AS TOLD TO BC PIRES
My name is Sean Adrian Bartholomew and I wrote an all-fours app.
I’m a racist though. My all-fours app is only compatible with Apple phones and computers.
I come from the East-West Corridor. Raised in Mt Lambert, moved to Tunapuna, then Arima, where my parents still reside.
I rented in Valsayn at age 21. Bought my own home at 26 in Maraval and lived there till I migrated to the USA at 36.
I live in Kansas now.
I am married to Teryn Bartholomew.
Landon, our son, is eight and our daughter Lincoln is three.
I went to Trinity Junior School, St Mary’s College and UWI.
I began using my middle name, Adrian, when I migrated in 2000. No one in the US knows me as Sean but no one back home knows me as Adrian.
I subconsciously judge who my real friends are back home by what has now become the first name filter: when they address me as “Adrian” – obviously they don’t know me.
I was raised Catholic. My parents are Catholic, my mother very much involved with the church. My music teacher, my great-aunt Amy Bartholomew, left her house and all her pianos to her church.
I am an atheist. I don’t understand how people can claim God is omnipotent yet hold him only responsible for the “good” phenomena, never the “bad.” They praise him when surviving a bad accident but don’t blame him for the accident itself. Sounds like extortion to me.
Advertising jingles allowed me to buy my own home at 26.
I decided to be the best. In three years, I had already achieved the largest share of published jingles for radio/television. B-Wee, Republic Bank, National Lottery and many more.
I woke up one morning, 20 years later, in Kansas, to a forwarded video of thousands of people singing, word for word, my production of a Royal Castle jingle. Tears.
But I would say I accomplished my goal of being the best.
In 1990, aged 26, my then-wife Suzie and I sold the recording studio, everything, most of which Machel’s mother bought from me.
Suzie already had her US holiday visa and left for California with my friend Gerard Joseph, the film producer. That was Wednesday.
My US Embassy visa appointment was scheduled for Monday.
Abu Bakr took over the country on Friday. In a ghost town on Monday morning, I was refused a visa. They thought I was running from the coup.
In 1996, as luck would literally have it, Suzie and I won green cards in a lottery. We eventually migrated in 2000.
We were divorced by then. After ten years with no kids, though we tried for them, it ended so amicably that we remained very “intimate” for over a year afterward.
I wrote my Grammy-award speech at age 16, thanking Sting for his powerful influence over my life. The Police has always been my favourite band.
Not a day in my adult life went by that I didn’t daydream about my future children.
But almost every day, I’d have some epiphany that made me glad I hadn’t had kids yet. I didn’t want to be an absentee dad on tour.
When I was 48 and it became obvious that my rockstar dream ship had sailed, I had my first child.
I had always viewed myself as a kid, but that stopped the day I had Landon.
Music played second fiddle to software development for the first time in my life.
I can’t do like the other ole men doing the classic rock weekend-warrior thing. Music was never a hobby to me.
Two and a half years ago, I quit professional music. Haven’t played a gig since.
I bought a beautiful Steinway grand for my home. I spend hours on it every day for two years now. Have never played better. My technique is through the roof.
In 1991, I was hired to accompany Gene Anthony Ray, “Leroy” from the television series Fame, to the Montreal Jazz festival.
At a Hyatt Hotel jam where festival musicians gathered, I started playing Bruce Hornsby’s Just The Way It Is. Chaka Khan ran up, sat on the piano, mic in hand and harmonised with me. In the piano solo, she hollered at the crowd for applause because I was playing it note for note!
She meant well, but it hit me like a ton of bricks: in a world forum, amongst musicians exploring ideas, I was regurgitating a has-been pop song.
I crawled off stage, spoke to no one, went to my hotel room and licked my wounds.
When I got back home, I wrote and produced my first album, Perfect Man. Been looking for Chaka ever since to thank her.
In 2010, Hornsby came to Kansas. When he got to Just the Way It Is, he mentioned Chaka played a big part in its being written. Full circles make sense.
I used to like Carnival. Back when I was hot.
I used to play mas. Back when I was hot.
I hate modern soca. I dislike the ingrained inferiority complex that drives us to sing with a Jamaican accent for Trinidadian street cred.
In 2016, I was laid off in December, when no one hires, and had at least a month before I could find a new job.
I always learn things better with a project that requires the ability I’m targeting. In exactly 30 days, AllFours for the iPhone was in the App Store. It’s up to 20k-plus downloads today.
The current All4s app is single player with an AI (artificial intelligence) against two other AIs that look like robots with a steelpan face.
The best bit is that I have the robots’ bubble-speaking really colloquially related to the current context of play.
The limitations are that there is no signing or multiplay with other humans.
The good news is that the true multiplayer pro version is nearly done!
I wish I wrote it in React Native, though, because then I could compile it to both platforms, iOS and Android. I will need to hire Java developers to write the Android version.
(Digital artist) Nicholas Marsan did the artwork, the logo and the avatars for the game because I wanted something real Trini.
I’m looking forward to folk upgrading to the paid pro version so I could allocate funds to him for his kindness.
I will soon add signing packages. Once other developers are on board, we will host national and international competitions, produce dynamic and flashy animations that signify special moments like Hang-Jack, kick three points, add leaderboards, incentives, competition prizes etc.
Trinidad is the land of my birth and that of everyone important to my life and history up till I migrated.
After that I made new bonds. Bonds who know me as Adrian and Dada.
A Trini is someone who can’t get rid of our culture even if he wanted to.
I seriously don’t know what Trinidad and Tobago means to me any more.
I left Trinidad, a paradise. Now it may just be my parents’ home.
I don’t know this new country, where you can’t drive to Maracas with friends after partying till 2am.
But I think Trinidad, to me, means food, Toco, lifetime friends.
And black hair.
Read the full version of this feature on Saturday at www.BCPires.com