Du-Wayne Hinds always knew that he wanted to be an artiste. The 21 year old defines himself as a creative mind and it is seen in the many art forms – music, dance, theatre, photography and graphics – which he skillfully uses to express himself.
In a candid interview with Bajan Vibes, Hinds said his work is his life and his life is his art. The young singer who recently performed solo at the opening ceremony of CARIFESTA XIII, described music as his first love among the art forms.
“I love all of the arts forms and they feed me in some way but music comes most natural,” he said. “This isn’t to say that dance and acting do not also come natural because they do but I think it has a lot to do with the way I want to communicate and it’s easier for me to communicate through music.”
Hinds, a final year Bachelor of Fine Arts student at the University of the West Indies (UWI), said as he got older, he became more aware of exactly what he wanted to do and also became more committed to it. He explained: “It is hard for me to point at an exact time when I evolved into the being I am now because I always find different stimulants and I am always evolving and getting to know myself better.
“However, one stimulus that continues to propel me is my best friend Barrio, who passed away when I was 16 and he has influenced my work. Even when he was alive, we influenced each other, always helping each other achieve the best version of ourselves.”
Noting that solid support from his family, particularly his mother, had truly contributed to his development, Hinds went on: “I’ve always had their support, although no one in my direct family is full blown into the arts as much as me, they are always behind me.”
Hinds’ creativity is influenced by many things. “Every experience or situation I go through, every person I meet, influences my work. Internationally, there are many artistes I deem favourable or influential to me, like Chronixx, John Legend, Esperanza Spalding, Adele, Tom Jones, Earth, Wind and Fire and Michael Jackson, just to name a few. But I also listen to a lot of music so sometimes I may get inspired by simply a song and not necessarily the artiste,” he said.
However, it is at the local Barbadian level that Hinds draws inspiration from all artistes. “I love to see local artistes doing their thing. Because I’m from Barbados too, it makes me feel like I’m not the only one in this game and we’re doing it together vicariously. I also like to watch how other local artistes’ approach their music career,” he said.
Asked what was the proudest moment in his career thus far, the answer came easily for the young singer/songwriter. “
When I released my first EP (extended play) in January of 2016. It is a collection of five original songs which I co-produced and just a few weeks ago, I heard my music on the radio for the first time. It was on 92.9FM and I ran all over the place in sheer happiness because I never thought any DJ would have remembered my music. So I was really proud of that,” Hinds said.
Hinds said it was while working on the EP entitled Breathe that he came to grips with the idea that being a singer/song writer was something he really wanted to do. “From then I went straight to work, the lyrics from the EP I wrote when I was just 18 and at that age, a lot of different life mishaps occurred and that season taught me a lot, so much so that I then used the Mayan numeral for 18 as the cover art for my EP which is now officially my logo, so when you see it, you know it’s me.”
Breathe took a few months to produce. Although he had written most of the songs a year prior, Hinds only began developing and recording the songs in September of 2015. “I worked alongside a good friend of mine, Jeromy Thomas, who is pianist and he was featured on three of the songs, Down, Maze, and Sky, he said. “All five of the tracks were recorded and produced by Andrew Thornhill of Steinhill Studios. It was my first set of music released but it surely will not be my last as I’ll be releasing more music within the next few months.”
Looking towards the future , Hinds fully intends to mix pleasure with business.
“I am turning my personal creative passion into something professional. I’m currently doing my Bachelors in Fine Arts at the University of the West Indies St. Augustine and the degree encompasses theatre arts, training in acting, stage management, lighting and sound design, public relations, history, culture and so much more,” he said.
“I want to continue to pursue my Master’s which I’m starting to put things in place for. I don’t simply aspire to be a heavily creative person and have no brain,” he added, stressing it was so important to recognize the secrets to freedom, one of them being education. “Know yuh ting, nuhbody cyan tell yuh nothin’,” he said.
Hinds lamented what he described as the exploitation of artistes in Barbados. “There are simply not enough outlets for artistes in Barbados and where there is a job for a dancer or a singer, we often underpay them,” he said. “We expect an entire performance package for little to nothing payment and it’s exploitation because we do not value that person’s craft and it’s sad to see artistes hone their craft and go overseas and train and when they return to Barbados, they can’t live off of their art.”
Hinds said for this to happen, the creative industry had to be developed and invested in.