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The lighter side of music

Published: 
Thursday, June 22, 2017
The cover of Nigel Ferreira’s The Lighter Side CD.

Nigel Ferreira began playing the guitar at age 14. In 1976, together with friends, he formed the very popular five-member group Colonel & Company, in which he was the lead singer and rhythm guitarist.

After the group disbanded, Ferreira wrote and produced jingles for the local advertising market. One of the jingles he sang by Mark Fojo and Simon Galt was nominated at the International CLIO Awards in 1979.

After all these years, Ferreira has been consistent and he continues to please and entertain his audiences. He has no intentions of stopping and has now released his latest production—The Lighter Side—a 14-song CD, unplugged and all acoustic.

Speaking about his CD, Ferreira said: “It’s an interesting album as it’s the first time I’ve done unplugged. The music is light, softer and more laid back, unlike my last album. There’s a 12-page booklet inside, inclusive of front and back, with all the lyrics to the songs. What makes this CD even more interesting is that I am featuring some amazing artistes, like the super talented Cathy Ella sharing her amazing vocals singing together with me on one of the songs.

“Also on the album are two of the most amazing and gifted young talents: Glenn Miller Ferreira with his original, and one of Mexico’s budding singer/songwriters, Vivi Leal Velazquez, also with her original. It feels so good supporting young artistes like them.

“My brother Barry also blows some real bad-ass harmonica/blues harp on one of the songs.”

In 1985, Ferreira joined the very popular rock band Touchdown as its lead singer and rocked the town to the next generation. Two years later he received an Appreciation Plaque from the National Association for Down Syndrome Children for his contribution So Lovely, So Beautiful, a song he wrote and performed on many occasions to help raise funds for the special children.

Ferreira continued to excel as a musical exemplar for young and aspiring musicians through the eighties and nineties. In 1987, he wrote and performed solo a song titled A Waste of Time for the National Walk Campaign against drugs. In 1994, he sang on the late Johnny Gonzales’ Christmas CD—My Christmas—a compilation of the top local artistes performing the traditional Christmas standards. Ferreira sang the only original song from Gonzales, on the album Christmas on the Hill, which is still the most requested Christmas song. The song was at the number one position for two consecutive years on the local charts. So what else has this gifted musician been up to? “I have freelanced extensively,” he said, “appearing as a guest artiste on various shows and with different acts.”

No stranger to the recording studio, Ferreira has been hired on many occasions as a lead vocalist on varied projects. In 1992, he worked along with Dr Kiran Akal, who at the time was the Commissioner in Trinidad for the Seville World Fair, and he assisted Dr Akal in the production and preparation of local music for the Seville World Fair. Ferreira, in his amazing career, has also twice entertained two of the country’s prime ministers for private functions.

As a new decade rolled over in 2000, Ferreira continued to keep himself busy. In 2001, he and his good friend and old bandmate Arthur Reid formed the duo Framework II with two guitars, backed by pre-recorded digital sound. “To the present day, Framework II has been playing the circuits,” said Ferreira, “appearing at the top night spots, clubs, hotels, private and corporate functions.”

In 2001, as well, Framework II released a 12-song Christmas CD, of which four tracks are Ferreira’s compositions. Again a huge hit on the local market, the CD received great reviews in the local media.

In 2010 Ferreira wrote and produced another solo album—The Darker Side Of Me. This 13-song rock album has received the best reviews for Ferreira thus far.

In closing, Ferreira added: “My only grouse through my musical career is that there’s absolutely no support for local artistes from the radio stations and, for the life of me, I cannot understand why the radio stations refuse to play local artistes.

“On a positive note, though, working side by side with me on my latest album is the amazingly, gifted, skilled and accomplished musician Peter Shim.”