Tuesday, April 2, 2024

Meet Stefan - Talented Musician from The Virgin Islands

My son first introduced me to Stefan's music. I was intrigued by his song, "Going Pro," which featured Jefe Tunez.

The hook of "Going Pro" is:
"Cold world that we living in
Sometimes I even consider giving in
I know that I'm better than
everybody they bringing in for shows
but you know how it goes when you're chosen
I know I've been on your radar
People be faking, they ain't really who they say they are
Don't think I'd make it far
The thing is I know
soon they going to recognize me wherever I go."

Stefan is a multi-talented artist from The Virgin Islands (BVI) who has been creating music for the last seven years. I was able to chat with this singer and rapper on March 30, 2024, to learn more about his music.

Stefan classifies his genre as "worldwide" because he does not narrow himself to one specific genre.

Who Writes Your Music?
Stefan writes all his music. He shared that he started writing songs in high school using beats he found on YouTube. He said he was inspired by J Cole, a mainstream rapper who wrote his lyrics in a book. Stefan followed suit and also began penning his raps in a book.

Who Produces Your Music?
He shared that he was tired of buying beats, so he started creating them. He continued to refine this skill and has become more comfortable with his production abilities.

What Inspires You to Write?
Stefan shared that he was more into the arts, specifically drawing, then his parents bought him a Mac, and he started honing his Photoshop skills. He noticed the GarageBand app and began to experiment with creating songs.

Early Journey
In the beginning, Stefan started sharing his music on SoundCloud, with the support of his close friends. At first, he did not tell his parents he was uploading music. Once they knew, they encouraged him and helped to fund his dream. After five years of posting on SoundCloud, his girlfriend motivated him to upload his music on revenue platforms such as Spotify, Apple Music, and YouTube.

What Has Been Your Biggest Musical Accomplishment?
Stefan said his hugest musical accomplishment five years ago would have been shout-outs from fellow Virgin Islanders. Today, he considers his consistency over the past seven years to be his greatest achievement. He is proud that people across the world play his music.

Who Do You Listen to?
Stefan is pursuing studies in Arizona, so he is exposed to different styles of music. He is inspired by J Cole, Kanye West, and some underground artists. He shared that tobi lou is one of his influences because his music is about having fun.

Would You Collaborate on a Soca or Reggae Song?
Stefan said he would be willing to collaborate on either genre, but it would have to feel good. He said he would give it his all.

Who Would You Like to Collaborate With?
Stefan would like to collaborate with Rock City, considered the most influential musicians in the entire Virgin Islands. He described an opportunity such as this as "legendary."

Favorite of All Your Songs
Stefan said that his favorite song has not been released yet. However, his published favorite is “Out of Control,” which was released in early 2024. He considers it to be a versatile pop/disco song that was well-received.

Advice for Persons Who Want to Get into Music
Stefan had several pieces of advice to share:
  • "Practice consistency."
  • "You can’t be afraid to invest in your talent."
  • "You have to put in the time."
  • "Figure out how you can do what you love, but do it differently because if everyone is doing the same, no one really stands out."
He also shared that his parents gave him the tools, but he invested in the software. He added that while he would not share his first tracks, he has seen progress and is happy with his journey. He said, "Investment in your music will pay off eventually, but not with money right away." He added that he has had some setbacks with projects getting pushed back, which can be unmotivating. However, he encouraged artists to keep their heads up.

Do You Have Anything Else to Share with Readers?
Stefan shared that he was an artist from Tortola who has been creating music for over seven years. He has loved music his whole life and loves to express himself through various art forms. Music happens to be his favorite because it evokes emotions.

He also stated that he appreciates his circle of family and friends for their ongoing support. Stefan gave a special shout-out to "the boys" because they visited him every Saturday. He said, "I wouldn't be Stefan without them." They love music and helped to push him and build his confidence.

New Music
Stefan was excited to share that he has new music coming soon! While he was not ready to share any details of the upcoming tracks, I could sense the excitement in his voice. He said the new projects are "definitely something to look out for.”

