If you were to sit and watch some of the music videos that stream on sites like YouTube, or watch them on networks like BET or MTV, many people could easily be duped into believing that the industry is a bed of roses. That that is the good life.
Bajan Vibes had a chance to sit recently with on of the up-and-coming bands on the island; and no, though they might play soca, they aren’t a soca band.
I speak of Nexcyx.
“Nexcyx is an alternative hip hop band from Barbados. Four guys, a girl who grew up here in the Caribbean, had influences from outside Barbados music=wise, and we just brought all of this together to make who we are right now.”
That, according to the lead singer with the band, Mahalia, best sums up who exactly they are.
The other member are André, the keyboardist, Chadd on drums, the bassist, Kris and Russell who plays the guitar.
Their journey began back in 2004 and since then they have been making quite a name for themselves, not only here at home, but across the globe; having played a number of venues in Europe, North America and the Caribbean region.
In 2009, the group released their breakout single Gossip Girl, with Queen, On The Floor and Nightclub Superheroes following behind.
In 2012, they won the Hennessy Chase The Music, Own The Stage competition and performed at the Cognac Blues Passions Festival, sharing the stage with artists like Sting and Tom Jones. More recently, Ryan Seacrest and his team discovered their cover video of Maroon 5’s Moves Like Jagger. One month later, their arrangement
of the hit earned them a Best Maroon 5 Cover title, winning from among dozens of entries in a RyanSeacrest.com poll.
Rubbing shoulders with these big names, one would be misguided to think that the group has had it made; that the industry was all as it is portrayed on television. The big life, driving around in the big cars, the jetsetting and the parties.
“People think that about musicians all over the world and in countless interviews they will say that that is not the case,” Mahalia told Bajan Vibes. “People think it is all glitz and glamour, but people in the music business work really, really hard. We don’t get bank holidays; it is really hard to get vacation time; so it is always a challenge.”
In fact, keyboardist Russell was animated and quick to point out that there are those who believe that it was that a performance was just something to show up to with no hard work accompanying it.
“It is rehearsals that you have to do, even like wardrobe, sound check and all that stuff. When we hear, ‘Oh you just have to plug in and go, wha more you want?’ it is a little annoying.”
“ . . . Then you have the business side of things that have to be done,” adds Kris. “It is, after all, a business. It is not just getting up and having fun and playing. Older musicians will tell you that they are not going out to play; they going out to work. You have to have that mentality that it is a business. People don’t always see those things happening.
“The fitness levels that you have to maintain. It is hard performing for two hours straight. People would see a Machel or a Nexcyx of whoever perform and they would think that it is sweetbread. Nah. That is some hard work right there.” (RG)