Home' Trinidad and Tobago Guardian : June 28th 2015 Contents B45
Sunday Guardian www.guardian.co.tt June 28, 2015
One of the main reasons why there is a con-
scious decision to veer away from doing reviews
and/or showcases in this space is to focus on the
condition of fashion locally and by extension in
While there are a handful of writers in the com-
munity who will cover that aspect, the goal here
is to keep that focus on what we can be and perhaps
to offer ideas on where we can go.
As part of something that is developing it is
crucial to be critical, but what is of even more
importance is for us to get more involved. This is
going to take our entire village---I'm looking at you,
fashion community---that and confidence in our-
You would have seen this occurring over several
industries. There is only confidence once it has
been blessed by the introduction of someone trained
internationally or who may have gone to a foreign
university. That can be great and in some cases
In my last column I spoke about Carol Mongo,
who spent about four years here working to help
develop UTT's fashion programme. Part of her
process was a conscious decision to include a mixture
of local and foreign lecturers on staff to help bridge
the gap for such a new venture.
Even then she believed that the programme should
eventually be taught with a healthy mixture of
locals who commanded enough understanding of
the international market and intimately knew the
Caribbean to offer informed ideas on where we can
If there were a reason to doubt what we had to
show, take look at the international market's constant
flirtation with their perception of a Caribbean aes-
thetic and how they almost always seem to miss
the mark just a bit. The reason for that is simple.
We have to offer that vision to the world. No-one
else can honestly do that 100 per cent and the
world is waiting for it.
For a minute Anya captivated everyone while on
Project Runway---I mean, an Asian-looking lady
with a weird Caribbean accent killing it
with style, flair, bold patterns and colours?
What is that? They, I am sure, did not
know---but they loved it!
Selling who we are will not occur if we
continue to chase being another metro-
politan star. Some might succeed. But oth-
erwise it might end up like another Raze
video situation where the imagery seems
to be pandering to what is perceived to be
international and all image of self is lost.
Local conversations question what resort
wear is (I will get into that one in a later
column) because we believe "Resort" should
be owned and dictated by Caribbean
designers and maybe that can be.
To do this we need to be ready to invest
in the sum of our experiences as a region,
and not be afraid to invest in who and what
Have the conversations, investigate,
research, build and contribute rather that
seek to destroy and point fingers at indi-
viduals. Speak to our art and our higher
potential. In there lies true critical
success and the currency of our hon-
Confidence in us
ILLUSTRATION: JAMES HACKETT
Corey Wallace s music straddles
This fact is illustrated by the
very different assessments of his
music in Trinidad, where he's from,
and in Bristol, UK, where he cur-
"In Trinidad, people does say,
Boy, your music sounding like for-
eign,'" he said during a recent
Skype interview. "Here, everybody
saying, Boy, I could hear the
Caribbean vibes in your music.'"
Wallace, whose stage name is
Coreysan, is releasing the first
commercial recordings he's made
entirely in the UK.
In Transit, a six-song EP, was
released last November. A five-
song EP, The Trance and the
Dance, is going to be released this
They are both a collection of
songs Wallace had been working
on for years. Some even date back
to the mid-90s. He'd intended to
put them on one album but was
advised that, as an artist new on
the scene in Bristol, he should
introduce himself to listeners in
In Transit was self-released. The
Trance and the Dance will be
released under the independent
Bristol label Frillbeats.
"I see In Transit and The Trance
and the Dance as A and B," Wallace
Wallace's music is reminiscent
of Radiohead at their strangest,
with fractured beats and haunting
atmospherics, but his vocals---when
he includes them---are clearly
Trinidadian. There's also something
recognisably Trini in some of his
rhythms. The title track on The
Trance and the Dance features
what sounds like a pan.
Wallace said his influences
include Andre Tanker, Shadow and
Ras Shorty I, artists who pushed
the boundaries of Trinidadian
He paraphrased something he
was told by legendary Charlie's
Roots guitarist Tony Voisin.
"Calypso music was the culture
of Trinidad mixed with whatever
[the artists] were influenced with
at that point in time," he said. "In
the 70s it was disco and R&B. The
music evolved. To me, I doing the
Wallace calls what he does elec-
tronic Caribbean hybrid music.
Among his non-Trini influences
he cites Jah Wobble, a British
bassist/composer known for mak-
ing experimental music in which
he incorporates styles from differ-
"His mixing the old world with
a new world, electronic beats with
Arabian singers, that whole meld-
ing of worlds, to me it almost
sound like he was Trinidadian,"
said Wallace. "It's, like, why this
music didn't come from here? We
have all these elements here."
Wallace led the band Atheleny
in the early 2000s. Atheleny,
according to an online bio, was the
"the first band in T&T to appear
on stage with a computer as an
instrument". Wallace then worked
solo for a while, producing two
albums. Before he left T&T two
years ago, his main work had been
as a session bassist with a variety
of acts, including 3Canal, Mungal
Patasar and Calypso Rose.
He had slowly stopped perform-
ing his own music.
He felt his music had reached a
"threshold" in Trinidad, he
explained. The "same 19 core peo-
ple" were coming to his shows. For
their sake and his, he felt he had
to migrate to "take it further".
"These people who coming to
see me all the time ain't go feel
good seeing I just here playing for
19 people. How it go look for
them?" he said.
Being in Bristol has reinvigorated
his craft. He's collaborating with
artists of like mind and has sharp-
ened his mixing and engineering
"I think the new EP is much
more dynamic, forward and
detailed than the older stuff as a
result of newfound understanding
of the skill," he said.
Wallace is already working on a
new album and says he expects to
"get better from this point
Electronic artist takes 'Trini music' to a new level
T&T electronica performer Corey "Coreysan" Wallace.
PHOTO COURTESY: COREY "COREYSAN" WALLACE
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