It’s all about passion for Randy Eastmond.
He wears many hats – music teacher, musician, producer, and artiste manager – and he believes his life would not be the same if even one of them was omitted.
For the enthusiastic musician, one passion led him to another and, luckily for him, they all tied into one. He gets to do what he loves day in and day out.
He started down the path of a life of music at secondary school.
“I started at the Combermere School where, being a member of the Barbados Cadet Corp and seeing the cadet band on parade, I wanted to be a part of that. I went to the officer in charge at that time and told him I was very interested in becoming a member of the band. I was given a saxophone and I was told ‘this is the instrument I want you to play, go home and learn it’. I started to learn the saxophone . . . .
“I was also a part of the music programme within the school, doing music theory, and I was entered for the Grade One exam in first form. Progressing through the ranks of the band, I developed a deep interest in music at that time. I don’t think I was as serious as I could have been because I was also involved in sports,” Randy said.
Still very much interested in music, Randy found himself a part of a singing group.
“While in fourth form I was a member of a male a capella group called Rest Assured. We went to NIFCA several times and we won many awards at different points in time. We also performed on the local circuit in the hotels and at various private functions. After that, the band Electric was formed . . . .”
It was while going to various studios with the bands that Randy stumbled upon his other love – producing. Having no previous knowledge of the technical aspects of the studio, he was determined to learn.
“Going into the studio and seeing the recording process, that sparked another interest for me. I realized that I liked the process of creating music, so I teamed up with Chris Allman in Slam City and asked him about the process and what it entails and he told me ‘it takes a lot of practice, a lot of time, effort and investment’ and I said to him I really wanted to learn the craft. He told me I could come to the studio and learn what is required to do it. I already had the musical element but I wasn’t a qualified arranger of any sort but somehow I knew I wanted to create music,” he recalled.
“So . . . my mother helped me invest in a laptop at that time. I stayed home and played around with the programmes. My brother was also into music; he’s a rapper, Ramon Cameron. We would stay at home and work on developing rhythms and beats and that’s how that started for me. . . .”
“I would take some demo beats to Slam City, let him hear it and he would tell me I’m sounding good and I kept practising and honing the skill. He eventually introduced me to Anthony Lohar who was a mixing engineer. I decided that it was definitely what I wanted to do. There was an extra studio at home and my mother told me if I wanted to start a studio I could use the room. I invested in the basic equipment and once it was set up, my vision was that I would be the recording engineer for the band Electric.”
Randy is now the proud owner of Quantum Sound Studios.
“At the studio we look to develop young talent, we seek them out and try to hone their skills and get their names out there, getting people to know them. We hope to continue recording and working with great artistes.”
It was in 2008 that Randy discovered another passion.
“I started at Parkinson [Memorial School] as a music teacher and that opened another chapter of my life in music. It showed me that I had a vested interest in the development of children and their learning and understanding of music. In the same year, I was even invited to several youth conferences on culture and music in Ecuador, Canada, some Caribbean countries where youth were asked to offer policy recommendations for culture. That’s just another chapter of my life that I find amazing,” he said.
Speaking to Bajan Vibes after school, the music teacher said he has a special love for working with the young people and believes that he can make a difference.
“We started a school band and the band entered NIFCA three years in a row . . . We also have a Junior Monarch programme called Kaiso in the Pine, where we enter students from the school into the competition. Out of that competition came an album,” he said.
And while all that may sound like a lot, it is only half of what Randy does. He is also band leader of Project X.
“It’s a collaboration between myself and Kevin Sluggy Dan Watson and it is simply a programme which fuses experienced musicians with students coming out of Parkinson Memorial School or vocal students who Watson would have trained. Amber Barrow, a vocalist and keyboardist, she is part of the band. Matthew Trotman, a drummer, he is a part of the band. Both are 16 years old. They both had the opportunity to play at the Reggae Festival this year. They do several gigs with the band,” the entertainer explained.
Randy is also the band leader for the House of Soca band, and has also played with the Junior Monarch and Party Monarch bands.
And amidst all that, Randy, who has two degrees, is still studying. He is currently enrolled at the Erdiston Teachers’ Training College where he is in the Diploma in Education programme. One may wonder where he finds the time, but Randy told Bajan Vibes: “If you love it you simply have to make the time.”
“You just have to make it happen. Music is my life. Music is what I believe in, it’s what I love. And I intend to do it for the rest of my life.”