This Christmas if you’re in need of a parandero with plenty vibes you should: “Call Dero!”
That repetitive, can’t-get-it-out-of-your-head refrain from veteran singer Leon Coldero is filling the air this Yuletide season.
It’s a chant echoed both on the airwaves and on booming boxes of pirate music vendors on street corners in Port of Spain, Arima and San Fernando. No doubt the Mastamind-produced Parang Jam riddim single will make its way into hundreds of pandemic-restricted house limes in the coming month.
Coldero says despite the gloomy circumstances he is focused on doing what he does best: making music to make people dance.
“I am releasing new music in spite of Covid-19 and everything else. I think it’s important to stay relevant and stay in the people ear. Today its like out of sight out of mind, more so today than ever before. People want to know what you’re doing,” Coldero told the Kitcharee during a WhatsApp exchange on Wednesday.
Apart form staying visible, he says music fans depend on their favourite artistes to lift their spirits, especially in uncertain and stressful times.
“Its amazing to know how we make a difference in some people’s lives without even realising what we do. We’re entertainers we bring music to the public. Sometimes I would hear stories about me performing somewhere and that is where a couple met and they got married and still married. I remember people walking up to me and saying: ‘you don’t know what you do to me when you’re on stage performing. I love your music. It’s so soothing. You bring happiness to my life’,” the veteran performer recounted.
The former Sound Revolution lead singer said while understanding the power they wield and ensuring its used for good, its also important that artistes remain firmly rooted in reality.
“I believe its very important what we do as entertainers. At the same time I just keep it real and be myself at all times. Whether I have a hit song or I don’t, nothing ever goes to my head. I keep my feet well planted to the ground, keep a level head and just love doing what I do,” he said.
Cooking up new ideas
Like most music creatives, Coldero has suffered huge losses in earnings due to the ongoing pandemic. Unable to work the regional and North American music circuits he has retreated into his lab in search of income generating solutions.
“I’m the type of individual when the going gets tough, like they say, the tough get going. I find a way out. I refer to myself like water in a room. If you pour water in a room, no matter how you try to seal that room, water is going to seep out somewhere. That’s me, I don’t look at a closed door as an obstacle. I find ways and means,” he said with a smile.
The pragmatic entertainer says he has invested in another of creative talents: culinary arts. He opened Coldero’s Flavour, a fusion cuisine trailer, on Rushford Street in San Fernando.
“What I have done is I know I’m blessed with another talent which is cooking. People always make compliments of my cooking whenever I’m hanging out with friends and family and what not, I decided to turn it into a business,” he explained.
The long lines he see’s daily at his food trailer tell him he made the right decision.
“People are hearing about me, word is spreading and they are coming and enjoying my food. I’m happy about it, it brings real joy to see people eating your food and enjoying it and the positive comments I’m getting about my food business has been very encouraging,” he continued with genuine pride.
The cancellation of Carnival 2021 has been a worry for many music creatives on these islands. Coldero says while he understands and sympathises with their frustration, he sees this as an ideal opportunity to rethink the way the annual festival is presented and managed.
“Let me be straight up and factual. I haven’t been working much in the Carnival in Trinidad. Yes I will miss the activities, the fetes, the parties and hearing the new releases from artistes, but sometimes you need to take a break from everything and probably this is a good thing.
“It’s purging itself for us to take our time and even come up with fresh new ideas, which I think is lacking big time. But yeah, we will see what happens in Carnival 2022. I might be getting older, but I’m not getting colder,” he concluded with a laugh.