Born on May 6, 1953, in Belmont, Trinidad and Tobago, one of nine children, David Rudder for half of his 61 years has been writing and singing calypso.
And Rudder has been among those ushering in that new era of calypso production and presentation that saw his many hits, including Calypso Music, Bahia Girl, Bacchanal Lady, Panama, Engine Room, Knock Them Down, The Hammer, The Ballad Of Hulsie X, and the one known the world over: Rally Round The West Indies –– the anthem for the regional cricketing side.
Ironically, when he first started, many criticized the quality of his music, going as far as to suggest there was no substance to his work –– which is not an uncommon judgement passed on much of the contributions of the young artistes of today.
“Remember that the calypsonian used to be like the newspaper of the people. Now we have the Internet, and all this social media and so on; so the angles [from which] we have to tell the stories have to be different,” Rudder told Bajan Vibes.
“If people complain that the music is superficial, it’s because we have become superficial. That is just how the society is. The honesty of the music is that it will reflect that. [But] deep down, people still want a story, and I think that is why people like me are still here to tell that story.”
Rudder was in Barbados this past weekend for Soca Titans, where he shared the stage with the likes of his countrymen Machel Montano HD, Bunji Garlin and his wife Fayann Alveres, Farmer Nappy, and Barbadians Lil Rick, Red Plastic Bag, Fadda Fox, Bobo and Shanta Price, among others.