Damian Marvay’s recent 2020 release First Chance is making waves and listeners are just loving it.
The singer who said his music is for the people, told Bajan Vibes that he is nervous each time he releases a new song.
“I feel super excited and nervous every time I release a new track (or new baby as I call it) to the world. Each time, I’m hoping it provides as much food as possible to whoever comes across it and serves as some pure, feel good vibes that they can lean on and put on repeat at any point in their day.”
He explained: “I’m not looking for accolades for myself or for singing ability, etc. I just hope people can own it for themselves and see or feel themselves in the first person, in the ‘I’ position. A song belongs to the listener. Once it’s released, it’s all theirs.”
First Chance was written by Virgin Islands 7th Flag (Jamal and Demri) as well as Karyce Phillips from Trinidad and Tobago.
Marvay talked about the concept behind the song. “The song speaks on life away from the euphoria and revelry of Crop Over/Carnival time where we are inundated with the humps and bumps of everyday life and we are just yearning for the first chance to let loose and come together as one to party on the road!”
He added: “Coincidentally, it was actually conceptualised and recorded months before the coronavirus hit our shores and forced us into lockdown, but it ended up being a perfect tribute to our stressful experience with the virus and the cancellation of our beloved Festival.”
The track was produced by the supreme duo Scott Galt and Mikey Hulsmeir of De Red Boyz and mixed by Anthony Lowhar. It was mastered by Alex Psaradoukis of the world-renowned Sterling Sounds of New York with Russell Padmore on guitar. Karyce Phillips also graciously lent her amazing sound to the backing vocals. Marvay also thanked his manager for her contribution to the project.
“I have to always thank Katrina Chandler, my friend and manager of my home label Country Life Music (@countrylife.music) for continuing to pull everything together. She works tirelessly on the business side as well as the creative and personal side to make sure everything goes smoothly. Especially with the release of every new baby.”
The artiste said he has been receiving positive feedback and heart-warming messages from listeners about the song. “So far I’ve been getting great responses from listeners! With comments like ‘goosebumps’, ‘haunting’, ‘love de message’ and ‘very different’, I’m hoping it keeps getting more and more airplay and that the whole vibe of it, the melody and the lyrics, really continue to sink into everyone’s ears and minds and further help to make it all their own.”
Marvay has been busy promoting the new single, relying more on other mediums since there are no live performances due to the COVID-19 restrictions.
“It’s been a mixture of radio, digital and print interviews, with some television planned and online promotion in the form of Instagram (@officialmarvay) and Facebook (Damian Marvay). Unfortunately, because of the COVID-19 restrictions, I have not been able to perform any new music live at the usual venues such as the early Crop Over fetes or concerts or even at the Big Show Tent which I have come to appreciate as my main performance home every summer.”
Marvay, who is featured in the recently released This Who We Are song commissioned by the Prime Minister, said that experience was humbling.
“I was very humbled and proud to be asked to participate in the This is Who We Are project. I think it was an awesome initiative by the Prime Minister not only to celebrate our resilience as a nation throughout this unprecedented crisis but also to offer some much needed work for artists who would have been negatively impacted by the cancellation of our summer Festival.”
The singer said the cancellation of Crop Over was a blow to him since he had a lot riding on the national event. “It was like a punch in the gut. I was floored. Literally speechless. Although all indications were going in that direction, I was still holding out hope that maybe it would just start a little later.
“I had a lot riding on it, personally and even financially because Crop Over is usually the kick off to the whole year’s work for an artist. How well your music performs in a given season can help define your gigs domestically, regionally and internationally for months or even years after, so it was a hard pill to swallow at first.”
However, Marvay swiftly started to make things happen. “It didn’t take long, however, to realise I had to keep the ball rolling somehow. Music doesn’t have a lockdown period and the Internet can’t get quarantined away. Some in the team felt rightly that it could be a waste of money and effort to release any Crop Over music this summer without the immediate monetary return.”
He added: “However, we quickly realized that this track First Chance was especially hitting home and the lyrics fit exactly the sentiment we had about missing out on the season and wishing for a time when we could soon be out and about and free to party again!”
When asked if more music will be coming from him in 2020 the artiste said: “Yes, I will be releasing more tracks as the summer continues and into the fall. There will be some stuff outside of the soca genre as well that I hope people can really get into and jam with. I’m looking forward to fleshing out other shades and colors of sound and anxious to see how people will receive them!”
Marvay believes in the power of music. He sticks by his belief penned in his 2018 hit song Antidote. “I knew that good music and good art could be the perfect antidote to what was happening globally. Even with the racial tensions and uprisings against cruel injustices that have been occurring around the world, I knew there is never a time where music didn’t have a place in our lives.”
He continued: “In fact, music carries with it the stories of our lives and helps to soothe us through our troubles. At least that is what it does for me. So I always hope my own music can be that same force for somebody out there.”
The versatile singer told Bajan Vibes that this year has been a massive test of faith so far. “It’s been a tumultuous but rejuvenating challenge of faith in myself, faith in good caring people and faith in my connection to a Higher Power. It’s been challenging to keep focused on what my true goals are in life (outside of music) while waging an honest war against the internal ‘demons’ or defects that can threaten to derail that faith and focus.”
Marvay shared the lessons he has learnt during this “quiet” COVID-19 period. “I have been finding renewed hope in Nature (all the blues and all the greens), deep meaningful meditation, constant creative writing and reading and journaling and of course, staying open and willing to learn more and more about what makes us tick as humans; the good sides and the bad. So I’ve been forced to learn more patience and appreciate the power and serenity in simple acceptance. And I’m still learning.”
He added: “This year, I have had to learn to slow down. Take real stock of who and what I am; the bare basics first so that I can better steer this ship called life going forward. There is still so much more music and so much more love left to share.” (IMC)
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