Ander­son “Blood” Armstrong


BIOG­RA­PHY

blood nAnder­son Arm­strong was born on Feb­ru­ary 1, 1968 in Bar­ba­dos. Ander­son also known as “Blood” is one of the most tal­ented males cur­rently on the Soca scene.

Many won­der why he is nick­named “Blood”, but won­der no more. Young Blood was a name I got from the Mighty Gabby by acci­dent. He could not remem­ber my name when I first met with him and he wrote it on a cas­sette. At first I thought he had given me the wrong one but then I real­ized what he had done. I liked it and I used the name. Over time peo­ple would just call me Blood and so today that is what I use on stage.”

He started singing as a choir­boy while at pri­mary school and began singing in local com­pe­ti­tions in 1983 while still in high school. At that time he made his pro­fes­sional debut in the Richard Stoute Teen Tal­ent Con­test. There he made it all the way to the finals per­form­ing his own com­po­si­tions. That same year he par­tic­i­pated under the guid­ance of his men­tor, The Mighty Gabby, in Gabby’s first timers Calypso Contest.

With the encour­age­ment of then school teacher and tent man­ager, Mac Fin­gall, he joined The Untouch­ables Calypso Tent the fol­low­ing year (1984). There he shared the stage with seven time Calypso Monarch of Bar­ba­dos, The Ragga-​Ragga King Red Plas­tic Bag. In 1985, at the age of 17, Andy Arm­strong became the youngest per­son ever to make the National Calypso Finals in Bar­ba­dos. Per­form­ing under the sobri­quet “Young Blood” he placed fifth in the com­pe­ti­tion which was won by The Mighty Gabby.

One of his biggest career moves to date was when in 1986, he along with his friend and for­mer school mate, George Jones became found­ing mem­bers of one of Bar­ba­dos most promi­nent and one of the Caribbeans lead­ing party bands over the last 2 decades, Square One . Paul Slater, Cecil Riley and Win­ston Beck­les were also found­ing mem­bers of the band. Blood was the lead vocal­ist and gui­tarist with the band.

Square One went on to record sev­eral albums where Blood was fea­tured on lead vocals along with Ali­son Hinds. These included Spe­cial, and Eat, Drink and Be Merry on which the song Party Can Done received a Caribbean Music Award nom­i­na­tion. The fol­low­ing include other albums recorded by the band on which Blood is also fea­tured as a lead vocal­ist. 4 Sides Sweet­ness which con­tains the mega-​hit Turn It Around alias The Plumber In Full Bloom Fast For­ward Cham­pi­ons Unity Higher Heights Miss­ing Files Sug­ary The Plumber has been No. 1 on the Caribbean charts around the world in coun­tries such as Eng­land, Canada, Bahamas, Jamaica, St. Maarten, almost all of the Eng­lish speak­ing Caribbean and New York where it spent an incred­i­ble 16 weeks are No. 1 on WLIBs Caribbean Top Ten charts.

Blood43 nAndy Arm­strong, along with Square One, has toured exten­sively through­out the Eng­lish, French, Dutch and Span­ish speak­ing coun­tries, as well as the Caribbean, North and South Amer­ica and Europe. Another tour­ing achieve­ment for both Blood and the band would have been their his­toric tour to South Africa to per­form for World Cup Cricket in 2003. He is known for his explo­sive, dynamic and high-​energy per­for­mances and his ver­sa­til­ity as a singer. From Lionel Richie to Louis Arm­strong to BUJU Ban­ton, Andy has cov­ered each music genre with con­sum­mate ease.

His debut solo album Con­science Call was just another step towards his never-​ending quest for max­i­mum musi­cal suc­cess. Since that time, he has recorded and pro­duced sev­eral solo and com­pi­la­tion albums. These include Maniac, his 20th Anniver­sary album Blood 20_​03, Boot­leg, a Christ­mas album Christ­mas Ren­dezvous, and Pause. These albums have fea­tured sev­eral hit songs which include Poke­mon, Turn It Around (Plumber) and Kitty Kat, Turn It Up. In 2006, his albums include Thicker than Water and the com­pi­la­tion Burn­ing Soca.

Andy has achieved yet another major accom­plish­ment in his life, where he has built one of the top record­ing stu­dios on the island from the ground up. Here he has recorded and worked with sev­eral of the fes­ti­vals well known stars such as Red Plas­tic Bag, Mac Fin­gall, Ali­son Hinds, Terry Arthur and the recent addi­tions Mikey, Con­tone and Pong.

