Sunday, January 21, 2018

At home on stage


PASSIONATE SINGER: Rahil Babooram. —Photo: Anisto Alves

Donstan Bonn

His unassuming appearance and quiet tenor voice, effectively hide the passion that is singer/songwriter/musician Rahil Babooram. With guitar in hand, Babooram is able to let go of his shyness and make himself at home on the stage.


For the Canadian native living in Trinidad, music is his life. His parents, who are both Trinidadians, surrounded Babooram with music almost from birth. Growing up in Chaguanas, Babooram marvelled at his father who spent a lot of time playing the guitar.


Babooram used his father’s music books on guitar playing and taught himself to play the guitar. From there he taught himself to play other instruments such as the acoustic and 12-string electric guitars, bass as well as a wide range of percussion instruments such as the tambourine, cowbell and bongos.


He can also play the keyboard, harmonium and harmonica.


He said, “I grew up in a home full of music - my father played the guitar and both my parents loved to play records of The Beatles, Pink Floyd, Billy Joel, Electric Light Orchestra, Queen, and mostly 60s and 70s rock/pop music. This was my foundation musically.


“My first actual, serious song I wrote was “Red Electric Pole”, this was in 1996.”


Babooram, an avid songwriter, was able to write song after song and touched on various topics such as relationships, social issues and veganism’s. However after a short stint away from the recording studio due to unforeseen circumstances, Babooram was determined for the world to see his talent.


He said, “In January 1999, I finally went into studio to record my first album Gaura-Vani. This was a spiritual album.” It was through the making of this album, Babooram said, his spiritual consciousness was piqued.


He said, “The song ‘My sweet Lord’ by George Harrison was instrumental in my life. It is due to this song that I first became aware of Krsna-consciousness/Vedic teachings based on the Bhagavad-Gita, Srimad Bhagavatam. In 1993, I got to read a book entitled Chant and Be Happy. The book documented conversations that George Harrison and John Lennon had with the founder-acarya of the Hare Krsna movement ISKCON, His Divine Grace AC Bhaktivedanta Swami Prabhupada in the late 1960s. Due to this book, I wanted to find out more and I began chanting the maha-mantra casually and I was inspired by the teachings of the reality of the soul to stop eating animals. At that point I became a vegetarian. 


“‘Kalau nasty’ was my first animal rights song in which I sing about how the cycle of karma, according to the Vedas, would exact the same suffering upon those who kill/consume animals in due course,” he added. 


Babooram went on and released his second album Simply Rahil in 2005 and his third album Orange in 2006. Now at 33, Babooram or what he fondly calls himself the one man band, wants people to become more familiar with him as an artiste; and with his music. With three albums under his belt, Babooram released his fourth album titled Cuatro recently.


He said, Cuatro begins with the song ‘Hermosita’ which was a song written about getting to casually know a girl from Peru who had been in Trinidad studying. She had a boyfriend who would pick her up after classes, so the song is humorously describing how I’d speak to her after class and how she’d have to go soon after. In the song I used some Spanish phrases in the lyrics.”


Recently Babooram’s song “Heartless” off his second album Simply Rahil has received quite a bit of airplay and was at #2 on the weekly Indigenous Charts.” His most recent album Cuarto, Babooram believes will fare very well.


He said, “On this album, I’d say my favourite would be ‘Until your candle burns out’. The reason is that maybe it’s the most rocking song on the album.”


Why do you love music so much?


Babooram said, “I don’t think that can be explained. It is something from the soul. Apart from the obvious nurturing from babyhood, being exposed to beautiful music, I believe it also has a lot to do with the karmic continuance of the soul resulting in what I am inspired naturally to do and fulfill in this lifetime right now, because I don’t ‘try’. I just do.”


Currently Babooram plans to further promote his music and has a 5th album already in the works.


Babooram’s albums are available at Kam’s Long Circular Mall, ElectroWorld Sounds in Centre City Mall, Chaguanas and would soon be available at Sound Research, Gulf City Mall, San Fernando.

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