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'New calypso' finds J'can platform

Published:Thursday | August 16, 2018 | 12:00 AMKimberley Small/ Gleaner Writer
Jimmy October
Jimmy October
Jimmy October

Following the releases of Sevana's Sometime Love, Lila Ike's Second Chance and Protoje's fourth album, A Matter of Time, the In. Digg. Nation team now adds another song to this year's roster of releases. But unlike the camp's other performing members, this artiste hails from Trinidad and Tobago, emerging on the Eastern Caribbean scene a few years ago.

In keeping with the reverent but experimental vibe of his Jamaican colleagues, Jimmy October dances around a mish-mash of sounds on Remember The Days and describes his expression as "new calypso".

"I think the word 'calypso' isn't mentioned enough around the youth, and it's because some of us really haven't gone back to listen or pay enough attention to really appreciate it. I wasn't really trying to be bold and say I know what calypso in 2018 is supposed to sound like or anything like that. I was just thinking about what my new music sounds like and what it felt like to me, and I instantly thought 'new calypso'," October told The Gleaner. "Even my new single, I tag it as new calypso because that's what it feels like to me, but I'm the one making that up, so I'm in control of that sound."

Remember the Days was produced by Michael 'Tano' Montano and soca maestro Kasey Phillips (Precision Productions), who created a song that reverberates with the sounds of soca, calypso, pop and R&B. "If you pay close attention to the production, songwriting and cadences, you'll hear a bit of each hidden there. I'm definitely into fusing genres and trying to find the balance between sounds, so there is surely no limit for me in terms of genres overlapping and such," October explained.




Tradition dictates that music coming from Trinidad and Tobago is of the soca and calypso varieties. October's career will attempt to answer the question of whether calypso and soca can break out of their seasonal confines. "I think the special thing about my songs is the fact that you're not sure what box to put it in. The topics I'm actually singing about aren't just rooted in carnival, so, by extension, it's really not stuck to a season. And it's also not only the type of music I make. Sometimes I rap, sometimes I sing, sometimes its daytime music, sometimes it's night-time music. I don't want to get bored of myself, and I think that's something that's going to help me continue to stand out and push the envelope to new heights," he reasoned.

Last April, In. Digg. Nation's offshoot New Wave hosted its first international event in Trinidad and Tobago. "We performed for New Wave Trinidad, and from there was where we actually moved further, and I played him (Protoje) some more of my music, and he was down to be a part," October said. He has also aligned with Delicious Vinyl Island, the new Caribbean music imprint from iconic rap label Delicious Vinyl, based in California.

Remember the Days was released on August 10. October's Vacation EP was released last year and he appeared on Steve Aoki's single No Time.