His name is synonymous with sports broadcasting in Barbados but 27-year-old Cheyne Jones is now making his mark in song writing.
For the 2014 Crop Over season, Jones has penned five songs, including two compositions, Still My Home and Doin Me for the reigning Pic-O-De-Crop monarch Ian Webster.
He has also written Happiness and Lock It for newcomer Faith Fate Callendar and De-Vision (which has not yet been recorded)
for Shelly Baby Doll Cummins.
Jones, a sports journalist at the Caribbean Broadcasting Corporation told Barbados TODAY that writing calypso was a dream come true and a marriage between his love of music and writing poetry.
“I always liked writing poetry, from my primary school days right through to secondary school. I had a little book that I would walk around with writing poetry, and I always had a special love for social commentaries and I always wanted to write one,” Jones said.
With so many topical issues around, and after meeting up with former primary schoolmate Webster at the end of the last Crop Over season, the opportunity presented itself and he put pen to paper right away.
“I ran into Ian up Sheraton one evening and we spoke for a bit, and I expressed to him that I wanted to get involved in the song writing process and I showed him some things that I wrote. And he said to me Chyene you’re wasting your talent and he said ‘listen, I have four lines to something that I want to put out and I immediately felt it, and got to writing,” he added.
But Cheyne was quick to admit that writing social commentaries was no easy task, even though he prefers it to writing soca.
“You have to be very patient with social commentaries. We started writing Still My Home from last September. As the year went on, and things happened, we wrote it. If something happened I would call him and say ‘we are going to add this to the song’ and vice versa and we went with what worked best,” he continued.
Jones said he felt honoured to have played a part in the reigning monarch’s composition and he is confident that the song would do very well this year.
“We want this song to be an anthem for when people hear it they can feel it and identify with it. What we wanted to do was tell a story. Yes things may not be going the best that they could in the country, but we cannot wait for anybody to make a change, we have to start. We are not blaming anybody, it is just an acceptance and a pledge to do something about it,” Jones explained.
And having worked with Webster on one of his social commentaries for the Pic-O-De-Crop finals, he decided to try his hand at a soca tune for Webster as well. The result was Doin Me, which has made it to the finals of the Sweet Soca competition.
“Ian had the idea for Doin Me. And after attending a Cooler Vibes fete, that idea meshed totally with what he wanted. It was 3 a.m. and everyone was just holding a vibe and not worrying about anyone or anything, so I said ‘yea, . . . Doin Me’.”
For Callendar’s songs, Jones said the ideas came from mutual energies and interests.
“We met last year at Soca Royale, even before she was the Banks Calendar Girl. The vibe was really nice and I told her I would write a song for her. The general feeling around that time was just happy, both of us were very happy and this is where I got the idea for Happiness.”
Callendar’s other song, Lock it, is a collaboration between Jones and BoBo, and it was written basically on the spot.
Jones said he was really proud of the work Callendar was doing.
“She is doing great work and she has a bright future ahead of her. She gets a lot of support from Blood so I believe she is heading in the right direction,” he said of Callender, who is a reserve in the Party Monarch finals with Lock It.
De-Vision, which Jones wrote for Baby Doll, who is now in the House of Soca tent, speaks about Caribbean integration and he revealed that he got the idea while listening to TC’s song Healing last year.
“I was at the semis, and during TC’s presentation, she had a pastor and he kept saying division and I couldn’t figure out if he was saying ‘division’ or ‘the vision’. So I decided to use that pun. And the song was about CSME and the way how our islands operate sometimes, it’s like division. So it’s division of de vision,” he explained.
Jones is also very excited about this song.
The budding composer is also looking forward to writing some more, especially for those he looks up to in the industry, including Blood and Adrian Clarke.
“I have always looked up to them and I admire them a lot. I used to go to the finals to listen to songs of the cleverly written social commentaries, sometimes even by myself,” he said.
“It is the greatest feeling in the world seeing people dance or sing along to your music. It is my little contribution to Barbadian culture. The greatest feeling is seeing the effect your music has on people,” he said with a sense of pride.
With his demanding career as a sports journalist, some may wonder where he finds the time to write music.
His response: “Once you love something you will find the time for it. What I would like to do is to be able to sing, but I cannot, not by a long shot, so you would never see me on stage,” he said with a chuckle.