AS the world tries to conquer a global pandemic, among other things, soca artiste Jesse “College Boy Jesse” Stewart – is bringing love, good vibes and good energy on his new track.
Good Energy is his first release since being crowned the 2020 International Groovy Soca Monarch in February. The upbeat and spunky track was produced by Kyle Phillips – who co-produced Neil "Iwer" George and Kees Dieffenthaller’s 2020 Road March-winner Stage Gone Bad. And it was written by Phillip, Stewart and Shawn “Spine” Stewart.
It speaks about sharing love during such uncertain times, and Stewart’s way of doing this is through his craft – music – which he compares to “sunshine that you need every day.
“Music brings a feeling of freedom/So give love to your neighbour/Make caring a part of your nature/You’ll be surely blessed by the maker/Just know that you’re no failure.”
Stewart told Newsday he initially wrote the song and after going into studio, the rest of the team made a few changes to perfect it.
Phillips said he connected with the track immediately. He said whenever they saw each other during this year’s Carnival season, they’d remind each other that when it’s all over, they should work on some music.
“Now fast forward to him being the Groovy Soca Monarch – it’s insane. I saw him that night, said, ‘Everything good, brother?’ Hailed him out and then I was so happy for him.”
But along came covid19. He said he, too, tries his best to have good energy.
“What you hold inside is what you manifest, so I tried to give good energy during this pandemic but it was a tough time. It felt like I was almost being stifled into being by myself.
“And then this song came around and it reminded me this is what I’m supposed to be doing. Love is the answer. And if it’s one thing we needed with all the racism and all the rioting and all these things, it was giving love.”
Stewart said since the pandemic, there have been “some good times but also some bad times.
“It provided the opportunity for me to spend more time with family, time for me to sharpen up on some music skills and to develop new skills and knowledge. I spent some time reading, learning Spanish, those sorts of things…
“I was trying to get over a bit of depression because we had so many plans this year and because of the pandemic, all the plans were cancelled. I was booked heavily to travel and perform. We were excited and looking forward to that.”
He said some of the places he intended on visiting were Washington, Atlanta, New York and Florida in the US, as well as Japan and Kenya.
“I would have been able to see countries I had never seen before, perform on platforms I had not seen before…We were so excited about that level of growth. I’ve travelled before but not as the Groovy Monarch and now, music is my full-time job.”
He said the shift to hosting virtual events is workable but “not necessarily his favourite thing to do.
“Trying to adapt to cameras, your cell phone and not performing in front of people you can see…There was an event where everyone in the room was wearing a mask and you’re performing and you can’t fully see people’s facial expressions. It’s been different, I’m trying to adapt to the new normal.”
He said he has written and will continue to write a lot of new music during the lockdown period as he still wishes to “push the bar.”