For bashment soca artiste Jomario Joe Cloudy Goddard, there is no life outside of music.
Recently, during an interview with Bajan Vibes, the 29-year-old singer of local hits like Ping Pong, Blessings, Coconuts and Up It featuring VerseeWild, said that though his plans hit a snag because of COVID-19 he is still looking to release more music within the next few months and eventually an album.
“Obviously with the Crop Over being cancelled there was a hold back on the music. I had a lot of major plans that I now have in my back pocket until next year.”
Joe Cloudy said he capitalised on the increase of the online presence of artists during the quarantine period by hosting a virtual talent show. He also used the downtime to get more involved in music production, which is one of his immediate goals.
“I am releasing my first fully produced track and I am looking to release more dancehall and soca rhythms,” he said.
The owner of Dreaming Cloud Productions, a video, photography and music production company, said he also reached out to new artists to help them understand the ins and outs of the business and industry.
“There are all types of artists who need a hand and I am putting myself in a position to help them hone their skills because there is a lot of talent. All of us need help.”
Although the father of one son has a full plate, the dancer with ADL Adrenaline Dancers said that he is looking to invest time in dance as he hopes to produce a dance show.
The six-member dance crew was the first urban all-male group to win a Gold Award with the National Independence Festival of Creative Arts (NIFCA) and they also made it through to World of Dance in Trinidad in 2008.
Joe Cloudy added that a number of artists, including Blood and Lil Rick who performed at Soca Royale, requested them as back up dancers.
In 2015, he decided to get involved in recording music and put his talent out there with a single called Party Hard, which he entered into the Party Monarch. Although he did not place, the performance encouraged him to really go for it.
Another highlight would have been in 2016 when he sang Forkin It featuring Gorg; the tune has amassed over 62,000 views on YouTube.
“This was my first major hit, and the videography was done by me. I was still new to the video, and it was something else directing the project and having to sing at the same time. It is tasking sometimes because I have to play two roles as director and performer. I have to think about what I would tell a performer. It is a lot of multitasking, but I had a great team supporting me. The majority of the time, it does go as planned.”
The hit Ping Pong which came out in 2019 was inspired because of his background in dance. The past student of Sharon Primary School said that he looks for moves which are bashment but are not vulgar, and Ping Pong did just that. It was also inspired by that fact that he came second in a national table tennis competition in primary school.
Although most of his songs are full of hype for the party scene, his release of the song Blessings also released last year reflected how grateful he is of life.
His girlfriend Gabriela Atherley who was diagnosed with cancer at that time came to his mind and thus the song Blessings came to be. However, by the grace of God, she was recently declared cancer-free.
Seven months ago during a trip to Canada he again reflected on life and how grateful he was of his island home; Proud Barbadian, another single was recorded.
“I feel as though I expressed the feelings of the people who are not in Barbados and with We Gatherin’ on the calendar at that time, [it was perfect]” he said.
Although there is a market for gangster music, Cloudy explained why he is not interested in any songs which promote gun violence.
“I cannot be proud of singing a song saying that I will shoot off your head and then one of my friends is shot. I also have a son. I am also a role model. I am very hesitant about what I put into songs when I go into schools. I have to be cautious of what I put out there.”
While noting that he is aware that death is inevitable, he has a system in place for his music to live on in the hearts of fans. He revealed that he is getting his “Tupac on” by recording enough singles to outlive him. The reference of Tupac Shakur he said was because the American R&B musician recorded singles which outlived him.
Joe Cloudy said he wants his music to have a message, and he wants to have an influence on his fans so strong that when they hear his songs they will crave even more.
The producer, a man of the community in Melrose, St Thomas, shared that he started a movie evening for children in the area with his business Cloudy Chill Spot. This same community was always supportive of him, even when he started dancing at the age of 16 while at the Alleyne School. That support was reinforced with that of his mother Curlene McDowall, who was, and still is, his biggest supporter. However, when he first started to dance, his mom was a little hesitant about the entertainment arts as a career.
“I am always the person who has hundreds of ideas so when I told my mom about dance along with the ideas I would bring to her, she was not too supportive. I then invited her to our first performance, and she told me that I had won her over. She was my backbone and support straight through, and she manages the dance group up to this very day.” Even his first hit, Forkin It, was partly paid for by his mom.
Joe said that there were many times that he felt like giving up, even with his support system.
“I felt like I was wasting my money in doing this. However, just knowing that giving up would [hinder] me from going forward; [I have decided that I would not stop]. There is a mentality that I have that I would always be going forward.”
He said for him, everything is all about forward motion. “I always promote positive thinking and believe in doing it, even when you feel that you cannot.” (MR)