Chris Garcia

Chris Garcia

TWENTY-four years after Chris Garcia’s massive hit “Chutney Bacchanal” went viral, launching the musician into instant stardom, comes his haunting track “Just Maybe” in which Garcia speaks truth to the raging scourge that is racism.

From a lyrical and musical standpoint “Just Maybe” is possibly one of Garcia’s best works to date. In the song Garcia evokes memories of George Floyd and takes the listener on a musical journey back in time to the Jim Crow days and throughout the turbulent civil unrest of the 1960s in the US all the way up to the present day which has seen America engulfed in racial strife. Garcia who is a perfectionist when it comes to his craft, wrote the lyrics and composed the music. In case anyone had forgotten, “Just Maybe” is a reminder of the talent Garcia possesses as a singer and songwriter. In an interview with the Kitcharee Garcia spoke about what motivated him to write the song and explained why he believes artistes like him must play an important role in advocating for change.

“I know the death of George Floyd had a ripple effect around the world and triggered a massive response. People of different nationalities and races were out on the streets marching. Three nights after his death, I got up from my bed, picked up my guitar and started crying profusely. His death shocked me to the core but in that moment, it really hit home. That night the paper, pen and guitar began dancing with me,”said Garcia.

It took the musician a month and a half to write the song. Since its release “Just Maybe” has already been played in England and parts of the US, the responses to the song have been mostly emotional. One person called in to a radio programme to say that her husband pulled off the highway to listen carefully to the words of the song. “My mentor Bob Marley who I hold in high esteem once said in an interview ‘I hold the pen, Jah write’. I feel the same way with this song. Maybe I was a tool used by God to write a song like this,”he said. “Just Maybe has a lot of historical references and while I like history I’m more concerned with what’s happening with humanity. The older you get the more you see how divided we are. I can’t stand for that. I have no room for negativity like that.”

Garcia has taken a stand against systemic racism in his music and on social media. In the wake of racist rants that were being circulated on Facebook following the general election on August 10, the musician wrote a personal post in which he described racism as an enemy to humanity. “When I saw what some people had posted, I started to wonder whether they ever had friends of other races and ethnicities. And if so, were they pretending all along to like them? It’s sad. We have to realise that racism is potent and can do more damage than Covid-19,”he said. There is an appointed time for everything, and at this time entertainers need to respond appropriately to the needs of the people, said Garcia. “A man with a mic is a powerful thing, more so if you are a public figure. We artistes have a duty to our fellow man and that means using our voice to speak up against racism and violence,” he says. “Just Maybe” is available now on all music streaming platforms.

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Welcome to the latest installment of the Bocas Book Bulletin, a monthly roundup of Caribbean literary news, curated by the NGC Bocas Lit Fest, Trinidad and Tobago’s annual literary festival, and published in the Sunday Express.

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