G-Syndicate, Barbados’ premiere acappella group and only vocal band, has released a new single called Chemistry. The six-member acappella group released the song on Monday, May 11, at Capital Media with host Kirk Brown.
The tune is now available on YouTube, Google music, Amazon music, social media and other platforms.
Founder and musical director of the group Derek Marshall spoke to Bajan Vibes and explained how the new song came about.
“Someone sent a song by Kes to me. It was kind of a soca song but very different and had a lot of R&B flavour to it. I approached Rachel Rowe who co-wrote on a single called Good Loving which we released last year, to do something similar to Kes, a love song, a ladies song.”
He added: “She wrote a song and then I realised the Afro-Cuba thing was trending so I said let me change it a bit. When I approached Chris Allman of Slam City we put it down in the original format then decided to change it up. We came up with the Afro-Cuban vibe but then, in the chorus, we do a more dancehall, Jamaica feel.
“It worked out to be a pretty interesting project. Rachel didn’t take too long to write it. There were a few weeks of back and forth and it’s a little different from what we would release. We have released reggae and different covers before, but we decided to go with something more mainstream,” Derek said.
The new track is written by Rachel, produced by Chris Allman of Slam City Studios and mixed and mastered by Anthony Lowhar at Commercial Studios Inc. It was also arranged by one of the group’s lead singers, Derek. Credit for the track’s vocal production goes to Vocaldini.
There were plans to do a music video, in March, to accompany the new release. However, that project had to be shelved due to the COVID-19 restrictions.
Chemistry is part of the larger project, Grown and Sexy, and the band has plans to release an album in the future.
“We intend to put them all together and have a nice compilation for our fans. We are working on that, but COVID-19 [is affecting it]. I spoke with Chris Allman and we are trying to figure out how we can get the recording done for our next project, hopefully.”
He continued: “From last year, the plan was to release this song around this time. I guess COVID had an impact in that we felt people needed to get a bit of a distraction. And given the fact that there is no Crop Over season this year, we figured we’ll give people a little feeling of the festival. We didn’t want to sit on the project anymore, so we put it out.”
Reflecting on the past year, Marshall said the band had a successful 2019. “We did three of our own shows. We had installments of a show called Grown and Sexy. We felt it important to establish that we are not just a Christmas group. People have this preconceived notion that that is all we do. We perform almost every weekend and we do a standard gig at The Crane.”
He continued: “Last May, we did Get Syndicated, Grown and Sexy. After that, we went to Barbados on The Water. We were in Toronto in August. In September, we had another edition of Grown and Sexy and in October, we did the Jazz Excursion. We opened for Jeffrey Osborne at the Hilton Hotel. Then we went straight into preparation for Christmas with G-Syndicate as well.”
Derek said the COVID-19 period has been a trying time for band members. “There has definitely been a lot more activity in the WhatsApp group chat. We miss the interaction with each other, we miss being on stage together, the camaraderie. We are staying in contact, and looking out for each other, making sure we are all safe. We would love the opportunity to get together and perform.”
The bandleader said he believed the timing of the release is perfect since people have a thirst for entertainment given the level of confinement.
“Entertainment is critically important and we see it now. The interaction, the entertainment is missing. Everything has become so serious. Not to say that entertainment isn’t serious, but it is to the point where some people are afraid and panicking about COVID-19.
“So we need people to provide forms of entertainment to bring a little bit of distraction. There is a need to bring about a level of normalcy so you don’t feel as though you are losing your mind. We are isolated; you can’t even go and interact with your family, you can’t go see your friends. Then you have to be in your house by 8 p.m.
“It’s time like this that you really miss entertainment and you understand the value of it. Life is not normal, it is not like it was before. You really have to look for entertainment. I heard YouTube usage has gone up by 56 per cent simply because people are looking for entertainment,” Derek told Bajan Vibes.
G-Syndicate has impressed audiences across the island at numerous festivals, community and corporate events. Their awe-inspiring live show always leaves audiences enthralled and asking for more.
The group’s goal is to be a pioneer in vocal music and one of the most dynamic bands of this generation. From live performances to studio recordings, G-Syndicate has developed a signature sound and style. They intend to take their distinctive sound to the international stage.
Members of the band are: Derek Mal (first tenor, guitar and percussion), Khiomal (first tenor and percussion), Taurean Knight (second tenor and trumpet), Brett Linton (baritone and drums), Marc Sealey (baritone, trombone and harmonica) and Antonio Edwards (bass). (IMC)