We are very happy to be able to give you a glimpse into the world of Trinidadian Deep. He is an artist who has been putting out incredibly rich music on labels like Volcov’s Neroli and Ron Trent’s Future Vision, not concerning himself with recent trends within the House spectrum. As you go through these few words from the man himself, we recommend you let yourself go to some of his deeply heartfelt songs.
Trinidadian Deep seems to be more than a moniker for releasing your music, but rather a continuous statement from you, paying homage to your origins. This is even more apparent in the name of some your tracks and releases like Caribbean Logic and Orisha Stomp… Can you elaborate on that and the importance of staying true and faithful to your roots?
Well in today’s music there is no identity or foundation of the soul or feeling when it comes to the new generation of music being produced today. Most people are on a bandwagon tip or copy cats cause what’s in, pertaining to music in every genera. It’s a very sad state and not everyone takes time to search what’s inside of them. People are too quick to reach for top 10 status and only create for today, and not for the future. I am very lucky to have been Born and raised in Port Of Spain, which is the capital of Trinidad & Tobago. Our musically history spans from the invention of the steel drum, calypso, soca etc. Our identity is of many colors and ethnic backgrounds from Native Indian British, Chinese, East Indian, Africain etc. We have a foundation of roots and other spiritual aspects when it comes to creating music. So my roots are drawn for our West Indian culture.
Your latest offering on Future Vision Records sees you drawing a lot from the Trinidad Orisha Music with call and response chants on Olofin Santos and a duo or trio of drums (if we’re not mistaken) leading on Orisha Stomp. How were these elements incorporated?
I have always been spiritual in my journey in life and music. I just did not know how to tap into it or culture it in a form of modern day music. It took many years of understanding and learning the sound to draw from these elements to craft them into my productions. The drum or percussion is a powerful tool in moving the body or communicating with the soul, so I find elements that would make me close my eyes, give myself goose bumps to know i am trying to reach a level of sound to complement a song.
Drums obviously play an essential role in your songs, whether as leading elements of the tracks or in the background, with a more subtle feeling. Do you incorporate live percussions? Can you tell us about the instruments you favor?
The drum speaks to everyone, even people who have a difficult time understanding where i try to go in my productions, sooner or later when the percussions are moving, causing a feeling of enlightenment they start to relate in the direction or path the song is taking. As stated before cause of where I was born the drum section brings out the entire song to a different height.
Your sound plays an important part in the identity of FVR. We have read that Ron Trent has been quite influential in the process of crafting your sound, and that he has advised you to tap even more into the Caribbean Sound. How was this relationship born? Do you still go back to him for some input regarding your productions?
It’s funny cause now my big brother asks me to check out stuff he is working on…hahahah Ron Trent has been the biggest influence in my life apart from my loved ones, family and my Queen, I am very lucky to have be surrounded by wonderful individuals in my past, present and future life. I use them as a tool in creating as well. I remember meeting Ron Trent years ago in 1989 in Toronto where he was djing, I came up to him and shook his hand, told him you are playing some jams up in here! He laughed and said let’s holler later, we exchanged numbers and that was that. We spoke every week on what he was doing music wise and how he creates, I told him one day I would like to create that sound he has mastered through out the many years. I used to sit in the back in his studio sessions and just listen and try to learn how he goes about doing what he does best. I started sending him demos, he would tell me add this add that, change this change that, then one day he stopped! He told me welcome to Prescription Records! The rest is history
Apart from FVR, you are also a regular on Volcov’s Neroli imprint. And it seems you release your music on just a few labels. Can you tell us about the way you choose the different platforms for your music?
Only a few labels understand my art of sound bending, they’ve always been supporting me and keeping an eye on me. Enrico is one of them who also saw some thing very special in me, he gave me a platform to do what I want and create what I want or how I feel to express myself. It’s the same with Prescription Records and Future Vision. I am very grateful for them believing in my sound and me.
As cliché as it may sound (probably because a lot of stuff are labeled “deep” nowadays), we believe your songs are, more than anything, about a certain feeling. Be it the melancholic and stringing melodies or the carefully chosen vocal collaborations and samples. Do you have a specific mindset when you go into production?
Well to be clear deephouse came from Chicago; I have the most respect for Chicago and the fellow artist there, Glenn, Boo, Anthony etc… and many more. I have been a collector of their music and trying to understand why and how they go about doing their music. Larry Heard is a major factor in this thing called deephouse; he set the tone for us to continue on this path and also adding our own touches. To be honest without Chicago there is no deephouse. It is not just labeled as deephouse but Midtempo soul. For me I love 120BPM TO 123 BPM, the expression of that tempo has a more intense feeling and you also hear the instruments and the art of the craft better. When you absorb yourself in feeling and emotion of the message to the people, you touch every part of their soul. If there is no emotion or deep feelings of life’s struggle you will not reach the audience. I wear my feelings on my sleeve when I try to create music from vocal, to dub to midtempo. We all have gone through life with loss, happiness, rejection, disappointment, and other things that try to give ourselves hope of a better day. I use these elements to help with my creations.
Can you talk a little about your vocal collaborations, especially since lyrics often have a central role on some of your songs, like Tree of Life for example…?
Well there must be a message when it comes to vocals, spoken word etc. If I do not get chills then I won’t do it period.
What are some other musical collaborations/partnerships that are important to you, and have influenced you?
Working with Ron Trent, he just forces me to think outside the box or even reach levels, that even I surprise myself at times, the connection must be loyal and brotherly love, if we can sit down, have some laughs and talk about life, then I know it’s right.
Going back a few years, we understand you really got into electronic music during your Toronto years, playing records and working at a local record store. How influential was this record shop experience in developing your own sound and Djing style? What prompted you to move to Europe after that?
Damn, well in the early 90s, the quality of music being produced was so incredible that it made you want to share why you choose to buy a certain record, the sound was raw and out of this world as that time the sound was just so powerful and made you want to dj. Working in the record store is to meet amazing djs and producers around the world! From Ron Trent, Theo Parish, my Detroit family: Kai (Alcé), Keith Worthy, Omar S etc. They would come into the store and give me white labels of their upcoming stuff so it was a perk too! I used to play a lot of vocals back then, but stopped cause I remember seeing a record that Ron Trent did called Morning Factory, it was a wrap after that! Everything Ron did, Glenn underground, Boo Williams, Anthony Nicholson, Larry heard etc. I just asked the storeowner to order this type of stuff for me. That music did something for me, I understood everything and why they produced the way they did, it was like a message to me!
Well, being in the Uk for some time was a great choice cause I have such a massive fan base there and Europe. It is strange cause I never knew until I got to dj there in the Uk for the first time in 2010! I started a company with my homeboy Called Body Drummin. My homeboy Jay Russle has been a fan of my music since 2006 and spoke to me about coming to London to do a gig there! The rest well let’s say I got amazing friends and family there who understand how I dj and how I produce. They all come out to support and show me massive amounts of love all the time I just love it there and it’s my home of home!
What can we expect from you in 2015, deepness-wise…?
More music with a mature feeling hopefully! lolololol Body Drummin Record Label!
More releases on Future Vision and Neroli. Also working with a pal of mine who is starting up his own vinyl record label as well. I just want to help those who have had my back!
My London family particularly and others who take the time to get to know me as a person and not just a dj or producer. Doing a few things with my Brooklyn family BKNY or known as Blak&Yello records, maybe a clonal here and there but I am very picky!
As I would say you have to love yourself and the ones who been with you to create beautiful music in general.