Bacchanal brewing over backyard ballad

Farmer Nappy -
Farmer Nappy -

Singer/songwriter Wayne “Impulse” Modeste is alleging that the popular Backyard Jam, sung by Farmer Nappy, borrowed from a soca parang recording that he made.

The issue has been a popular topic on social media. Fellow artiste Ooron "Trinidad Madman" Le Blanc first raised the issue on social media last year after speaking with Impulse. Le Blanc then did another video in which he used obscenities toward Impulse.

In a January 5 Facebook post, Impulse responded and said that he and obscenity did not mix, as he was a teacher and a role model. He addressed the issue of aspects of the song being borrowed in the video.

He then said he had written a song called Backyard Jam for a DJ on 91.9fm. But by the time he finished it, the DJ already had another song, so Impulse had to shop his song around.

“Anybody who liked it, I would change it to suit them. I don’t know how it reach in the hands of Farmer Nappy's writer, but the name of the song Farmer Nappy singing is Backyard Jam and if you listen (to) the chorus and listen (to) the chorus in the parang you will understand that he ain’t went (sic) too far from the chorus,” he said in the Facebook video.

Impulse said he made the Facebook video to clear himself.

He asked people to leave Farmer Nappy out of it, saying Farmer Nappy was not to blame and that one should go to the right source, the writer.

The song’s official video sung by Farmer Nappy on Youtube lists the song’s writers as Jason "Shaft" Bishop, Michael Hulsmeier, Scott Galt and Darryl Henry. The song was produced by Barbados-based producers De Red Boyz – Hulsmeier and Galt.

In a phone interview with Newsday, Impulse said he wrote his song in October and by the time he decided to change it to a soca tune he heard Farmer Nappy’s Backyard Jam.

“I nearly get a chest attack. The chorus. They (the writers of Farmer Nappy's Backyard Jam) wanted that chorus. They like that vibes, so they could not go too far away from it.”

Asked how the song’s writer would have come across his song, Impulse said he was sending it out to people, so the writer could have heard it from one of them.

Impulse said Shaft has since tried to contact him but his stepdaughter was using his phone at that time. He has since received a message from Shaft.

Impulse said he wants a fraction of the song’s rights because the song is as big as the idea.

In his words, “If you don’t have a good idea, you don’t have a good song. The idea is the song. It's the idea they take and not just the idea, the lyrical idea but the motion idea. The motion idea of Backyard Jam (stressing on the yard). And that is what they take. That is what make the song. If it had no Backyard Jam, there is no song.”

He added that he is not considering legal action, and is a simple matter that can be resolved.

Newsday tried to contact Shaft but was unsuccessful.

Farmer Nappy, however, said, “Leave the jockey, let the jockey ride. The jockey concentrating.”

He said this "horse" was looking as if it could win Road March, and TT needed a virtual Road March.

He asked why people also didn't go after Scrunter who had a 2009 song called Backyard Jam.

“Because something blow up, that is what does go on. Trinidadians don’t support, they does fight down, when they supposed to support. Whatever conflict it have in it, what you think it is, come low and sit down and reason as big men,” he said.


"Bacchanal brewing over backyard ballad"

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