Brother Valentino

Brother Valentino: Life is a stage

Pages: 01 | 02 | 03 | 04 | 05 | 06 | 07 | 08 | 09 | 10 | 11 | 12 | 13 | 14 | 15 | 16

Staff Article
Interview Recorded: June 12, 2005
Posted: July 07, 2005

Blood Brothers

The Black Stalin and Brother Valentino
The Black Stalin and
Brother Valentino

From 1966 to now, I never looked back. I stayed quite a while with Kitchener's tent, but sometimes you have your own ideas and you may want to do certain things differently. It is not ungratefulness, but you realize it is time to move on. No love is lost and the respect stays all the time. I moved towards my own development. I realized I was on a certain beat. I was on a mission, and sometimes some of the things I would have said or used to say about certain people, affected certain people. When I started to see certain things I started to sing about it, and that is where the trouble started. For example, remember the rendition 'Trinidad is Nice, Trinidad is ah Paradise'? But who is it nice for? Men like Sabga and them do not like that. That was the inspiration, and it was the truth. The truth is a funny thing, but it conquers all. After all is said and done, the truth always conquers. I guess it is the truth that has me alive today.

In 1979, Stalin and I put on a show called 'Blood Brothers'. At that time we had a guy by the name of Astor Johnson who was into heavy literature. The Repertory Dance Theatre with Noble Douglas and them was his baby. He used to choreograph certain things that will make you cry. It would bring out all kinds of feelings... just through dance. He always saw me as a solo act in a concert that could really attract people. The first solo act that ever took place in kaiso outside of the Calypso season, was a show that Astor Johnson choreographed for me by the name of 'Poet and Prophet'. A lot of people felt that the show might not have made it, because people were only interested in Calypso around Calypso time, but we proved them wrong.

I was in a show last night, and the average price the patrons paid was a hundred dollars to come to the show. In my time when I did 'Poet and Prophet', the price was four dollars. Look at the difference in the value between then and now. At the time four dollars wasn't really such a challenge to people's pocket. Based on the economy back then, four dollars was reasonable; and then too it was in the mid seventies. As time changes, the value of the art increased, and it will just keep increasing.

About ten years ago, we had a little club and we used to play cricket and would have kaisoca. That is how kaiso tent came about. I heard 'Funny' say, "Valy boy, yuh see how this thing going? Just now people will have to pay a hundred dollars to come and listen to Calypso." I have seen it come to pass. When he told me that, I reflected on the four dollars.

It was very interesting. The value of this art form could only get better based on the ones who are representing it... the ones who are selling it. But then too, I would not say it has reached to the point of extinction, but it is becoming a rarity. I am talking about the expert at the art; the guy who would compose his melody, go on the stage and sing it. That too, is another issue in the art.


Pages: 01 | 02 | 03 | 04 | 05 | 06 | 07 | 08 | 09 | 10 | 11 | 12 | 13 | 14 | 15 | 16

Homepage | Carnival Features