I am looking forward to hearing more from Stefan. Subscribe to his social media pages for the release date of his new album.

Monday, April 1, 2024

POEM: Time to Act

It's like everything is in vain!
So WE complain,
and yet when it's time to stand up,
we sit down and shut up.
Time for action was said
but action time – everyone gone dead.
I said, “Time for action”.
Make inspiration be your reaction.
Time to act,
and make progress a recorded fact.
Procrastination is what keeps us back
and then we wonder why we lack
But I think it is common sense
because we have the power.
So let your actions shower,
and enlighten and revitalize the world.
Speak positively to the boys and girls
Because love in life is not a fallacy,
WE have to make progression our reality!

Monday, March 25, 2024

POEM: Have You Heard?

Have you heard?
They're culling the herd!
I bet you didn't understand!
because you probably
need to reduce your hoard
of lies, of coal, or of despise,
because it's so hard out here,
but yet you have to dare to survive,
and learn to thrive
in this unnatural disaster called life ...
And no - your hoard
should not be filled with knives
to cull the herd of those who have not heard
what I've been trying to say
or who have forgotten
that we need to steadfastly pray
and not overtly prey on the fallen
or attack the downtrodden,
because ill-gotten merchandise
isn't worth the price
of your freedom.
Instead, hold your heartbeat close
and take smaller doses
of the love medicine,
because I think it's promising
when someone realizes that the herd
is the community
and culling means
there would be less of you and me.
So don't hoard your heart,
and don't hoard your love.
Keep the herd close
and focus on what
what you've heard
in my play on words.

Saturday, March 23, 2024

World Poetry Day 2024 Recap and a Poem

I learned about World Poetry Day in 2008 after reading about Edgar Lake, Virgin Islands Historian and poet Edgar Lake, and his work. I was inspired to contact local media to request their support with sharing poems in their publications for World Poetry Day 2008. In 2009, I worked with the Callaloo Poets and the BVI National Commission for UNESCO to host a poetry competition for young persons. The Callaloo Poets also hosted this poetry competition in 2010.

Since then, I have been sharing poems on YouTube or this blog for World Poetry Day. I have also entered poetry competitions hosted by the BVI National Commission for UNESCO. For 2024, I contacted local radio stations to ask if they would be willing to share poems recorded by local poets. The support was overwhelming, and I am very grateful to ZROD and ZBVI. On ZBVI, several poets shared their work: Justin Hodge, Lavanta Thompson, Maria Smith-Callwood, Anjanique Cheltenham, Tishauni Hall, Toyer Fahie, Akin Chinnery from USVI and Nelly Vee from the USA. I also visited ZROD to promote World Poetry Day and shared a poem while live.

We also shared four poems written by the late Quincy Lettsome, Ph.D. on ZBVI:
  • 'A Cooking Oddity' previously published in "Virgin Verses III: Sunlit Voices of Our Destiny" © 1984.
  • The Sailing Sloop’ previously published in "Virgin Verses II: Selected Poems and Lyrics" © 1976
  • Be Like The Sun’ previously published in "Virgin Verses III: Sunlit Voices of Our Destiny" © 1984
  • 'A Call to the Youth'
I have shared in several posts that I want to impact the world with my words. Poetry allows us to share our thoughts, visions, and creative ideas. It is a vehicle for venting, inspiring change and raising your voice.

Other than the poets listed above, I would like to thank April Glasgow, Verna Penn-Moll or the Cedar Tree Press Literary Competition, poet Nikiesha McMaster aka Queen Boss, Sandra Potter at ZBVI, Shonovia Thomas at ZROD, Jerome Joseph of Time is Time Promotions, Alison Flax-Archer from the BVI National Commission for UNESCO, Fire & Dust Poetry, Ashley Edge and the Prickly Pear Open Mic, Call All Poets Series, Author Nelly Vee of KVI Network Creations LLC, Allographic Open Mic, Garage Poets, Poets and Praise Open Mic, Papi's Poetry Corner, the Garage Poets Open Mic and everyone who encourages writing and shares poetry in the Virgin Islands, Caribbean and the world.

