Having produced successful international singers such as Rihanna and Shontelle, in addition to other famous musicians such as Arturo Tappin and Nicholas Brancker; the island of Barbados is rich with young, bright and talented musical artistes. This feature will highlight three of these musicians.
Khalid Batson – Singer-songwriter/Guitarist
I want my music to bring change, good change. I want to open eyes and encourage people as much as I can to do good, good works
Khalid Batson on what he hopes to achieve through his music.
Khalid first started playing music out of curiosity more than anything else. A graduate of Harrison College, he went to the University of the West Indies (UWI) to study History, Politics and International Relations. During that time, he met a young music producer, Khaj Thompson, who introduced him to the guitar. and spent a lot of time by his home
During his studies Khalid visited Jamaica and recounts how he became very impressed by the younger acts at local shows, such as Protoje, Chronnix and Jah 9 and it was at this point that he began to look at music as something he could spend his time pursuing. Eventually, he returned to Barbados to finish UWI and after he graduated, he was still uncertain about his future. However, the link between what he learnt in his Academic degree and his music became evident. Khalid felt the need to re-establish the disconnect of Caribbean people with their own history, roots and culture through music educating them about the unique Caribbean and Caribbean experiences.
As such, he began writing and performing songs at open mics, branching into the genres of reggae, soul and spouge and the more he did it, the more he realised that it was what he wanted to do. It was especially rewarding to see people’s reactions to his work: “to see people come together and laugh or react to what I was doing was also very rewarding in its own, especially to see and hear people’s opinions and feelings towards certain topics”.
Khalid hopes to build communities, spread positivity and challenge the lies and falsehoods in society through his music. Watch Khlaid showcase his talent during a live performance at Pelican Village.
Dwight Callender – Drummer
Dwight Callender is far above anyone else as a drummer. For him, his journey began in primary school when he used to sit and watch the steel orchestra during lunch time and he decided to “try his hand at it” and realised that he was a natural. He attended the Christ Church Foundation School and had his sights set on creating a steel orchestra there, but could not do so as the school lacked the required materials. Although this was disappointing for him, it allowed him to find a new love: the drums. He noted that it did not take him long to learn since he had the coordination already (due to his time with the steel pan); all that was required was for him to further develop his skills, and eventually, he decided to make career out of it. At 18, he joined the Energy Band (formerly Strategy) where he was afforded the opportunity to work with artists such as Kirk Brown, Gyptian and Allison Hinds, travelling to various festivals all over the world including New York, St. Vincent and Jamaica.
It is this travelling that Dwight says has been the highlight of his musical journey thus far. Not only showcasing his talent to large audiences, but also getting to experience different cultures. Dwight is serious about doing whatever he can to invest in his own craft and the craft of others, as he also teachers drums and steel pan when he has free time. Dwight also notes that he takes inspiration from all musicians he encounters. Overall, he aspires to be one of the best drummers and well-rounded musicians as he can be.
Joseph Callender – Saxophonist
It is far more than a physical thing for sure, it’s more like and body and soul, a spiritual thing.
Joseph Callender on playing the Saxophone
Only in his mid-twenties, Joseph Callender already has well over a decade worth of experience entertaining all over the island and the wider world. This young musician is a multi-talented musical genius as he plays the alto, tenor and soprano saxophone, the flute, piano, bass guitar and the drums. A former student of the Christ Church Foundation School, Joseph says that his dream is “to be a saxophonist teacher, taking part in business studies, marketing, orchestral writing and seeing myself fulfilling a whole lot of different roles” (Nation News, 2015).
Joseph’s musical journey began at age eleven with his first instrument – the recorder. His mother introduced him to well-known entertainer Cassius Clay, who bought him his fist sax around the age of 12⁄13 and invited him to “come play in the Eggs Band and go on tour”. It was during this first tour (he made three additional summer tours with the band) that he realised that music was what he wanted to pursue as a full time career.
After graduating from Foundation, he attended the Barbados Community College (BCC), where he studied music for two years, receiving his associate degree in music in 2011. During his period at BCC, he continued to perform all over the island and surrounding Caribbean islands, before he finally found himself under the tutelage of world renowned Arturo Tappin to learn the “language of Jazz”. Eventually, he took the stage at many hotels and jazz bars across Barbados with Tappin, as well as he NJ30+ Jazz band, jazz sensation Rosemary Phillips, and pianist Stefan Walcott. Since then, he has also entertained at the Bequia Music Festival and Tobago Jazz Festival, Jazz Artists on the Green in Trinidad and Tobago, as well as the St. Lucia Jazz Festival with Stefan Walcott and Vocalist Marissa Lindsay. Catch a glimpse of Joseph’s amazing talent here.
These are just a few of some of the most talented upcoming musicians in Barbados. Keep an eye out for these and more exciting talents out of Barbados in the near future.
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© Article of caribbeandreamsmagazine.com