#QUARANTINE Quota – Live from D’ Living Room” is Selvon ”Mistah Shak” Noel’s way of using his ability to engage music as a tool to soothe and calm the nation as the world faces the coronavirus scourge.
His living room live sessions started initially to counteract some negative public statements. But the Siparia-born calypsonian, musician, singer and songwriter has pledged to continue to strum his guitar from his living room delivering powerful local melodies over the next few weeks or months as long as the world grapples with the covid19 spread.
“I'll be doing what I can, where I stand, using the natural tools of the talents and blessings bestowed upon I and I to counteract some of the hateful, destructive, 'chupid' energy being put out there,” he said. He kicked off the series with a cover version of the late Winston “Shadow” Bailey’s One Love.
Giving an insight into how the series evolved, Shak said, “In the midst of this unprecedented global crisis I have and seen and heard from certain quarters and individuals within our society some of the vilest, most hateful, ‘out-ah-timing, dotish’ ideas and statements.”
“I've even observed some of our own, who many of us exalt as leaders and exemplars and so ought to know and do better, try to shield their obscene greed, hatred, irresponsibility and selfishness behind things like politics, journalism, law, rights, freedoms, entitlements and most appallingly, God and religion.”
He questioned, “Even under these kinds of circumstances that is where some of us reach? Using the blessings of being alive and healthy in this time to do this?”
Drawing from the national song vault, Shak decided to use his gift of music to demonstrate “who we really ought to be especially in these challenging times. And what better way to kick it off than with a global classic from my all time number one Trinbagonian singer, songwriter, kaisonian, musical wizard Dr Bailey.”
“I feel my most valuable contribution in a situation like this is my music. As a nation we have always been through situations and through our music and artiste and art we have led the way. Through our artistry we bolster and give hope and show who we are supposed to be in situations like that.”
He said it is his way of putting those things together and offering something through his gift "to counter that negative non-productive energy.”
Shadow’s One Love cover is the first he has done, putting his own twist a la Mistah Shak's styling. Noting TT has a treasure chest of songs to draw from, he said his future selections will be based on how he feels.
“I’ll do it as I feel it,” he said.
“I have always been doing that but in a situation like this people would have no choice really but to focus on the more sobering side of things that might be little easier to ignore and discard and overlook when things normal. At times like these you have don’t a choice but to pay attention to the more sobering things to bring a different energy and refocus people.”
Like other entertainers Shak's future remains uncertain as engagements and events have been cancelled. At the moment, he is in discussion with his management to figure out innovative ways to plan for the foreseeable future.