In honor of World Poetry Day 2024, I am sharing this poem that I wrote for the late Robert Creque in 2009, who was a talented musician.

To Robert Creque

As magical fingers
touch the organ,
we listen and we sing
to another magical melody played
in memorable musical ministry.

As a brilliant mind
follows a tune,
those talented fingers
transcend an energy
which can only
come from the
Father’s blessed hands –
and we listen and we sing.

As this musical messenger,
whose musical repertoire
includes countless
extravaganzas, concerts,
services & weddings,
uplifts and inspires us:

Dear Lord,
let the example
in this musical ministry
keep us focused on
using our talents
to serve you.

And as we listen and we sing,
we can learn from his progress
and his struggle with illness;
as some feared this minstrel’s magic
would have been quieted,
the Father’s intent
was to make a marvelous miracle
by showing us his promise
to never leave us alone.

So as we listen
and as we sing
in harmony,
with melody,
and perfectly poised,
the musical messenger
keeps playing
and keeps us
in tune.

© Linette Rabsatt

Sunday, March 17, 2024

POEM: De-stress

life is full of tests
it's almost like a
crazy contest with no context
and you spend most of the time
being frustrated and vexed
feeling stressed and distressed
with no avenues to de-stress
but I must confess
that sometimes the best defense
against stress
is to ignore the mess
and take time and invest
in just feeling and doing your best
because every day is another test
and whether you run
from the east to the west
somewhere there's going to be a pest
something will make you feel hopeless
someone will be ghetto or classless
and you still have to smile
like you're feeling the best
like you're living a lavish life of richness
but maybe I digressed because
living at your best
is where you get past the emptiness
so find your happiness
even if it's only temporary
and has no permanence
but remember - conflict unaddressed
is another ingredient for distress
so you have to use your common sense
challenges are the causes of stress
but that doesn't mean the outcome
won't be the best
because stress also has its goodness
when you get that feeling
sometimes you just have to
consider forgiveness
and yes - just take a rest
from the conflict and distress
from the nonsense and pettiness
from the major media madness
maybe just mind your business
walk away and just
focus your time and invest
in yourself

© Linette Rabsatt

Sunday, March 3, 2024

Tanya Stephens - Reggae Superstar and Top Lyricist

I am an absolute reggae music fan. I have written several articles on this blog about albums from Buju Banton, Steel Pulse, and Barrington Levy. I've written two poems about Bob Marley and an article titled "Reggae Love Songs for Valentine's Day or Any Day to Express Love."

From late 2023, I thought about writing about the artist I am featuring in this blog post. I've been listening to her since the 1990s, and I was always amazed by her frankness, rawness, and lyrical prowess. Tanya Stephens, who hails from Jamaica, has an extensive discography including "Boom Wuk," "Big Ninja Bike," "Handle the Ride," and "Rigormortis." 

I think that her lyrical content and flow are what set her apart from other artists. Tanya sings about life's challenges and also the good parts. Her songs are relatable because she sings about infidelity, heartbreak, and social issues. She also sings about sex but delivers the songs creatively and tastefully. 

Here are some of my favorite songs from Tanya Stephens.

