|Too Sweet for Carnival |
Melissa Doughty Friday, February 17 2017
NANDI LEWIS knows that there is a lot of good music circulating outside of TT’s airwaves it is simply a matter of it getting airplay. She knows because the frontline singer of Traffik has been creating good music.
This year Lewis has given the TT public Too Sweet. A groovy soca which speaks to “being in fete, dancing and challenging someone and letting them know that I have a sweet wine. If they are able to keep up, come in and accept the challenge.” The track was written by Lewis and produced by Alton Bertie.
It was mixed and recorded by Request Music and mastered by Yohan Seethan out of Madmen Productions. The track has been two years in the making but she completed it and released it this year.
The 29-year-old grew up in calypso. Lewis entered the Junior Calypso Monarch and National Youth Action Committee (NYAC) competitions as well as Junior Soca Monarch competitions. “I was writing from the age of 11 and I penned my first soca when I was 14. I attended St Francois Girls’ College,” [Belmont], the Santa Cruz resident said.
Lewis began performing at the age of seven with her uncle, Frederick Morgan crafting her calypsoes.
Parang has also been a part of her building blocks in the music industry. “I also was part of a parang/ Latin band, San Racas, out of school. I have sung in Tobago Jazz Experience. I have done shows for past and present prime ministers. I have done different fetes for Republic Bank and various ministry functions.
“After school, I decided to go into soca full time. In 2011 I released my first official soca track.
It was Stand Up. It had an accompanying video and was number one on Synergy for a while. I released tracks the following years and stopped in 2015 when I took a break for two years,” she said.
For 2017 she decided to re-enter the industry and released Too Sweet.
For Lewis, the major hindrance to a more fruitful career in music lies in getting airplay on the local radio stations. “Social media helps a lot but to get airplay on radio is very difficult,” she said.
When asked if she felt that the topics of soca songs were limited, Lewis said, “Our culture includes the jump the wine and the wave so it is according to an artiste if they want to go that direction or if they want to singing a social commentary within soca. Everyone’s creativity is different.” She said her songs are crafted based on what she sees or hears and her muse, if it is around.
“It is according to what is happening at the moment, what I feel or an experience a friend may share,” she said.
Ultimately Lewis wants her music to be world renowned, the dream of every artiste, she added.
But through it all she has the support of her parents, Margaret Collins, mom and dad, Grantley Lewis.