Peter Deleon parangs all year round

Peter Deleon -
Peter Deleon -

In Moruga, Peter Deleon and many of his family members are well known, and even after moving to the US more than 20 years ago, he never forgot his roots.

His deep love for parang music and anything related to Christmas never wavered despite the location change.

Deleon, known in the music industry as "Peter De" as well as "Peter De Parang Boss," originally from Basse Terre village, has been flying the Trinidad and Tobago flag high in New York.

He played guitar for 18-plus years with the now-defunct band, Starlight Serenaders, but it was not until a few years ago that he started singing in public.

The multi-talented and bilingual musician now sings traditional parang, soca parang and chutney parang. He also leads the parang band Mucho Musica.

Some of his songs include Seis Pasos, Parang Jumbie, Casa Parranda, Ah Ready to Parang, Lost meh Dulahin, El Sereno, Parang Go and El Nacimiento.

For many people, the festive season runs for a few months, somewhere from October/November to early January. But for Deleon, parang is not seasonal. He can easily perform parang all year round – for birthdays, funerals and other events.

"The only thing I like more than parang is more parang. I parang 12 months of the year. I have been paranging since I was born. I bring out three songs for 2023, and I have one more to go before the year's end," De Leon said.

"It is easier for me to sing traditional parang than soca parang because I grew up with traditional parang. That is my stronghold. I feel real comfortable with traditional parang. I write my song based on experiences."

He considers himself a "roots-man" from Moruga.

He said his family, like many villagers, has deep links with Venezuela, and he paid homage to his ancestors.

Deleon said his late Venezuelan-born father, Julius Deleon, came to Trinidad as a boy and could not speak English. Deleon's grandfather, who also came, did not speak standard English either.

With few material possessions, the family settled down, and being together and surrounded by live music had always kept them happy.

"God bless their souls. My grandfather taught my father English, and he himself did not know English," Deleon said.

Talent seems to run deep in the family. He added that many others in the community do not take credit for their talents and skills in the parang arena for far too long.

Deleon recalled that his cousin Andrew "Test" La Fortune, of the legendary parang group Lara Brothers, taught him to play the guitar. La Fortune, also from Moruga, is considered one of the best parang guitarists and mandolin players.

"I parang with (parang pioneer) Clarita Rivas. She knows me well. I used to lime with Test and the Lara brothers," Deleon said.

La Fortune's uncle, Vigil Sotio, of Santa Maria Village, Moruga, is a well-known maracas player.

Some other relatives include the Suberos, who include attorney and musician David Subero, of Subero 'D' Band.

Deleon hopes to feature some of these living unsung heroes in his music videos.

He added that the late Joseph "Kato" Borneo and Abraham "Cosan" Malchan, both of Moruga, taught him the "tricks" of parang.

Deleon also praised the legendary mandolin player Micheal Carabai, who was a member of the Daisy Voisin-led La Divina Pastora band. Carabai lives in Virginia and often visits De Leon to discuss and exchange music ideas.

Deleon recently performed at various events like De Real Soca Parang at St Jude Hall in Brooklyn on November 25 and the annual Caribbean event hosted by the Flamingo Restaurant and Mantra Lounge in New York on November 22.

Deleon is scheduled to perform on December 2 at the Penal Rock Road recreation grounds at Herrera Trace, Moruga, for the Pork and Parang event hosted by the Penal Rock Road community council from 3 pm. This event will include, Los Amigos and Los Ruisenores and other parang groups.

His songs are available on his YouTube channel (Peter De), Facebook page (Peter De Parang Boss) and other social media platforms.


"Peter Deleon parangs all year round"

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