Miguel Orandè Hamilton is a 22-year-old singer, actor, and songwriter. Hamilton not only is involved in the entertainment industry since his debut performance was with the iconic folk group, Sing Out Barbados; he also was a member of the Barbados Youth Service, The Prince Trust as well a Junior Fire Cadet.
Positive Vibes sat down with Orandè to discuss how he became involved in music, his vocal training and the changes he wants to see in the music industry.
Q: What is your mantra for life?
A: My mantra for life is ‘hard work is the key to success’. This was my primary school motto and from then, till now, it has stuck with me.
Q: What is one thing the public would not know about you?
A: One thing the public does not know about me is that I pen and sing rap music. This occurred around the time I was doing a lot of hooks for a few local rappers. [I was inspired with] how they expressed themselves with their words and hearing the backstories of why it was written.
Q: You are a talented vocalist, were you always passionate about singing?
A: Yes, I was! When I was much younger, I remember taking this piece of metal pipe in my backyard which was shaped into a microphone and I would be singing loudly. My friends who lived down the hill from where I grew up would tell me that they heard me singing from my home.
Q: At what age did you decide you wanted to become a full-time vocalist?
A: I was doing my first folk concert, and I was with Sing Out Barbados. This was my first major gig and my first time performing on a big stage. This was the first time I realized I was actually doing what I wanted to do, and I was enjoying it because I loved it. At this moment, I realized I wanted to do [music] for the rest of my life.
Q: You also give vocal training to members of the youth. Was this due to your passion for music?
A: What led me to train young vocalists in Barbados was hearing their passion for music and seeing their drive. They remind me of myself at that age when I was hoping someone would give me a chance to perform. I made a promise to myself when I was young that if I was ever in a position to help persons attain their dream in music, I would do it.
Q: What are your goals for the students you train? And do they perform under a group name?
A: My goal is to get them to a level that they could begin to get out into the performance world as they all have the passion and the drive needed to work in the entertainment industry. The students perform under their own names and I am just a mentor showing and teaching them some of what I know. Everything I do is a learning experience for me to help prepare them.
Q: As a young person being involved in the music industry, were there any challenges you had to overcome?
A: I had a lot to overcome to be able to stand here today. I had to overcome my self-esteem issues as I did not like the way I looked and sounded because I believed people that said I was ugly, and I could not sing. One day, I spoke to my mother and told her what other persons were saying about me. She told me ‘I am not what people say I am’ and she encouraged me to not let what people say define me so much that I cannot do the things I love. So, I began to work on myself and I am still working on myself and believe me, it is a constant thing that must happen as we elevate to different levels in life.
Q: What is one of the highlights of your career?
A: One of the highlights of my career was when I was cast in Mustard Seed’s production of The Bridgetown Piper, for several reasons. It was the first production I had done that had a lot of dialogue. I was also given a character that had a lot of scenes which made him a crowd favourite and to top it off, I also got a solo piece which was pre-recorded. Every time I would be backstage and hear my voice, I remember feeling so grateful to God for being given the chance.
Q: You are rebranding to Orandè this year. What led you to the rebrand?
A: I decided to rebrand this year because I feel this is the right time to let the public hear some of my original work. Do not get me wrong, I will never get tired of performing Bob Marley’s One Love but there is a point in an artiste’s life when they want to do their own thing and have their own light. I have a team of songwriters and producers who are helping me bring something that everyone will enjoy.
Q: What is one thing that you would like to see changed in the music industry in Barbados?
A: I would like to see more genres of music like Rap and R&B have a bigger platform as we have rap artistes and R&B singers who have to go outside the country because to them, [there] is only so far you can go in Barbados with these genres. I would like to see a big rap concert on Farley Hill where we have local artistes sing their best R&B love songs and this would make the industry more exciting.
Q: How can persons find you on social media?
A: You can follow me on Instagram at orande_hamilton246. (LG)