PORT OF SPAIN, Trinidad – The name ‘General Grant’ is one that most people in Trinidad and Tobago and across the region, know and appreciate. A part of the music business for over 40 years, Grant maintains relevance, releasing new music frequently, and pushing hard to deliver to the people. Another Carnival celebration now in focus at home in Trinidad and Tobago, General Grant says he wants his flowers while he’s still alive, lamenting that while many artistes often go unrecognized for their contributions, they are certainly the ones who represent for country, wherever they go.
A brand-new single released, Grant is back home in Trinidad these days. He lives in New York and says being there has given him broader perspective along with the opportunity to see the potential that is available.
The new song, ’Nothing to Something,’ was written by the artiste himself, however he thanks fellow entertainer, Farmer Nappy for his initial direction. “I met Farmer on a flight and I asked him for some assistance to make the right connections for something different, something fresh, for myself. He sent me a rddim from MSK Music out of Barbados,” explained the singer. That opportunity and help would then lead to writing being completed in New York and subsequent production by Andrew Denny, in Barbados.
Positive and honest, the song encourages elevation and progress. “Elevation is the key in life no matter how long it takes. This song is motivation. Where there is a will, there is a way,” said Grant as he encouraged people to believe in themselves. “Believe in yourself. Don’t doubt yourself. We can all go from nothing to something,” he said.
On the topic of Soca music and music out of Trinidad and Tobago in general, the veteran entertainer said he hopes artistes understand the importance of pushing as a team with one clear focus. “Soca music is receiving small bursts of recognition internationally, but in the grand scheme of things, we’re still a small fish in a big pond. The music is generally maintained in the same pockets internationally, with some small inroads by a few individual artistes,” he acknowledged, adding, “I don’t believe one person, as a solo representative, can represent the whole of Trinidad and Tobago. One person can’t speak for me or another. Inroads in the music industry internationally, require strong contingents of creatives who can showcase the varied creativity and expressions of our people,” he said.
In the early 90’s, General Grant became the first T&T dancehall-style artist to see his music hit the Billboard charts. His single, ‘D Shot Call’, released in 1993, climbed to number 17 back then. Years later, he remains eager to produce new music and entertain audiences. “I want younger artistes coming up to understand that it’s good to be an individual, with your own style. Always do what fits you. Don’t change your style just to jump on trends. Perfect your style and remain humble as you grow,” he emphasized.
Bent on making it clear that artistes are the true representatives of the country, General Grant said, “Politicians do not make Trinidad what it is. Artistes and creatives make Trinidad what it is. The people make Trinidad and Tobago; Everything that we are- the way we eat, the way we lime, the way we fete and treat people, that’s what we sell to the world and that’s the energy we must always share with others,” he said.