Bravo Selects: A Playlist by DJ Bravo
Kunal Bambawale · May 18, 2018 · 3 Minute Read
We sat down with Chennai Super Kings and West Indies superstar Dwayne DJ Bravo to learn more about his musical career, the cultural similarities between his native Trinidad and India, and how music inspires him, on and off the cricket pitch.
How did you first get involved with music?
Coming from the Caribbean, music is a big part of our culture.
I really have a big passion for music. I still don’t consider myself the greatest singer, vocally, but I think I have what it takes to be a good entertainer — and that’s what music does to people. It’s a form of entertainment. I enjoy making people happy, entertaining them through music. I do happy music, I do music that anyone can relate to. No matter what part of the world you’re from, you can relate to my music.
How did I get started? Well, in Trinidad & Tobago, we have our own kind of music, called Soca music – Calypso and Soca.
A very close friend of mine now, a guy by the name of Beenie Man, is the one who really inspired me to take up music, and the rest is history.
Tell us more about Soca music and the artists we should be listening to.
D’you know Kevin Lyttle? His song “Turn Me On” was a big hit worldwide. That’s Soca music.
There’s also a guy by the name of Anslem Douglas, who created a song called “Doggie (Who Let the Dogs Out),” later covered by the Baha Men. Anslem is from Trinidad as well.
I’ll encourage everyone to do their research, look up Trinidad & Tobago, Soca, and Calypso music. You’ll see – if you like happy, high beat, high tempo music, you’ll love Soca music.
Who would you love to collaborate with?
If I had to pick an artist to collaborate with, it would be Rihanna. I’m from Trinidad, she’s from Barbados. Barbados is just a short flight from Trinidad, so the people of Trinidad see her as one of us. Actually, the entire Caribbean sees her as our own product. We’re very proud of her and the way she represents herself. She’s a global superstar, we all love her, and we always celebrate her success.
What are you listening to right now?
It really depends what kind of mood I’m in, and what I’m doing. If I’m in a chill, mellow mood, I’ll listen to a guy by the name of Chronixx – he’s a reggae artist from Jamaica. They call him the next Bob Marley – that’s how big and powerful he is. His music is really good.
Some days, on the way to the game, I’ll listen to some Beenie Man, or maybe even one of my own songs.
If I’m feeling high on life, bubbly and energetic, I listen to some Bollywood music as well. I have a mix of music, depending on how I feel. One of my favorites is “Lungi Dance.” I always play that – even when I’m performing at clubs, I have it as part of my set. I’m a big fan of Bollywood.
It’s interesting that you’re a Bollywood fan, despite not being fluent in Hindi.
Music is not about language. While I may not speak the language or understand what’s being said, the beat is what moves people. I’m sure a lot of people don’t understand every word in my songs – but because of the groove, everyone can relate and dance to it. Bollywood songs are high in beats, and uplifting, so I enjoy them.
How might we introduce Indian music to the people of Trinidad and the Caribbean?
You may not know that Indian music is already very popular in Trinidad, because we have a form of music called ‘Chutney Soca,’ which is sung by Indian immigrants. There’s a massive Indian population in Trinidad — 45% of the population in Trindad & Tobago is Indian. We have a connection with India and Indian music through Chutney music.
Chutney came from Bollywood music. I have a song called “Chalo Chalo,” which I perform with a lady named Nisha B. Everyone thought she was from India – the way she sings, the way she looks, but she’s from Trinidad. She is the singer of one of the biggest Chutney Soca bands in the country, called Karma.
So Indian music is really popular in Trinidad, and there’s not much that needs to be done to introduce Indian music there. It’s more about introducing Soca music and Chutney music to India, and the people here. Both countries are very similar.
Tell us some Trinidadian artists who might become popular in India
If you listen to my song called “Champion,” there are two names in that song – one name, Machel Montano and one Bunji Garlin. They’re like the SRK and Salman of Soca music in Trinidad, the two of them are very popular! They’re two of the biggest Soca stars in our country, who everyone looks up to.
Then of course there’s Beenie Man, who I love.
What do you listen to, to celebrate after a big victory?
I’m a fan of music, on the whole. I enjoy different music, and different artists. I’m not the type to just listen to my own music, so I enjoy every artist. Sometimes when I go to the club, and the DJ is playing, I’ll go request a Ranbir song or a Salman song, maybe a 50 Cent song, depending on the vibes of the club.
Listen to all the music Dwayne shared with us in our DJ Bravo Selects playlist, exclusively on JioSaavn.