… I don’t know what the next level is, but I am just going to keep going…”
Pop artist Demi (short for Demetria) Lovado shared the opinion that while EDM was the trend right now, the next “hot thing” could be just around the corner.
“The music industry is really interesting, because it will latch onto something for a while and then it will be over with, but you can never predict where it is going. People are saying that EDM is fading and rock and roll is coming back, but you never know until it happens. It could be a few months from now or it could be next month, but there will always be different types,” she said during the interview at the Fairmont Royal Pavilion.
The X-Factor judge was also was a lover of fusing other musical genres into her mainly pop sound, and added this will be a feature of her self-titled fourth album, due out next month.
“It has pop music but some songs have a country feel [and] some songs have big rock riffs…There are songs that are really catchy that stick in your head, and some… emotional heartfelt songs.”
Nikki Williams, a collaborator on Lovato’s Heartbreak, and up and coming pop artist, enjoyed the EDM/pop fusion.
“The pop and EDM world are coming together hardcore and it’s amazing…and it is getting better and better. It changes, s**t up,” she said.
The red-haired singer is preparing to release her 12-track debut album towards the end of the summer. Her first single, Glowing, has already hit the airwaves to favourable responses.
A strong believer in the “power of music,” the South African native was also in agreement for state-funded developmental programmes to encourage the talent in the country.
“Music is very important and it brings people to together. If you have two enemies in the same room and they like the same song they both will be dancing,” she said with a laugh. firstname.lastname@example.org