KIONNA HALL (NYLO INTERN)
THERE are some new things about Akil “5Star Akil” Borneo.
While the new platinum blonde hair colour is among them, he says there is more. The soca star, who has given hits such as Different Me, is bringing a different kind of sound to the table. The artiste recently released two singles called Remember this Wine and Call Yuh, which he labels as dancehall and island pop, respectively.
Borneo spoke to Newsday at its Chacon Street office on August 8, saying that his inspiration came from “what was needed in the industry.”
“The music has been limited for some time now. After Carnival, all artistes don’t do much music. There are some artistes who do but not much.” He says he wants to produce music that goes beyond the Carnival period, “wants soca to become a mainstream sound and wants people to understand the vibe being delivered.”
So, when he was presented with a rhythm from fellow artiste, Erphaan Alves and was introduced to a song done by Abdiel Matamora, he decided this gave him the perfect opportunity to try the new genres.
“When I got the music, I was ‘let us see if we could try something’ and the music also inspired me to go something after Carnival.”
Borneo says the songs came to him “right after Carnival” and after hearing the song from Alves he knew that it was the right vibe for the song and felt a “summer” release would be best.
For him, the new fusion presents the best opportunity for soca becoming more of a main stream sound. “Because of the fusion, people could understand the music that we’re trying to deliver. They could understand the vibe, the happiness that comes out of the music...”
Ultimately, he hopes to one day create greater fusions with artistes such as dancehall legends Beenie Man (Anthony Moses Davis) and Alkaline (Earlan Bartley). He hopes as well to do chutney fusions and work with artistes such as Ravi B (Ravi Bissambhar) and Rikki Jai (Samraj Jaimungal).
While some people believe the change in sound might affect his fan base, he says the reception to the songs’ performances indicates that it is widening. “It is still soca. It is not a label. I have never wanted to be classed as an artiste who has a label of one genre. You have to be versatile. Artiste is a word which means you do different things. Sometimes we could get comfortable in our zones...Machel (Montano) did not do one thing. He experimented with many different genres...”
Borneo says for artistes, especially at different points in their careers, “experimenting” was necessary. He admits it was difficult for him to transition to the other genres of music, as he tried to ensure people understood what he was doing.
“I am not trying to be like anyone. The songs are still 5Satr Akil,” he said.
While Borneo intends to dabble in other forms of music in the future, at his core, soca would always remain. He has already begun working on his tracks for Carnival 2018. One track, With You, is set to be released next month.