Say the name Leroy “Gotti” Thomas in entertainment circles and he is likely to be associated with videography. That's because Thomas has been a videographer for the last 20 or so and has built up quite a name for himself in the field having co-directed Machel Montano's Vibes Cyar Done – with the artiste and Advantage which he co-directed with Mark Loregnard.
When you work with entertainers for a number of years, it's perhaps impossible to escape that proverbial biting entertainment bug. That's why it came as no surprise when Thomas released his first soca outing “When We Pass”, which can be found on the Grenie Trini Jab Riddim that he created.
Ziggy Rankin “Wine Yuh Waist” current Young King Fireball “We Dey”, Papi Boi “New Jab” and Talpree “Get On” are also featured on the Riddim.
Thomas said he always wanted to record a song with Talpree for Grenada Carnival.
“I got the vibes to do this Grenie Trini Jab project while I was listening to one of Talpree's older songs. I recorded what I was hearing in my head one time, because I didn't want to lose it. I called up Ziggy and told him about my idea and he told me to come to his studio (Blue Room, San Fernando).
Thomas said he wrote “When We Pass”, inspired by Mc Farlane's 2017 presentation Cazabon – The Art of Living.
“His band reminded me of what mas used to look like; not the two piece and fries like we have today.”
Thomas said he chose to be on a riddim because they are catchy and give artistes the exposure they need.
The Grenie Trini Jab Riddim has already touched down in the Spice Isle and, according to Thomas, “it's getting a lot of love right now.”
“We wanted to drop it in time for Grenada Carnival, which is in August.”
Thomas said he is excited about and hitting the streets of Grenada with his song and that he is equally excited about his latest project, given his respect for the artistes on the riddim.
“I have been working with Fireball and Ziggy in programming for the last three years and I met Papi Boi in 2014.”
“I have learned a lot over the years from being around Machel Montano and Peter C Lewis.”
Thomas credits late producer ShelShok for mentoring him when he first expressed an interest in music programming.
“Youths today have it so easy. They have YouTube which teaches them how to do just about anything. My advice to them is: just don't abuse the technology.”
Thomas wants to start recording other genres of music including reggae and dancehall. He has another project lined up with Talpree that he is not at liberty to discuss now. All he would say is once it sees the light of day, it will blow people's minds.
As for his singing career, Thomas does not plan to be a one-song wonder.
“I am really serious about this side of the industry,” he said.
“Where will it go from here? That is between me and God.”