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Dance Like Dat!

Published: 
Saturday, August 12, 2017
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Producer Joshua Moreno and artiste JWVE. Photo by:Franka Philip

Erline Andrews

Twenty-two-year-old Joshua Moreno, a DJ and songwriter, started producing music in secondary school. He’s made an EP and a regular stream of singles that he sells on iTunes and other streaming sites, played shows at top venues, including Zen and Euphoria Lounge and remixed a song for Shurwayne Winchester.

Earlier this year, he met singer/songwriter Jessie Mc Barrow, AKA JWVE (pronounced J-Wave)—probably best known for the cover he did of Dwayne Bravo’s Champion with violinist Inge Schlüer at a music seminar. The two have collaborated on a new song, Dance Like Dat, which blends JWVE’s warm, clearly Trinidadian vocals with dancehall sounds and sharp electronic beats. The song carries an uplifting message, with lyrics like “Who can box you in? Who can keep you stifling? No one!”

“There was magical experience on the stage when he went up,” Moreno said of watching JWVE perform at the event. “His vibration and his energy. I couldn’t look away. A lot of artists perform but they don’t really actually deliver.

“I began to film a bit of him doing what he was doing,” Moreno said. “I was analysing his movements and analysing his demeanor on stage.”

Moreno took JWVE’s number and followed up quickly, creating music and sending it to him that weekend.

“I’ve gotten so used over the years to people approaching me with dreams,” said JWVE. The two men were interviewed together via phone. “Everyone has this perspective that they have the best track and they could do this and that, but when you hear it you’re like how do I shake them off now, because they don’t really have it.”

He continued: “When Joshua first contacted me [I told myself] I’m not going to get excited until I see the evidence. When he sent it to me [and] I listened to it, I was shocked, because I felt the connection to the track.

“He told me he studied my performance and then he tweaked the track to suit me. Which was very commendable,” said JWVE. “There aren’t a lot of producers, especially locally, that pay attention to the artists. A lot of producers try to superimpose what they do on the artist as opposed to accommodate what the artist have within them.

“The true manifestation of the producer is to be able to bring the best out of an artist,” he continued. “He paid attention to me and he gave me a track that was suited to my style, the direction I want to go. To me the collaboration was easy from there because he paid attention.”

Moreno added: “He took two days to put together lyrics and by that week we were already in the process of beginning to record it and putting it together.”

The song was released last month and like other Moreno songs, Dance Like Dat is available on streaming sites.

“There’s a progression towards more streaming,” he said. “People not buying anymore. That’s the truth and reality. They build the new streaming services in a way that you can get revenue from people just watching. You don’t need somebody to buy your track, which actually does make a lot more sense.”

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He explained: “We’re going to distribute it to a lot of foreign outlets that will be available globally.” He named iTunes, Shazam, Deezer, Amazon Music and Google Play. “It will be accessible anywhere,” he said.

The duo have plans to make a video featuring top dancers from T&T and hope to get the song on local stations that play Caribbean music like 96.1, 94.1 and 100 FM.

“That’s really where the song was intended [to be played],” said Moreno. “But It’s also built to be globally recognised as well.”

The profile of electronic music has risen considerably in T&T within the last few years. Trinidadian DJ Jillionaire is making his mark on the international music scene solo and as part of popular group Major Lazer, who have collaborated with Machel Montano and Bunji Garlin. Soca artists like Destra, Fay Ann Lyons and Angela Hunte have produced electronic music-based tracks. And the DJ fraternity is growing. Last August they gathered at the second annual Caribbean Dance Music conference in Chaguaramas.

In describing Dance Like Dat, Moreno said: “We tried to incorporate the groove of Trinidad and Tobago’s culture. Then it breaks into a different type of feel in the hook. That particular type of feel is called trap or moombahton.”

JWVE said in contrast to the “rat race” of the past, young artists are seeing the advantage of collaborations.

“There’s a movement happening right now between both artistes and producers and I think to some degree DJs alike,” he said. “There are a lot of young artists I’ve been seeing coming together and really putting together good music.

“What we’re trying to do is tap into that too,” he said.