Trini Baby honours brother's legacy

Vernice Herreira has produced music for Bunji Garlin, Prince Swanny, Zerimar, Iwer, Tempa, the late Rebel Sixx, Jaron Nurse, among others.  -
Vernice Herreira has produced music for Bunji Garlin, Prince Swanny, Zerimar, Iwer, Tempa, the late Rebel Sixx, Jaron Nurse, among others.  -

WHEN Vernice Herreira grabbed one of her brother's mics at two years old, she had no idea that 22 years later she would be known as "Trini Baby" the producer, singer and songwriter.

She has worked with major local artistes across different genres, among them Machel Montano, Taryll "Prince Swanny" Swan, Neil "Iwer" George, Rebecca Le-Ann "Tempa" Alexander, Nadia Batson, Aaron "Voice" St Louis.

Herreira told WMN it was owing to her "musical family" that she too fell in love with music at a young age while growing up in Arima.

"My mom (Thecla Boldan-Herreira) sings, my father (John Herreira) is a DJ, and my brother (Mario Herreira) used to make music."

Tragically, her brother who she described as her "biggest inspiration," died in 2013 after a heart attack.

She then made it her mandate to "honour his legacy.

"He used to enter competitions and mix his own songs and be fully involved in the music.

"Before he died, I was always like, 'I want to produce something for him someday,' and then I ended up producing for me and then for other people, then mixing for other people...

"Just being around it (music) all the time was great."

She said her family would also sing parang during the Christmas season.

"We would just go around to the family (members') houses and sing and have a good time."

A shy and reserved person, she recalled not really wanting to bring too much attention to her talents. But, again, her biggest inspiration persuaded her to begin recording videos of herself covering songs she liked.

After attending the Arima Girls' RC Primary School, she went on to Northeastern College, Sangre Grande.

When Vernice Herreira grabbed one of her brother's mics at two years old, she had no idea that 22 years later she would be known as "Trini Baby" the producer, singer and songwriter. -

It was there she entered the school's internal competition Northeastern Got Talent.

"That was one of the first times I sang in front of a body of people."

She recalled having "crazy stage fright" in those days, which brought her to tears sometimes.

She also participated in a nationwide competition called Trini Kids Got Talent, making it to the finals and winning the People's Choice award.

"I did not want to go on stage."

But now?

"I'd be pacing and feeling like, 'Oh gosh, how I going to do this today?' but then as soon as the moment arrives, I would almost transform into another person and be ready."

After secondary school she decided to pursue music full-time.

She credited YouTube videos for aiding in kickstarting her production career, as that is where she learnt the basics.

She has now produced music for Ian "Bunji Garlin" Alvarez, Prince Swanny, Zerimar, Iwer, Tempa, the late Kyle "Rebel Sixx" Roberts, Jaron Nurse, among others.

The local zess and trinibad music scenes are very familiar with her sound, especially after the success of the Rifle Rave Riddim which featured names like Rebel Sixx (Sun Tzu), Medz Boss (Blood) Zerimar and others. Voice even did a freestyle on it.

She also produced Beggin and Feel the Heat by Tempa, No Looking Back by Prince Swanny, Roll Out by Llano "Jahllano" Grant, and Mother Good Good Daughter by Natty Moods.

"I think my sound (as a producer) is really unique. Some people say it's a little weird," she said with a laugh.

Vernice Herreira says she fell in love with music at a young age because of her musical family. -

"It's very eclectic, and very often, people listen to tracks I made and without even seeing my (credits), they say, 'Yeah, Trini Baby touch (worked on) this.'"

She got the name Trini Baby from a group of other people interested in music from Texas, US.

"I was the youngest person (16) and the only Trini, and they were like, 'Yo, you are our Trini baby.'"

She said initially, she sighed deeply and suggested using her real name, but they insisted. Now, she said, she has no regrets and glad she stuck with it.

Asked if there was any particular genre she thought she would focus on when entering the music industry, she said she thought it may have been pop, but later opted to "try everything."

"I was always open to everything. A piece of everything calls to me, and I am really grateful for that."

One artiste she works with – Ashada – also explores many genres, which Herreira said she loves to see in an artiste.

"She only started like two years ago and she is doing amazingly, and she was even featured on BBC Radio 1Xtra."

Herreira has also done vocals and production for ads for White Oak, Angostura Chill, Rude Boy and Digicel.

In more recent years, she began exploring soca, which she said she loves.

Vernice Herreira credits YouTube videos for aiding in kickstarting her production career. -

"Getting to go out there and to hear your music and really see the people vibe to it (at fetes), I never got to experience it from this perspective.

"It's crazy actually being involved in the local scene and being invited everywhere now. This is new, new territory," she said.

She is one of the producers of Bunji's 2024 hit Carnival Contract, and by extension, the Carnival Contract Riddim; Iwer and Jadel's 2024 offering Drift; has done other songs including Iwer George (Go); and worked on the big truck mix for Rikki Jai's 2023 Socavivor, and on his 2024 tune Soca Til I Die.

She also releases songs with her own vocals under the same name and has dabbled in pop, R&B and other genres.

Her songs include Love Is To You, Old Soul, Millennials and others.

Herreira regularly covers her favourite songs and uploads them to social media, typically reproducing the beats of the original songs and adding several layers of her vocals to create soothing harmonies.

It was these videos which led to her doing background vocals for many popular TT soca tunes. The first she ever worked on was Mamacita by Sekon Sta.

"I was just doing those covers for fun and one day, I did a cover of Road Trip by Machel and that went viral on a Carnival Tuesday. After that, everyone was reaching out."

After Sekon Sta, Nadia Batson contacted her – something she is still mind-blown about today.

"It was surreal to me because I was only 18. We did So Long, and there was even a line I added in and filled the gap."

She also did background vocals for Farmer Nappy's Hookin Meh, Mash Up by the late Dexter "Blaxx" Stewart, Peace of Mind by Voice, Brace Up by Montano, Party We Love by Shal Marshall, and many others.

"So yeah, it was just so surreal being around her and all these people. Like 'wow.' I went from covering their songs to being the one to do background vocals for them."

But how does she manage to juggle so many things? She admitted it is a bit tough at times, but she feels "amazing to be blessed enough to be able to do all of this, and it's something I really love."

She also plans to create and promote her own music more.

"I'm looking to make more time for it because the issue was timing."

She said she also needed to work up a bit more self confidence, and now, "I am ready to shine some more light on my vocals and songwriting."

Additionally, she wants to learn to play piano and guitar, and revisit playing the drums.

Asked which artiste she hopes to someday produce music for, she said Montano, Mical Teja (Williams), Jamaican artiste Raheem "Valiant" Bowes and the US' Doja Cat.


"Trini Baby honours brother’s legacy"

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