Seconds into any interaction with performer Bruce Robinson, it’s obvious that he is a natural-born comedian. Though the performer shares the same name with his father, he has adopted the moniker Brucelee De Almightee De 1st. The Alexandra School alumna lives by the school’s motto: “Per Ardua Ad Astra” which means Through Struggles to The Stars, and this is what he models his music career on.
Music was not Bruce’s first love. While at school, this creative’s interest in performance intensified as a member of the Alexandra Drama Group.
One of the high points of this membership, which he fondly remembers, was representing Barbados in the Caribbean Drama Festival in 2007. Sharing that space with his love of drama was music.
“I’ve been singing for a while, but small sessions and karaoke.” However, all that changed in the past two years when the artiste managed to combine all his interests.
He told Bajan Vibes: “I liked singing but wasn’t too interested in it as I was more focused as an actor, but things changed somewhat. I liked acting and singing, so I kind of mixed it up together and got results.”
The turning point came when Bashment Soca star Mole decided to do a collaboration with him. He is truly appreciative of the role that Mole has played in his journey so far.
“Mole has been an inspiration for me. He really got me up there, a great guy to work with. From the time you hit the studio, it is vibes.” Their collaboration Aye has had a long run.
“This song was performed for two years straight, singing alongside one of the greats in Barbados, De Daddy aka Mole. All I can say is I thank him for getting me to this stage in life.”
Soca being the genre of choice was not accidental since Bruce is a true socaholic. In a walk down memory lane he said: “When I was younger, I used to climb through my bedroom window to attend cavalcades because I just loved it, people wukkin up and enjoying themselves. So I guess that inspired me even more.”
The songwriter has created his own formula. He prefers nice, smooth, simple lyrics. His inspiration comes from everything around him, things that he has seen or incidents that happen on a day-to-day basis.
“I like to cater to what people want to hear.” But he would not be true to himself unless it contains a dash of humour.
“I can’t write a song and don’t involve some sort of comedy in a verse because when I am performing it I want to act it out and people can feel what I’m trying to get at.”
Bruce also has a penchant for playing the piano and cooking. “I love flour and can bake a hard sweetbread when I get bored. I love cricket so bad and I can’t get a ball catch to save my life!”
The performer is hoping to show another dimension to his artistry with a recently released sweet soca track called My Imagination, produced by Dutty Tallics Record.
“During quarantine, I was home one day and he [Dutty Tallics] called me to come in the studio and in one day, boom! The song was finished!”
Admittedly, it was a step outside of his comfort zone, but he is excited by the positive feedback he has been receiving so far. This is just one of a few releases that he has planned. One of his new songs will be a bashment soca for sure, Bruce assured.
The artiste is open to collaborating with anyone who shares a similar drive. “Honestly, I would collaborate with anybody that serious and willing to put in the work and on the same page as me. If you don’t feel vibes in the studio, it doesn’t make sense collaborating and wanting to perform it outside.”
Whether it is comedy, music or the amalgamation of the two, this artiste enjoys every minute of the experience.
“It is all about meeting and entertaining people and bringing a smile to their faces. Anyone that knows me, knows that I love to make people laugh and be happy. I love to hear people bawling my name in public. ‘Brucelee Almighteee!’ Hearing people saying my favourite phrase ‘OKKKAYYYYY’… that time, I am freaking out on the inside but just cool on the outside,” he added with a laugh.
Bruce draws inspiration from stalwarts like Lil Rick and some of the newer players in the industry like Jus D, Walkes, Leadpipe and Saddis.
For those thinking of coming into this arena, he advised: “Do what you feel is best. Express and be yourself. Do you and nobody else.”
However, one downside on this exhilarating journey is getting adequate airplay. Thankfully, however, he has seen a turnaround with his latest release which has been doing great and bringing him greater recognition.
His pursuit of his musical career has had a positive impact on his life. He feels well respected, and it has changed how people approach him. “It has played a significant role, made me a better person today.”
This path has opened new doors to him. He has always wanted to travel, and music has increased the opportunities to realise that dream. (STT)
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