Monday, February 19, 2018

Music lovers rejoice


Playback singer Sonu Nigam.

Mark Fraser

 Two big events scheduled for this weekend are sure to have music lovers dancing and grooving all night long. 

Tomorrow, one of Bollywood’s most popular playback singers will grace the stage at the Centre of Excellence at Macoya as Sonu Nigam presents Klose to My Soul, the concert.

He’s the man with the golden voice whose songs we’ve been singing along to for two decades and whose performances just get better and better every time he takes to the stage.

Born in Haryana India, Sonu Nigam first showed an amazing talent for impersonating Bollywood’s great singers, especially Mohammed Rafi. Soon enough, this led him to the Playback Singing industry in the 90s. Hosting the popular TV series Sa Re Ga Ma helped make him a household name and thousands fell in love with his enchanting personality and extreme talent. Then in 1997, came his first major hit, Sandese Aate Hai which cemented his path to great fame and glory as a legendary Bollywood singer.

Since then Sonu Nigam has delivered countless hits — Suraj Hua Maddam, Saathiyaa, Kal Ho Na Ho, Tumese Milke, Main Hoon Na, Kabhi Alvida Na Kehna, Abhi Mujh Mein, and so many others. In fact, last year alone he had six songs in 90.’5 Year End Countdown within the Top 9, five of which took the top spots – Tu Hai, Apnaa Mujhe Lagaa, Suit Tera Laal, Saanson Ne and Pyar Tera. 

Indeed the sensual singer has come a long way since his start. He has one of, if not, the most versatile voice to ever grace Bollywood and tomorrow at the Centre of Excellence he will entertain his Trini fans in his most unforgettable event ever staged here as part of his Klose to My Soul world tour. 

The show which is the weekend before Mother’s Day and at the start of Indian Heritage Month promises to be mind-blowing. It was held in Dubai earlier this year and fans were yearning for more.

The iconic legend will perform some of the classic Bollywood hits, his super songs, all the new ones we haven’t seen him perform live yet here at home and don’t forget his special tribute to Trinidad that was recorded and released in February of this year, Trini Ladki. In an interview with 90.5 about the song (Trini Ladki which was written by local talent Kenneth Supersad), Sonu said, “This music has been close to my heart for a very long time. I’ve kind of grown up in front of all of you — in front of the Caribbean, Trinidad and Tobago. When I came for the first time, I was a very young soul still trying to make my mark in the music industry and God gave me a beautiful journey and I wanted to do something which I’ve never done before and I have always loved the chutney genre, so with the help of all of you I got this beautiful song. It’s a super hit song and I’m happy that we’ve come out with something like this and I’m sure the people are going to remember this song for years to come.” 

Sonu will be joined on stage by the charming and talented Jonita Gandhi, who had her start with the Canadian Indian Art Orchestra but has recently taken her voice to greater heights entering the Bollywood Playback Singing industry. She has had tracks in last year’s Chennai Express and this year’s Highway and has toured with none other than master maestro AR Rahman.

Also, accompanying Sonu will be his full band of musicians and for the first time in Trinidad he will be joined by members of his symphony orchestra which is sure to bring the musical experience to a whole new level. And of course his full lighting and engineering crews will complete the ambience for the evening’s entertainment which is sure to be the biggest Bollywood night Trinidad has ever seen.

Doors open at 5 p.m.

On Sunday ‘Reggae on the Bay’ delivers Hennessy Artistry live from the Amphitheatre at the most premium outdoor venue in T&T — O2 Park, Chaguaramas.

After a stellar 2013 event featuring Beres Hammond, Cocoa Tea and Tarrus Riley, many assumed that cast was undeniable the best. However, Hennessy Artistry has been known to have a few tricks up their sleeve and out of the hat comes a 2014 line-up that has rocked the social media sites:

The legend Super Cat has been confirmed. As well as the ever popular billboard reggae icon Maxi Priest. Not stopping there, the Amphitheatre will be bubbling with one of the most popular and consistent upcoming reggae bands in the world today — Midnite.

After so many musical collaborations and acclaimed success ascribed to a DJ out of Jamaica, Super Cat was known for creating gold out of everything he touched. His monumental highs were met with a low in 2004 after the death of his long time friend and manager Fred ‘The Thunder’ Donner. Super Cat took some time off and  re-emerged in 2009 for a Madison Square Garden performance in New York, USA with other top Jamaican artistes like Buju Banton and others. In 2012 Hip Hop Legend Nas’s single ‘The Don’, from the rapper’s album Life is Good sampled Super Cat’s ‘Dance in New York’ with Cat adding vocals to the hook. In 2013 he made a surprise appearance at Massive B’s On Da Reggae Tip concert during Shaggy’s set and tore the house down, that same week, a mix of his work previously recorded during his time with The Neptunes label was released to the internet. Super Cat is a legend of legends in the reggae dancehall fraternity and seeing him grace any stage promises a repertoire and performance set, fit for loyal Reggae-Dancehall fans to revel and reminisce. 

Max Alfred “Maxi” Elliot, known as Maxi Priest, is best known for singing reggae music with an R&B influence, otherwise known as reggae fusion, and became one of the first international successes who regularly dabbled in the genre and one of the most successful reggae fusion acts of all-time. 

Priest’s musical career began with him singing on the South London reggae sound system Saxon Studio International, after which some independent single releases followed. His first major album was the self-titled Maxi Priest (1988) which, along with his cover of Cat Stevens’ “Wild World”, established him as one of the top British reggae singers.

He is one of only two British reggae acts (along with UB40) to have an American Billboard number one: “Close to You” in 1990. A duet with Roberta Flack, “Set the Night to Music”, reached the American Top Ten in 1991. His duet with Shaggy in 1996, “That Girl”, was also a hit in the United States, peaking at number 20.

In the latter half of his recording career, Priest has favoured working alongside other artistes, both established and up-and-coming. He has worked with Sly and Robbie, Shaggy, Beres Hammond, Jazzie B, Apache Indian, Roberta Flack, Shurwayne Winchester, Shabba Ranks and Lee Ritenour.

Hailing from St Croix, Virgin Islands, Midnite weaves the cultural lyrics of “old school” roots music with modern day experiences to create a unique listening encounter. Roots Reggae — naked and raw is an apt description for Midnite’s musical style, in which it forgoes the frills of extensive remixes, overdubbing and other musical refinements. 

Midnite explodes in live performances with sets that often exceed three hours. Its vigorous, weighty sound, driven by the punchy bass lines creates a vibe that penetrates straight to the heart. These epic musical communions have earned Midnite an enormous following throughout the reggae community. 

Also performing will be the future stars of T&T: Bucha, Kushite, Jah Defender, and the Mystic Element Band.

The event starts at 3 p.m. and the ambiance of the Chaguaramas backdrop promises once again to be the experience of the year.