NESAR HOSEIN has always wanted to sing, and from as early as 14 he knew his genre of choice would be soca.
“Since I was in school, I wanted to do music. I would go to school and I would be telling my friends and they would say you are a little Indian boy what you trying to do that for. You would not make it. It would not make sense,” Hosein said.
Vowing last year that 2019 would be his year, Hosein decided to fulfil his lifelong dream of starting his music career. The Cunupia resident has made good on his promise with his 2019 chutney soca Stalker.
The song has an original version done with Kess “Dr Tunes” Ramroop and a remix done collaboratively with Akil “5Star Akil” Borneo. The song was adapted from the East Indian classic Yeh Dosti Hum Nahin Todenge by Kishore Kumar and Manna Dey from the movie Sholay.
Giving background about the song’s origin, Hosein said, “It is my first song and I was looking for something to go with. I heard everybody singing about the same thing: rum, woman...so I said. “Let us go different.”
“I approached this writer and he said, ‘Let us see what is trending on Facebook.’ I saw someone post a status about somebody stalking them, and that just started to flow ideas one time. We went ahead with the idea, and it speaks to a woman stalking a man.”
Hosein is pleased so far with people’s reaction to him as a first-time singer and performer. His collaboration with 5Star Akil made it to the Chutney Soca Monarch semi-finals. Although it did not reach the finals, it was “indeed an experience of a lifetime” for Hosein.
He hopes to become a staple on the TT music scene like 5Star Akil. He wants to do future collaborations with other soca artistes such as Austin “SuperBlue” Lyons. He also admires Nisha and Ravi B, whom he would often assist while working at Piarco Airport. He would always see Ravi B performing in Woodford Cafe and he would be in front letting them know he was there.
Hosein often visited Ravi and Nisha B’s food and clothing stores and ask Nisha for advice, and “she gave me really good advice in how to go about in this.”
The collaboration is part of a wider system of musical mentorship for 5Star Akil, who has been assisting new artistes for the past three years.
He decided to do the collaboration with Hosein after Hosein e-mailed him. People from the chutney industry had been messaging him and sending him e-mails about collaborating but he “never actually took it in,” he said, because the time wasn’t right.
But Hosein’s song was catchy.
“I found the vibe was real kind of different from chutney, and I actually considered doing the song.”
It has been a series of firsts for Hosein and 5Star, this being 5Star Akil’s first chutney collaboration and it being Hosein’s first song.
Hosein is also a businessman and the founder of NGO Life Foundation.
Although he was “nervous as hell” Hosein got over his stage fright at his initial performance at Hangers Extreme Restaurant and Bar in central Trinidad. He prepared for his semi-final performance by listening to his song about “ten to 20 times a day and performing it in front of a mirror.”
As for 5Star Akil, he’s found he enjoys working with new artistes, since he “never had the opportunity of somebody taking me by my hand and carrying me on the stage.” Doing this is his way of “giving back.”
He’s also making new music of his own.
For 2019, 5Star Akil has two releases, Personal and Symptoms.
Personal rides the Osaka riddim and came about after a trip to Japan last year. Since then he has been meeting people from different markets such as Colombia with whom he hopes to work. A Colombian producer sent him some beats and he is “just waiting for the season to reach to a calm and we will begin working on that music one time.”