There is a Yoruba proverb “what you give is what you get ten times over,” the artiste Chewalee is a living testimony of this. Chewalee is a relatively young artiste in the soca business (2 years) and has managed to capture the Ragga Soca Monarch crown for 2016 in St. Vincent and the Grenadines, with his tune “Rumist”. Chewalee can not only sing and write songs but he’s also a local pannist, he has been for over eight years. He’s a man in touch with his culture and tradition. Keeping the culture alive is something he’s passionate about. He loves Soca however, he saw it necessary to venture into Calypso, a genre he felt needed something “special” (after all that is what Chewalee means). Soca brings joy, but calypso gives an artiste the flexibility to tell a great story. The 2016 Ragga Soca competition was a first for Chewalee. He entered into the competition as an underdog pulling position #8 (which in his opinion was great slot). If you were in the crowd that night (like I was) there was immense joy in the crowd, as soon as the beat dropped there was pandemonium in Victoria Park. The crowd began “What we drinking? RUM!” As he started to sing “When I step inside a fete, just give me a Sunset. Rum de best spirit nothing can compare to it.” The fire from the Baygon sprays ignited in droves. Everyone started to singing and jumping Victoria Park was in mass hysteria. If you were there you just had a feeling this was the song that was going to win. “Rumist” is produced by Lester Iroha and is just one of three big wins for 4th Dimension Productions.
The producer had an epic carnival season, closing Vincy Mas 2016 capturing the Soca Monarch/Road March win with Hypa4000 hit song “No Behavior.” Chewalee attributes a great amount of his success to his producer Lester Iroha for molding him and giving him the confidence to enter the competition. Chewalee currently has a reggae track called “Uncensored Wine” from the Summer Body Riddim from 4th Dimension Productions. Like any artiste, if given the opportunity he would love to work with other producers such as Red Boyz, Kubiyashi, and Fryktion Muzik. Staying relevant is something many artiste struggle with, especially in the Soca industry. In order for Chewalee to stay relevant, he believes it’s important to learn the business aspect of music. For him music consists of 90% business and 10% talent. In any business staying relevant is important, and having a mentor or someone you admire is one way of keeping up with the times. He admits he admires Skinny Fabulous for his talented contributions while staying true to Vincy culture and Problem Child for his impeccable writing skills. It’s a dream for him to work as a singer, or songwriter with Skinny Fabulous, Kevin Lyttle and or Machel Montano. A long-term goal he has is cultivating his legacy by having his music go international, making money and giving back to his community. Chewalee is a story about perseverance, determination, and humility. New to the industry yet he’s made a mark for himself in his country and diaspora. Chewalee is a true reminder of “what you give is what you get ten times over.” He is a talented young man one we should all look out for. Check out more from Chewalee on Julianspromos TV on You Tube. Also, you can connect with Chewalee via social media @chewaleej.
- Favorite dish– pizza or whatever mommy cooks.
- A Pet Peeve– bad mindedness.
- What inspires Chewalee– hearing and knowing great songs makes me wanna sing and make great music.
- Something people wouldn’t know about Chewalee– “music gets me emotional there are songs and instrumentals that bring tears to my eyes and those aren’t necessarily love songs”
Notable Quote: “Music isn’t just a hobby, its hard work, and God given talent”
Written by Chandy Ablaze firstname.lastname@example.org or follow me on IG @Chandy_Sweet and on Facebook and Twitter @ChandySweet.