A cadre of 18 talented Barbadians put their hearts and voices together to salute farmers.
The song, entitled The Farmer’s Anthem (A World Of Farmers), was commissioned by The Ministry of Creative Economy, Culture and Sports along with the Ministry of Agriculture and Food Security last month as a project for IICA (Inter-American Alliance for Cooperation on Agriculture). The song along with the accompanying video was released last week and has already been making waves on social media.
While the song is a collaborative production featuring varying artistes, Mistah Dale crafted the lyrics and spearheaded the project. When speaking to Bajan Vibes he was swift to point out and insisted that it was literally many hands to the plough.
The 18 are: Mistah Dale, Donella Weekes-Oliver, Paula Hinds, Leadpipe, Joel Brooks, Indra Rudder, David Kirton, Imani, Statement, Ronnie Morris, Peter Coxx, Ch’An, Kareem Agard, Troy Special Harper, Kevin Sluggy Watson, Roche, Betty B and Adrian Greene. Greene wrote his spoken word piece. The two children at the end of the video and singing are Madisyn and Makensie Griffith.
The production team comprises Chris Allman who produced and edited with Barry Hill playing the guitar and providing additional production while Anthony Lowhar edited, mixed and mastered.
Mistah Dale said the hook lines for the song came to mind easily and the actual writing just flowed. “When the project was first explained I sought to approach it as globally as possible and thought ‘What a wonderful world it would be if we all acted like farmers.’” The writing process flowed naturally once I decided on the two main themes: “We’ve got the earth in our hands” and “Tomorrow will be better in a world of farmers”.
The artiste said the project was a bit challenging given the COVID-19 restrictions. “[It] was very challenging because most of the artistes had to record vocals on their smartphones. Technology has certainly come a long way with some very decent “voice recorder apps” available but nonetheless, it still called for some seriously tedious editing from producer Chris Allman and engineer Anthony Lowhar along with constant “sound analysis” from Carl Dj Nell Greenidge.
He added: “Anyone who knows me knows that I love a good challenge… So from a production side we tackled it head-on. I explained to Chris what type of feel I was going for, submitted a rough acoustic guide with just vocals and guitar and he and BarMan dealt with the musical treatment.”
Dale said he used the project to showcase the talents of those who aren’t always in the public’s eye. “Vocally, I tried to fit each artiste with the part that I thought would best highlight their immense quality. We’ve got quite a few extremely talented vocalists here in Barbados who are not always in the public’s eye and so I decided to go with a wide array of well known, established, up and coming, gospel icons, reggae icon, spoken word legend, the under-used, the often overlooked and mixed with a few young and not so well known… But [each and] every one of them are awesome vocalists.”
He knows he made the right choice because since its release he has been getting nothing but positive feedback. “The response has been absolutely amazing so far with positive comments coming from as far as Ethiopia and Nigeria. Having only been released for a couple days now, this kinda love and feedback is really encouraging. Words honestly can’t explain.”
He added: “The result was indeed magical and very pleasing. From a production end it flowed generally smoothly and while there were some things the production team disagreed on and some things that I insisted should remain… in the end, the final product brought great satisfaction to all involved. The common word though that’s resonating from everyone is ‘Global’”… and for me that’s the intention. So let’s hope that its profound message reaches all corners of the Earth because food is important to all.”
As it relates to future projects, Mistah Dale said his fans and supporters can certainly look forward to music from him this year.
“Despite Crop Over 2020 being cancelled, I’ve still got a couple releases to drop. Gotta keep my wonderful fans satisfied. I’m still working trying to complete my album… Given the current financial crisis, I may have to push it back to 2021 but will still release a couple new songs from the album.”
His adage: “Music is entertainment. Music is hype. Music is relaxation. Music is therapeutic. Music is food. Music is love. Music is life.”
The original Soca Junkie said the news of the cancellation of Crop Over 2020 was a huge blow. “I was dejected and broken… but very understanding because despite being a devout Soca Junkie, I know that this COVID-19 thing ain’t no joke and must still be taken seriously even now… well, especially now restrictions have eased up significantly.”
However, he made extremely wise use of this entertainment down period. The Iist of things he has done or been involved with is endless. “I’m taking it all in stride. I’ve been writing more songs, practising my guitar-playing a bit more, trying to read a book a week, doing a couple online management courses, investing in a few Network Marketing ops, plenty of Zoom meetings and exploring the Stock Market.”
Dale continued: “I am also planning for The Barbados Table Tennis Association’s reopening and working with my long time football family on a Project called Graduates Care which is raising funds and assisting the less fortunate across Barbados with food hampers. Basically, I’m keeping extremely busy. COVID-19 has also reinforced how fortunate we are and indeed, should be more grateful for many of the things we take for granted.” (IMC)
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