Ramon Eastmond has gone from playing cricket in Glebe Land, St George, to touring North America as an international entertainer by the name of Ramone Bad.
The former St George Primary and Lodge School student spent three years in Canada and is making a name for himself, but he has not forgotten his roots.
“My fondest memories are growing up and playing cricket, bicycle riding, listening to my father playing records and watching my brother playing instruments. I enjoy being able to just go to the beach. I love going to St John and spending time at the spring; it’s a spiritual thing for me. I get to meditate, reflect, and look at my life and where I need to go,” the artiste told Bajan Vibes in an exclusive interview.
The son of Margaret and Cameron Eastmond, Ramone said his biggest challenge when he decided to embark on a musical career was figuring out where to start.
“Where do I record, who do I work with as it pertains to management and guidance? A challenge I faced was not listening to the naysayers and following my dreams of becoming an artiste. A big fear for me was people not feeling what I was doing. I worried that I was the only one that thought my music was good. Thankfully, that’s not the case.” As a teenager Ramone was mentored by Strat Carter, a local producer from St James, who also produced his first official hip-hop track, Leave That Boy Alone. Teransu Kuraaku, another producer Ramone worked with, helped to instill confidence in the young artiste.
“I first started out performing with IV The People Band when I was 15 years old. The band’s owner, Phillip Forrester, mentored me a lot regarding stage presence. This is when I got comfortable on stage then moved on to performing with a well-known band here called Strategy The Band, owned by Kirk Brown. He also gave me the opportunity to come through anytime I wanted with any tracks I had to debut.
“At age 17, I met an artiste named Danny Reid who introduced me to Strat Carter, the first producer with whom I have worked. Triple E is the name of the label and group owned by Strat, who is also the producer of the two singles I recently released,” he explained.
In 2010, Ramone migrated to Canada where he resided for three years and continued writing, recording and performing. It was while living in Canada that his music was heard by a mutual friend of Black Tiger Music’s president, Warwrick Reid.
In 2016, Ramone flew to the United States and began his relationship with Black Tiger Music which would later sign the artiste to a management contract. His first stop under Black Tiger’s management was the Street Exec’s Studio located in Atlanta, Georgia, where he recorded two tracks for renowned producer Chill Go Hard slated for release later this year.
Now this year, 2020, seems destined to be Ramone Bad’s best year in terms of producing music. On March 27, he released the single Death of Me, produced by Strat Carter, which is dedicated to his late grandfather who passed away suddenly.
“Life is short, go for your goals and try to achieve all you can before your time comes,” he said when asked about the significance of the track.
On May 1, Doing My Thang, a club-banger which was also produced by Strat Carter, was released. On June 26, the single Lion Heart, an inspirational track which encourages inner strength, and produced by Teransu Kuraaku is expected to be released.
Ramone, 33, said it is DMX’s style of music that has influenced him the most.
“I listened to DMX’s Flesh of My Flesh intro and album. Pac, Busta Rhymes and Biggie are all great hip hop legends who I listened to growing up, but it was DMX’s music that inspired me to write and want to pursue a career in hip hop.”
The entertainer, who has performed in both Canada and US, opened for Meek Mill and Sean Paul in Barbados. He also did a tour with Lady Saw and Bow Wow in Canada, Royce Da 59 in Toronto and numerous local performances.
“My greatest accomplishment is partnering with Black Tiger Music. Nothing that is happening right now would have been possible without them. I have never worked with anyone who put their money where their mouth is like Black Tiger Music/Warwrick Reid has done for me. I’m also proud that I won Best Hip hop Album in 2012 and Best Hip Hop Artiste in 2014 for Triple E’s Underdawgs album at the Barbados Music Awards.”
Ramone states emphatically that his goal is to have the entire world hearing his music.
“I want to go out into the world, meeting people from all races and bringing positive musical vibes to them. I want to find a way to make it easier for aspiring talents to be heard so they don’t have to experience some of the negatives I experienced trying to get my music out there.”
The young musician wants Barbados to see the full potential of the entertainment sector.
“All music should be embraced, played, and the general public, the listeners, should be the judge of what is good. Recently, it has been shown that the people of Barbados want to hear the Bajan artistes, as verified online by views and comments. Somehow the music is not getting to them.”
He continued: “We can build an industry because there is money to be made, but we need to get together. The influx of shows and people coming to the island would mean the industry would generate more money for the island. We also need our local television station to play the music videos of our local artistes. Soca gets a lot of love, but the industry here is diverse with other genres; hip hop, etc.”
For the international singer consistency is key, and that is the advice he would give to those with a dream who are reading his story.
“Be true to self. Never try to be someone you are not. For an artiste to be authentic, all the dots must connect. If you try to showcase a persona that is not you, eventually it will be seen as false. Never be afraid to show your Caribbean heritage. Embrace your dialect because people around the world like to hear our interpretation of things. America is great at being America, so don’t try to be American. Be you! People there want to hear us as we are. Never give up. If music is your passion, pursue it. Consistency is also key.”
Ramone admits that his liking for geography and astronomy might have seen him in a lab somewhere studying the stars, had he not pursued music. He likes the simple things in life.
“I like filming, photography, graphics, DJ’ing, basketball and anything to do with fitness. I like to visit Martin’s Bay. You can find me on a lounging beach chair, relaxing, watching the waves, drinking, listening to music and spending time with friends and family, especially my little girl.”
His daughter Alira, his family and loved ones are his priority. “Family matters to me most. My little girl, Alira is my world! People caring about each other also matters. I am tired of going to funerals because of people losing their lives over trivial things that could have been talked out. This is the time for families to come together and stop the hatred amongst themselves. Love too, matters to me!,” Ramone said. (IMC)