Blood’s tal­ents go far beyond his music career. As an actor, he has per­formed in “Ti-​Jean and his Broth­ers”, “Red Car­na­tion” and “Once upon an Island” and more recently in 2007, in “Going for Love” and “Sobie” in 2008, “Mac­beth” and in 2010 “ The Mem­ory Of Water”. He is also one of the Direc­tors of SAYGE The­atre Com­pany and in recent years has formed a new dynamic soca group called SOKA KAR­TEL, along with Mikey. This union has proven fruit­ful as in 2013, they won Road Monarch and Party Monarch titles while Blood, going solo, won the Groovy Soca Monarch title.

Music Videos

Ander­son has received sev­eral awards and has been rec­og­nized as an accom­plished artist in the Calypso arena.

Awards & Accomplishments

19823rd Place Lodges School Calypso Competition

1983 — Final­ist — pinelands Calypso Com­pe­ti­tion Final­ist (4th run­ner up) — Gab­bys First Timers Com­pe­ti­tion Final­ist — Richard Stoute Teen Tal­ent Competition

1984 — Semi­fi­nal­ist — Richard Stoute Teen Tal­ent Competition

1985 — Final­ist — Crop Over, Pic-​O-​De-​Crop Com­pe­ti­tion First solo album Self titled.….YOUNG BLOOD

1986 — Found­ing mem­ber of Square One 1996 — Final­ist, Party Monarch Competition

1998 — Launch Of Record Label Red­dhead Records 2nd solo Album Con­science Call Final­ist, Party Monarch Com­pe­ti­tion Song Of The Year — South Miamis Reg­gae­soca Music Awards

2000 — Inter­na­tional World Music Award AMBAS­SADOR /​SOCA AWARD (Boston Inter­na­tional World Music Asso­ci­a­tion) April 15 Final­ist — Party Monarch Com­pe­ti­tion ( 3rd place )

2001 — Peo­ples Party Monarch (Head­lin­ers Tent inhouse com­pe­ti­tion) Peo­ples Kaiso Monarch (Head­lin­ers Tent inhouse com­pe­ti­tion) Semi­fi­nal­ist — Pic-​O-​De-​Crop Com­pe­ti­tion WIN­NER — Party Monarch Com­pe­ti­tion 3rd Place — Road March

2002 — Final­ist — Party Monarch Com­pe­ti­tion (4th Place)

2003 — Semi­fi­nal­ist — Pic-​O-​De-​Crop Com­pe­ti­tion Final­ist — Party Monarch Com­pe­ti­tion (3rd Place) Mar­cus Gar­vey Award Of Excel­lence for Per­for­mance of (Calypso Rid­dim Call­ing) Pro­duced the Road March and 2nd run­ner up of Party Monarch Song

2004 — Final­ist — Party Monarch Com­pe­ti­tion ( 3rd Place )

2006 — Semi­fi­nal­ist — Pic-​O-​De-​Crop Com­pe­ti­tion Final­ist — Pic-​O-​De-​Crop Com­pe­ti­tion 3rd run­ner up

2007 — Final­ist — Party Monarch Com­pe­ti­tion ( 4th Place ) Final­ist — Pic-​O-​De-​Crop Com­pe­ti­tion 1st run­ner up

2008 — Final­ist — Party Monarch Com­pe­ti­tion ( 8th place ) Final­ist — Pic-​O-​De-​Crop Com­pe­ti­tion 3rd run­ner up

2010 — Party Monarch Cham­pion and Road March King

20115 Bar­ba­dos Music Awards

2013 — Final­ist — Party Monarch Com­pe­ti­tion (3rd Place) Final­ist — Pic-​O-​De-​Crop Com­pe­ti­tion 2nd run­ner up.

RELATED ARTI­CLES

Music in Bar­ba­dos
Crop Over Fes­ti­val
Main Crop Over Events
Fes­ti­vals & Cel­e­bra­tions
Ali­son Hinds — The Undis­puted Queen of Soca
Enter­tain­ment
Nightlife
About Bar­ba­dos
Read Caribbean Dreams Mag­a­zine Aug-​Oct Edition

Arti­cle and pho­tos orig­i­nally from Blood’s biog­ra­phy on myspace

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