IT’S not only Rihanna who’s flying the flag for Barbados. Bajan quartet Cover Drive hit the top spot last year with their single “Twilight” to add to their Top Ten debut “Lick Ya Down.” Jacqui Swift of London’s Sun interviews some of its members as they release their new album. Follow the link below for the original interview, more photos, and a video of a live performance.
Counting Ed Sheeran, Labrinth and Jessie J among their fans, Amanda, T-Ray, Jamar and Barry have released their debut album Bajan Style, a collection of sun-soaked, Caribbean pop moments sure to lift your soul and add a smile.
Here, lead singer Amanda and drummer/singer T-Ray, both 18, tell SFTW about their name, supporting Rihanna and working with Emeli Sande:
YOU were originally solo stars. How did you get together?
Amanda: T-Ray’s mum, our manager, put us together.
What influences do you share?
T-Ray: No Doubt, The Black Eyed Peas and Bob Marley.
Why pick the name Cover Drive?
T-Ray: My dad named the band. He is a big cricket fan and a cover drive is an excellent shot in cricket.
We liked how it sounded and the fact it tied us to Barbados since cricket is our national sport.
Does Bajan Style have a similar musical sound?
T-Ray: Yes, the album is filled with feel-good music. It is the sound of the Caribbean fused with great pop elements.
So what is Bajan Style and what is Carib-Pop?
T-Ray: Bajan Style is a way of life — our culture. Carib-pop is Cover Drive’s sound. It is a fusion of our Caribbean music — reggae, soca, dub, ska — and mainstream pop.
Explain your track Explode?
Amanda: Explode is that feeling when you are really into someone and you are trying to contain it. When you are trying to hide the feelings, eventually you burst at the seams.
What inspired Can’t Live In A World?
Amanda: This song is about that place you reach when you love someone but it’s not quite working out.
You know when you feel you can’t go on if the person is not a part of your life? It’s not a cool place but great inspiration for a song.
You supported Rihanna last year. Tell us about that.
T-Ray: It was amazing. We were as nervous as we were excited.
Amanda: What made it even more amazing was that we played to a predominantly Bajan crowd. It was awesome.
Are you good friends?
T-Ray: We are good friends in our minds.
Amanda: She always encourages us when we see her. She also tells us to have fun.
How did growing up in Barbados influence your music?
T-Ray: It instilled in us the importance of loving our own music and culture. So even though we love pop music, it must be fused with who we are.
Debut album … out now
Why do you think Bajans make great music?
T-Ray: Bajans love to feel good. We love a good time. With that mentality, we end up creating music that is all about feeling good — sunshine music.
Tell us about working with Emeli Sande.
T-Ray: Emeli is just great. She was our first writing session here in the UK. She was full of real positive energy.
Who would you like to work with next?
Amanda: Ooh. We have a list. If we could get in and collaborate with No Doubt, that would be beyond amazing.
T-Ray: We also would love to collaborate with Dappy. He is wickedly talented.
Amanda, tell us about Tinie Tempah. Did he ask you out? What’s the story there?
Amanda: He went on Twitter and asked “Who’s the lead singer of Cover Drive? What’s her name?”
I didn’t know whether to be flattered or insulted because I’d met him before — so clearly he didn’t remember me!
Bajan Style is out now. Click here to see Cover Drive perform live at their Biz Session.