The mother-daughter duo of Kareen and Trinity Clarke have the winning formula.
The pair created history last week after being named the recipients of multiple awards at this year’s Barbados Flames Gospel Awards. Kareen won Original Song and Songwriter of the Year, while Trinity won both the Artiste of the Year and Female Vocalist. This is the second straight year she has won both. The song Champion, sung by Trinity, is the one which copped the Original Song award for Kareen being the song writer.
Bajan Vibes caught up with the two to talk about how they found out and how they felt in the moment and they shared their thoughts.
Kareen said: “I was upstairs watching the awards on my tablet. My intention was to record only when our categories were being announced; especially Trinity’s. When I was announced as songwriter of the year, I literally froze! And when Champion was determined Song of The Year, I wanted to scream; but I couldn’t because I was recording. I was in total disbelief and awe! But when the knowledge that my daughter, for the second year, won Female Gospel Artist and Gospel Artist of the Year, I was teary-eyed. It is evidence of God’s faithfulness.”
While Trinity said: “Well, I did not want to watch the awards; I was too ‘nervouscited’. That’s a word I made up for being nervous and excited at the same time. It was on the following day that my mother presented me with a four-minute video with only our categories and the winners, and that was how I learnt of my wins. But when I learnt from the same video that my mother also won, I screamed and gave her a big hug and kiss and congratulated her. My mother doesn’t really boast about this, but she is a really good songwriter.”
Since news of the awards was made public, there has been nothing but an outpouring of love and congratulations.
“My mother’s Facebook and WhatsApp; my Facebook and Instagram blew up. My mother posted the same video, and the comments and views were so many. Every day we keep receiving congratulations,” said Trinity.
“The response has been overwhelming, and I feel gratified by such acknowledgements,” Kareen said.
When asked how they felt about the overwhelming show of love and winning the awards, they said a great deal.
“I am still not sure how to express myself emotionally having won these awards but what I do feel is gratitude and I feel like I am closer to accomplishing my dream as an international recording and performing artiste. It also means that I need to keep developing my craft as a vocalist,” Trinity said.
“Personally, it means that there are more songs I have to write. I have been awarded as a vocalist many times before, but never a songwriter on its own merit. So I receive this award as inspiration to keep on writing,” said Kareen.
For Trinity, it has been a remarkable year thus far. Not only is she a finalist in the Baje to The World Competition, but she has also been nominated for two international awards.
Trinity has been nominated in several categories in The Prayze Factor Awards. She is a finalist in the category of Youth On The Rise: Performing Artist of the Year, International Performing Artiste of the Year and Youth Best Video/Webinar/Live.
In the Gospel Choice Music Award, she is a finalist in the Youth Artiste Vocalist of the Year.
About these nominations, she said: “It feels great; the chance to represent Barbados is always an honour. I love my country and I love my Prime Minister; and the possibility of being on such a big stage would help to promote my country and also bring my dream of becoming an international artiste closer.”
The 14-year-old is working on new music to be released later this year. And the duo is excited by this.
“Yes, we will be. We are working with The RedBoyz on a John Yarde written song and we will also be working with Kimberley Inniss who has written and will be producing a record for Trinity. These are all excellent talents in their own right, and we are excited about working with them.”
The last major project Trinity was featured heavily in was the song Who We Are, commissioned by Prime Minister Mia Amor Mottley.
“We were delighted to be included in this project spearheaded by the National Cultural Foundation (NCF) and produced by Nicholas Brancker. It came at a time when the country was on lockdown and we had to use innovative ways to record. This included using our mobile device under layers of blankets, plus a comforter to keep out external noise and to create a studio environment,” the pair said.
Kareen recalled: “It was quite an interesting experience. Then there was the recording for the video, which Trinity was elated to do. For Trinity to be the youngest artist involved with such a leading role, representing the bright optimism of tomorrow’s Barbados is something she will cherish for years to come. We are thankful that NCF included us,” the veteran singer said.
Both Trinity and Kareen used the COVID-19 lockdown period to do live broadcasts on social media. “It was an opportune time to engage our audience, many of whom were at home here and abroad to bring inspiration and hope during that uncertain period. So we used our platforms to communicate directly with them.”
Trinity told Bajan Vibes that school took on a new and interesting meaning during the pandemic period. “A major adjustment for me would have been online school, which I enjoyed. I have learnt that in spite of physical restrictions learning can take place and I have developed personal discipline to get projects done and excel in any area of challenge. I miss school, but I enjoyed doing school from at home in my jeans, press-on-nails, braids, looking fabulous or not in my living room or bedroom. There were no rules.”
Trinity’s advice, for other’s looking to use their God-given talent, is simple. “Pursue your dreams with passion, discipline and learn all you can from the experienced ones in the field. I’d also suggest that they think big, knowing that the globe is their stage. Finally, acknowledge where and who your gift comes from. All talents come from God. He is the source of all gifts.”
When asked to name her influencers, Trinity said: “The Prime Minister Mia Mottley, the Governor General Dame Sandra Mason, my mentors aunty Alicia and uncle Alex; Nikita, Edwin Yearwood, Uncle Blood, Beyonce, Billie Eilish, Kierra Sheard and BARBIE. There are more, but they stand out.”
In 2017, Trinity had the honour of performing for Bajan pop star Rihanna. It is a day she will never forget. “To see Rihanna give me a standing ovation while I was still singing one of her songs and even after I finished singing left me feeling supercool. I’ve had other great moments, but this one stands out.”
The teen singer has set some career goals which she intends to go after in earnest. “To have my music heard all over the world; to have at least one international hit song; to be able to play the piano like John Legend; to develop my ability as a songwriter; to keep developing my craft as a vocalist; to attend Berklee College of Music like my mother; to record and perform live with Beyonce; to meet Billie Eilish and Kierra Sheard. I want to be Barbados’ youngest millionaire by 16 because of my music,” the young artiste said. (IMC)