"What A Day" Single
This song is what we describe as 'conscious" because it speaks to the perils of the world.
What a day when war becomes a thing of the past
And peace, we will have it at last
And life is finally worth its cost and oh oh oh
What a day when men finally live what they teach
And love ain't just a concept we preach
And blood no longer runs in the streets
Oh oh oh, what a day

"After You" Single
Congratulations me hear yuh new girl's banged up
By di time di baby born me a mek sure yuh bankrupt
If me know divorce woulda be so sweet
I woulda beg di good Lord long time fi mek yuh cheat
Most people haffi sell drugs dem whole life fi this
All me do a say i do an tun yuh wife fi this
And yuh have the nerve fi a laugh when me fling back di ring
Well alright, when me done wid you

"Tek Him Back" on Gangsta Blues Album
I love this song because of the way she describes her experience after her disappointment with dating someone else's partner.
And you can find im clothes dem pon de lawn
If when you come you nuh see me me gone
'cause me no love how yuh man ah peform
So, tek him back, wifey, tek him back
Look how me used to brag and show off
Down inna de end you have de last laugh
Even if it means dat mi haffi pop off
You ah go tek him back, wifey, tek him back

"These Streets" on Rebelution Album
This song has a tremendous message of heartbreak and tells the story of a boyfriend who changed for the worse.
I wish you woulda treat me like a ounce
Me know ya nah leggo that when yuh bounce
You shouldda deh home knock boots like ya timbsNeed fi act older than the size of ya rims
I wish you woulda stay pon me like ya phone man
And never leave the house wit out me like ya crome man
Boy I wish you woulda treat me like ya whips
Your girl's a perfect ten but your benz them only a 5 and a 6

"It's A Pity" Single
Unlike "Tek Him Back," this song speaks to the way she was falling for someone else's sweetheart.
Who knows? Maybe one day the world will be evolved enough
We'll share you in a civilized manner between the two of us
But until then I woulda love see you again
Me know we have fi play it by the stupid rules of men

"I'm Not Proud" Single
In this song, she expresses that she may not be proud how she felt, but I think we can all relate to these lyrics.
Can I believe you baby?
I thought I heard you say
You'd never leave me
but will you still feel that way
After a lifetime, and can you tell me everything still a criss
Is this the right time for me to be talking like this

If you have never heard her music or deeply listened to Tanya Stephens, search for her on all streaming platforms. She is indeed worth listening to!

Tuesday, February 20, 2024

Virgin Islanders Tishauni Hall and Tiffany Brewley Awarded in KVI Network Creations, LLC Rhapsody & Rhyme Contest

Virgin Islanders Tishauni Hall and Tiffany Brewley were recently recognized for their artistic expressions in the KVI Network Creations, LLC Rhapsody and Rhyme Contest. Poets, spoken word artists, and rappers were invited to submit entries in the following categories: poetry, spoken word, and rap, with each submission required to include the theme's string #tag: Love-Above-the-Label.

Ms. Hall, the 2023 winner of the "Love Our BVI Culture" poetry competition in the youth category, tied for second place with her poem, "A Feeling You Cannot Ignore." Mrs. Brewley placed fourth with her piece, "Love that Binds." Melanie Johnson clinched the top spot in the poetry category with her poem "Loving Who." Kiyma Cooper tied with Ms. Hall for second place, and third place winner was Keisha Short with "My Rhapsody."

The #LoveAboveTheLabel theme emphasizes love beyond societal norms, stereotypes, and prejudices. It encourages artists to explore and celebrate love in all forms and promotes inclusivity, acceptance, and understanding. Judges, representing diverse backgrounds and perspectives, evaluated each entry based on criteria including emotional impact, technical proficiency, and cultural relevance. "We were thrilled to witness such incredible talent and creativity showcased in the Rhapsody & Rhyme Contest Event," remarked DiDi, one of the judges.

Another judge, Curry, Chief Executive Officer and founder of Visionary Men, shared, "The submissions truly captured the essence of the #LoveAboveTheLabel theme, showcasing raw emotion and authenticity. It was inspiring to witness artists breaking through barriers and using their voices to uplift and unite. KVI Network Creations, LLC has done a commendable job in fostering a space for such meaningful expression."

KVI Network Creations, LLC remains committed to supporting and promoting artistic endeavors that enrich and inspire communities worldwide through the principles of R.I.S.E. – Resilience, Inclusion, Service, and Empowerment. For media inquiries or further information, please email info@kvinetworkcreations.com or visit https://kvinetworkcreations.com/.