BIG NOISE: Turner is making waves in his native Trinidad and across the globe
A FEW weeks ago I introduced you to Nailah Blackman, who has all the attributes mentioned above.
This week I bring to you another uprising Trinidadian artist who seems to be breaking the mould once again.
I remember hearing Turner for the first time, there was a maturity in his voice that didn’t match this young kid from the streets of Trinidad. It’s kind of hard to describe his style – all I can say is ‘different’.
I had been playing a few of his songs, like She Bad, which has been a mainstay of radio across the Caribbean for the last few months on my 1Xtra show but it was the song Champions that solidified him as an artist to me.
On Champions, Turner talks about the love of Calypso. I respect those who can respect their heritage and culture.
“Don’t get me wrong – when I say ‘she bad’, I don’t mean the things she does. I mean she is fully independent – she isn’t waiting on one man, and is looking at men and telling them to x up!” The man has the gift of the gab.
She Bad also has international appeal. Flavour from Nigeria jumped on the remix alongside Trini legend Machel Montano, and that level of endorsement can be critical for a young emerging artist.
“I’m grateful for the support and blessings that we are getting. Not only at home but also here in the UK. Everything we have heard so far is positive, so we are glad for that.”
During his short stay in the UK he discovered a “pleasant” side to this country.
“It’s so good to see people who are happy. Where I come from some people look happy but hold a sadness inside, so to come all the way to the UK and see that there seems to be genuine happiness from the people we have met is a good thing.”
He added: “Before coming here I was anticipating feeling the vibes from out here, the people, the weather…everything. It’s my first time here, but definitely not my last.”
It’s a good time for the soca new school right now. Carnival 2018 has been super productive for the likes of Turner and others and after a busy season they are now reaping the international rewards for their hard work.
His tone and delivery cuts him into a different lane in the current marketplace. It is unique, but that can be risky. However, this was never an issue for him.
RISING STAR: Turner says reggae and calypso music give a voice to the voiceless
“I never doubted myself because since I was small I have been aiming at this,” he tells me.
“I tried to pick up the good elements in all of the music that I listened to, from Peter Tosh, to Bob Marley to Superblue – they all had an energy, and I try to tap into that.”
The youth movement in soca is very strong at the moment, and Turner takes great pride in that.
“There is a level of positivity from a lot of us. I tried to do the Bubble and Wine style but was being neglected – but when Jah is ready for you he lets you know what your calling is.”
He continues: “I loved reggae music and did reggae when I was younger. The older reggae music had a lot more meaning, and that helped me.
“When I saw other young artists like Voice putting positivity in what he was doing it gave me con dence to make music that had similar ingredients.
“I wanted to come with music that wouldn’t have been expected from where I was from – they would expect a bad man song or gun lyrics – but like in life there is good and bad everywhere. I just want to push the good as far forward as I can.”
He concludes: “Reggae and calypso gives a voice to the voiceless – you can put a topic on it and put extra vibes on the music and make you listen to the message. I love to see people reacting to music, I love vibes.”
The man is full of vibes and genuine good energy. His international appeal is going to soar, because he is immediately personable and good to be around.
Watch this space to see how the Turner story develops…
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