The absence of Crop Over is not enough to stop the music.
Veteran entertainer Mr Blood has released an album entitled: A Real Good Feeling with eleven songs. It’s a compilation of soca and reggae medleys with tracks: I Remember, Feel Good – Afrocomb Riddim, Play A Mas, Calories, On Fire, Roll It (Soka Kartel), Real Vibes, Gal I Like It, Turn It So, Head Turner, Middle, Reggae Medley.
The project, headed by Mr Blood, is a collaboration with a number of other writers including Nayasha Agard, James P Morgan (Jamesy P), DJ Spider, Michael Mikey Mercer, Christina Chrissy D Dottin and Stephan Hope.
Mr Blood chatted with Bajan Vibes and explained how the name of the album came about.
“One of the tracks is called Real Vibes. It was actually called A Real Good Feeling initially, which would have been the title track for the album. However, after I got the track Feel Good from Jamesy P, I decided to change the name of the song so there won’t be any mix-ups when people were requesting the songs, etc. I thought A Real Good Feeling was what people would be having after being able to come back out after lockdown too.”
The album took about five months to complete, mainly because all of the songs are not new. There are just five new songs and the reggae medley which Mr Blood had already finished sometime back.
Production on the album is spread between Chris Allman from Slam City Studio, Barry Hill from Dreadhawk Productions and Reddhead Records Inc. Almost all the ground work was done before lockdown so it was pretty easy getting things in place.
Now that it’s completed, the reception of the album and some of the songs has been very good. “The feedback has been fantastic – from the release of the very first single to the release of the entire album. Everyone has their favourite new song as well as some of the hits from last year and before. DJs have responded well to the new tracks, and I have been getting lots of calls for the music. That is a good sign.”
Mr Blood continued: “I am extremely elated and relieved that I was able to get the project completed and I have to thank the DJs who have been playing the songs in their radio shifts because, like I said, I have gotten extremely great feedback on the ground from each and every release.
“I feel like I have accomplished what I set out to do, and that is to help people to feel some sort of hope that even during the lockdown/curfew period, there was something to look forward to.”
Notwithstanding the COVID-19 restrictions, the entertainer, with over four decades of experience, managed to push and promote the project.
“I have been pushing on social media and I have been still doing radio telephone interviews. I was able to actually launch the album on 98.1 The One live from the studio because, by then, things were getting back closer to normalcy.”
The former Calypso Monarch, Party Monarch, Sweet Soca King and Tune of the Crop winner told Bajan Vibes that he was “saddened” by the news of the cancellation of the national festival Crop Over.
“Believe it or not, I felt relief. I was saddened that with all this great music I would not have been able to get on a stage and showcase it, but under the circumstances, I was relieved that the right measures were taken to safeguard the well-being of the citizens of Barbados.”
Mr Blood, who is a former lead singer with the band Square One and Soka Kartel, said he felt the need to release the album since he believes that music has a key role to play as the world grapples with the COVID-19 crisis.
“I see it as very important, because as hard as we work to try to stay safe, I believe we have to try to remain sane as well. Music and positive vibes, at a time like this, are very important, and to be able to bring joy and laughter to what could have been really tough conditions for some is my focus. I found ways to deal with it and I am hoping my music helped people, even if in some very small way.”
It has been a developmental period for Mr Blood who said: “I have been coping by keeping my mind and my body active. I have also been learning new disciplines.”
The pandemic and downtime which came about because of the virus have brought out the best in humanity, Mr Blood believes. The singer said the period reminded him that there are many “good people” in our country.
“There is so much good in a people and this nation. When our backs were against the wall, we showed resilience and we showed compassion. We stepped up to the plate, and we delivered. Where people were hungry, those of us who could share, shared. Those who could help did just that and we all tried to get us all through. I would like that we, as a people, continue to be aware, stay safe and stay sane. ‘All we got is we’,” Mr Blood said. (IMC)
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