Luciano connects with Grenadian Artiste A#keem. His comments just may shock you!
Wow! Legend Luciano had A LOT to say!
How about this for an interesting perspective?
When it comes to great music, or great anything for that matter, I believe we should leave it to the pros! So here I am writing about Grenada’s young and upcoming reggae sensation, A#keem, from the well-trained eye of a legendary pro, Luciano, Jah Messenger!
Fortunately for me, they hit it off! The two reggae crooners had the opportunity to interact and even listen to some of A#keem’s unreleased music during his recent trip to Grenada! The artistes who fed off of each other’s energy shared one of the most impromptu, yet magical experiences on stage together at the Old Skool Pub which hosted a Meet and Greet for the Jamaican reggae act. The following day at Mellows Complex both were scheduled to perform but Luciano was tapped to headline. After delivering hit after hit to the choir of a crowd, I sought him out and we had a chat about A#keem and this is what the Messenjah himself had to say!
What’s the first word (or couple of words) that having met him, chilled with him, and sang with him, pops to mind when you think of A#keem?
L: Very progressive youth, ambitious, very hard-working, creative and talented. His future is bright. I tell him to stay focused and don’t get caught up with the crazy world out there. It’s a lot of temptation out there so I just tell him stay focused, stay on the pathway and sing good music that would last forever.
How was your interaction with him? And can we be candid? What’s your impression of his music? Is it your cup of tea?
L: Sometimes when you meet young artistes, some of them are very cocky and they behave as if they don’t want to talk to the foundation artiste. But he no doubt acknowledges an icon and sees me as an elder in the business. He shows respect, very humble youth and just the way how he reacts, it’s really encouraging and this gives me great energy and enthuses me to even do some work with him. I’ve been listening to some of his works, especially one about burn fire red. That is a big song, I’m telling him to video it. Cuz he has done so many great songs, I think some of the songs some of the disc jockeys are afraid to play them but he has some heavy tunes. You know one or two he sing for the girls dem but I believe that when I check him out, even his mannerisms and how he approaches tings, he is like a real freedom fighter.
For a reggae artiste in a soca-dominated space, what advice can you give?
L: Sing about things that people can relate to. Whether you’re singing calypso or reggae or whatever the genres. I always believe that if you sing things that people can relate to. If you sing about reality, sing about life, sing things that are on the minds of the people. The system is beating us down so you can sing something about what’s happening. Once you sing songs that people can relate to you’ll fit in any crowd. That’s what I’ve discovered you know. A man like Mr. Machel Montano, them man deh sing good songs where people can relate to and this is why he stood out even as a soca artiste. So I would say it’s the same thing with you A#keem. Just stay positive, and make sure there is always the message in your songs.
I always like an “I overcame” story. What’s a challenge that you overcame in your career? & when it comes to others being challenged what advice do you have when giving up feels like their next best thing?
L: In the earlier years sometimes when you just get your songs off the press and you bring it to some disc jockeys, they don’t want to play it because you’re not big and they don’t see you as popular. But as time progresses and you constantly keep working and working and back then I keep working and working night and day round the clock and no matter how them try mi just nah stop. So that is the secret to the whole thing. Because you’re always gonna face challenges, some people, you might sing songs that’ll touch people and a lot of people were afraid to even play it but some people would glad to play like Killamajaro Sound. I believe that there is always someone out there benefitting from a song that you may have done. So the secret to it is to keep doing your thing and love what you’re doing and don’t stop.
I just have to know; with your sound and A#keem’s sound, do you see a collaboration between you guys?
L: He was on stage the other day at Old Skool (The Old Skool Pub) holding a vibes with Mikey at the Meet and Greet and I went up there and we were doing little vibes and it was a great energy. The people liked it so there’s no doubt the people’s attention is there and it’s endless possibilities.
This year makes it 30 years you’ve been in the business, can you leave me with some nuggets of wisdom?
L: Well first I’ll tell you just be yourself and love yourself no matter what’s happening out there, it’s always you you gotta turn to. When everyone’s gone home and you close that door behind you it’s you and yourself so be true to yourself. If you lie to yourself then you’re gonna lie to the whole world and even to your children and the generations after. Be true to yourself and then the universe will be true to you.