Local music practitioners can soon learn from international author and artist manager David Stopps.
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Ras Pilot flying high with new album
Reggae artiste Ras Pilot recently launched his third album, Keep the Faith, to appreciative fans at Reggae on the Avenue, a popular reggae showcase held regularly by Woodbrook nightspot Coco Lounge.
The album was produced by Speakah Productions in Holland.
Ras Pilot, 40, whose real name is Everard Sealey, was born in Mayaro. At the age of five, he moved with his family to Prizgar Lands, Laventille, and it was growing up there, that Sealey discovered his singing talent at the age of seven. He remembers singing for almost everyone he met.
Inspired by his calypso icons, Sparrow and Shadow, the teenaged Sealey took his singing to the market and downtown, Port-of-Spain, while he ‘hustled’ (sold) fruits.
But Sealey soon began to love reggae music, particularly artistes like Peter Tosh, Burning Spear, Culture and Bob Marley.
Sealey, who recorded two previous albums 4 Corners in 2008 and Take Off in 2009, only began to get airplay and shows about five years ago, with the release of One Night Stand.
“My reggae singer friend, Silentstar, did mainly Reggae nights at Reggae clubs across the country, but now I am able to successfully go international through The Woodroffe & Woodroffe Management & Booking Co. They were the ones responsible for the international success of local reggae artiste Marlon Asher. The future is bright for me and I only see successes coming my way and humbled by this,” Sealey said.
Looking back on his life in Laventille, Sealey described it as good, “Up until I saw that cocaine destroyed my country and city.”
“Still, the area, those days, was full of hope! It began developing. Parlours became shops. Businesses were going up almost at every corner. The elders were looked upon and respected but then drugs came in and took over,” he said.
“It was not easy for me but I prayed and kept the faith. I worked hard enough and was determined to make it with Jah! That was when I took that bold step to move out of the capital city,” he added.
Sealey took a risk and began trading in clothing, shoes, “that leap of ‘risk taking’ grew successful and took me to New York and Canada for carnival celebrations.
“While there I sold T&T flags and other souvenirs. It was very profitable for me, so much so, I now own two clothing stores—Brands Galore at Francis Plaza in Chaguanas and Coffee Street, San Fernando.”
“People must work hard for success. Business! This is a very serious thing! This is how the billionaires and millionaires of today started, from little,” he added.
Sending a strong message for the youths and those who may have fallen as a result of various life’s challenges, Sealey pleaded, “Get up, move on! Learn from your past, the ‘very obvious’ mistakes. It would seem hard but if I can make it, you can make it too.”
“Let’s realise that the more we hate and kill out one another, fathers killing out fathers, our children growing up harder and harder than we did. Let’s start back loving everyone, of all races. One Love!”
Ras Pilot’s album is available at Cleave’s Record Shop; Dairy Bar Cafe at Ariapita Avenue and Sealey’s stores—Brands Galore at Francis Plaza in Chaguanas. It is also available digitally on iTunes, which is distributed via Zojac.
The album is distributed by Heat Of The Tropics Music Group (HOTT, music group), owned by Carl Beaver Henderson.