Even after his own departure from the stage, the late lamented Shadow is helping other calypsonians to excel. That seems to be demonstrated by the experience of Darwren “Pharoah” Greenidge, 48, who for the first time in his career has made it to the finals of the Calypso Monarch competition.
Greenidge, who lives at Diamond Village, San Fernando, wrote his own song, The Formula, which he performed last Saturday at Calypso Fiesta at Skinner Park, San Fernando.
“This is a dream come true for me and I say thanks to everyone who has contributed to my career as a singer thus far in my life,” he said.
Before a large, receptive crowd at Calypso Fiesta, he impersonated the late great singer Winston “ Shadow” Bailey. which earned him the judges' nod. The song also brought him sixth place in this year’s Young Kings finals. The music was produced by Kenny Phillips.
“I have been admiring Shadow for as long as I could remember, and he inspired me to write this song many moons ago.”
However, this year Greenidge had a burning desire to perform it in tribute to Shadow, who died last year.
In the song, he sings about “a lovely dream” he had.
I dreamt that the Mighty Shadow came to me with this song,
Now that I have passed and gone, boy, Pharaoh, you have to carry on,
I know that you love my music, you have performed it well,
I give you this formula, boy, go now and cast yuh spell, and he tell meh,
Give them music to make them jump up,
Give them music to make them free up,
Make start to wine boy till they lose their mind,
Give them a sweet sweet melody, with ah haunting melody and a thunderous baseline,
Boy they sure to jump and wine, that's the Formula, Pharaoh, that's the Formula,
That's the Formula, yuh go take they jugular.
Greenidge is a prison officer and has sung with the Prison Service Band for many years, so he's no stranger to the stage as a result. But this is his first attempt at singing on his own and he is happy he scored with his own composition.
“For years I have admired calypsonians taking the stage and delivering their message in calypso, and this year it’s my turn to take front stage,” he said.
“I took a brave chance at branching off on my own,” he said.
He plans to to continue composing and singing, and his advice to young singers is always to stay focused on one’s dream and never give up.
“It’s never too late to live your dreams,” he said.
He thanked God for giving him the opportunity to reach this far and he believes he will see him through to the top.