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Peter Levels on a different beat
Jeffrey Biddeau aka Peter Levels is bringing nearly a decade of experience and his entire family legacy to the soca scene.
Biddeau, son and nephew of master drummers Jeffrey Sr and Andrew Biddeau, took his first dip in the competitive soca arena at yesterday’s International Soca Monarch semifinals with his song Ready Again.
The Barataria North Secondary music teacher, who has been performing since age nine, has a wealth of formal musical training which he thinks gives him an advantage in the local music industry.
“Professional training gives me an advantage overall in terms of technique. I have an advantage at the studio. In mainstream music in T&T a lot of artistes should pursue training because not all the artistes are really singers,” Biddeau said.
Biddeau, 31, is a member of the UWI Arts Chorale and has performed with groups like Charlie’s Roots and Vision. He’s currently completing a music degree at UWI. Many expected Biddeau to follow in his family’s footsteps by becoming another master drummer.
And while Biddeau does play the drums, it is in singing where he feels most comfortable. Others expected that Biddeau’s music foray would be into calypso. However, Biddeau took on the name Peter Levels because he sees himself as multi-talented. New music later this year from Biddeau will not be limited to soca although he admits: “I love the hype and the energy of soca.”
Growing up in Matura in the Orisa faith, Biddeau looks to spirituality for inspiration when writing and performing his music. He’s developed many a technique from singing during traditional ceremonies at his family’s home shrine.
Even with his many years of performing Biddeau admits that entering the Soca Monarch competition has given him a new understanding of the word “butterflies.” He’s been performing on promotional gigs and at private parties but says the Soca Monarch thousands-strong audience was a little daunting.
Yet he’s confident in Ready Again, a song he wrote that emphasises the party spirit of Carnival.
Yet, whether he makes it to the finals or not, Biddeau is happy to be in the mix.
“I’m just thankful for the opportunity and I’m not gonna let that hinder me.”