Bermudian native Noise Cans aims for Sumfest stage
Noise Cans' sound system's sartorial style is so vibrant, it will bring to memory the bombastic style of Lee 'Scratch' Perry, or perhaps images of Junkanoo dancers and stilts-walkers.
It is reminiscent of Junkanoo, because the story behind the mask is a familiar one. The presence of this sound system's frontman is loud and colourful, punctuated by odious masks.
Though the sound system originates from an island in the North Atlantic Ocean, the culture shared between there and Jamaica are prevalent in both image and sound, because of a shared history in the trans-atlantic slave trade.
The Noise Cans musical experience is one which offers a carnival-like performance with colourful dancers and intricate masquerade costumes. The sound is best described as a mash-up of Caribbean, Afro beats and modern-day EDM sounds, led by a Bermudian producer/DJ whose steadfast anonymity is supported by wearing a Gombey carnival mask.
"Gombeys are a huge part of Bermudian culture, going back to the slavery days. I chose this identity as I wanted to represent the place and culture that I love, at the same time honouring its history," Noise Cans told The Gleaner.
"The masks were actually born out of rebellion and served as a way for the people to safely protest enslavement without fear of retribution. The Gombeys' costumes and masks, reflect the beautiful cultural influences we have on the island, of African, British and Caribbean ethnicities. I'm paying homage to these brave Gombeys who preserved the island's culture and grew it, even in the face of the injustices being done to them. So this is a celebration," Noise Cans said.
Recently, Noise Cans released a debut EP on SoundCloud called Masquerave. While the project features work from New York-based artiste ASTR, British-Guyanese singer Louise Chantal, and producer/DJ Yellow Claw from Amsterdam, Noise Cans' primary contributors hail from Jamaica.
Local stars I-Octane, Jesse Royal and Mr Lexx contributed their vocal talent to the Bermudian's production, giving a nod to Noise Cans' foundational musical influences.
"I was raised listening to the reggae and dancehall greats like Bob Marley, Lee 'Scratch' Perry, Dennis Brown, Frankie Paul, Yellowman, Sanchez, Shabba Ranks, Super Cat, Ninja Man, etc.," the Bermudian native said.
Adding, "I wanted to create something where the core of my sound was the foundation of things that I grew up loving, and mixing with the sounds that I love today."
As Noise Cans work to establish an international reputation, the anonymous frontman hopes for a welcome reception from Jamaica in the future. Besides playing at a local street dance, Noise Cans hopes to one day take over the Reggae Sumfest stage.
"I've actually attended once and the energy was like no other. The mixture of reggae, dancehall and international artistes really plays to what Noise Cans is all about. I think I would be a perfect fit," he said.