Home' Trinidad and Tobago Guardian : June 4th 2013 Contents A30
Guardian www.guardian.co.tt Tuesday, June 4, 2013
CONTINUES FROM PAGE A29
Singh, also known as LAZABeam,
is a music producer who makes up
half of production duo Jus Now,
along with Interface from the UK.
He has worked with 3Canal, MX
Prime, Bunji Garlin, Beenie Man,
Trinidad James and others. This year,
in addition to releasing their debut
EP, LAZABeam will perform with
Jus Now at some of the UK s major
festivals, including Glastonbury Fes-
tival and Boomtown Fair, St Paul s
and Notting Hill Carnival.
He says his Indian heritage has a
big influence on his music.
"The styles of folk music that have
been passed on in my family in
Trinidad have all but disappeared
from Indian culture, and to adopt
elements of it are second nature to
me," Singh said via e-mail. He added
that Jus Now s latest collaboration
with singer Neval Chatelal "encap-
sulates the marriage of tradition and
modernity, as it relates to our her-
While Singh s father, T&T High
Commissioner to India, Chandradath
Singh, is a third-generation Indo-
Trinidadian, his mother, Anita, is
from India. Singh was privileged to
spend time in both countries.
"Our Indian heritage is but one
key element of the tapestry that
makes our (T&T) culture
unique...The cross-pollination that
has occurred with the other ethnic-
ities that we share this land with
make the Indo-Trinidadian a soci-
ologist s dream."
Shalini Seeraram is a self-taught
artist. Over the past 12 years she has
exhibited widely at galleries such as
Horizons and the National Museum.
Her work has also been shown
regionally in Cuba, Jamaica and Bar-
bados. Seeraram s illustrations are
regularly featured in Caribbean Beat
magazine. In 2000, Seeraram was
awarded the T&T Art Society s Prize
"I wouldn t really categorise myself
as Indo-Trinidadian. Some Trinis
are straight up Indian but I have
some Chinese and a lil everything
in me. I m a Trinidadian before any-
thing else," she said in a telephone
Seeraram was raised in central
Trinidad by a Hindu mother and
Muslim father, and credits her open-
mindedness to her diverse upbring-
"That Indian part of my art
came about from my appreciation
of rich colours and fabrics. The saf-
fron used in cooking and dyes in
Phagwa. I draw my influence from
that, because I love colour and fabric.
"I also have mild symbolisms from
nature in my work and those are
sometimes tagged religious, but it s
not. Spiritual, yes because I carry
that with me, but not religious."
At just 23, Johann Chuckaree has made quite a name for
himself in the pan fraternity.
This former Fatima College student from Woodbrook
first fell in love with the national instrument at the age of
four. He has worked alongside some of the best pan players
in the industry, including Ray Holman and Len "Boogsie"
Sharpe. Chuckaree has worked especially closely with Sharpe,
as he is a senior front-line tenor player with Phase II Pan
Chuckaree is also the recipient of his alma mater s music
award, which he has won on four occasions.
In 2007, he released the CD A Sweet Touch of Christmas
in 2007, and in 2012, In D Yard, a compilation of his own
compositions and covers. As well as tours with Phase II,
Chuckaree has represented the country as part of local con-
tingents at events like the World Travel Market 2012 in Lon-
don, & ITB Tourism Conference 2013 in Berlin, Germany.
In a brief telephone interview with the T&T Guardian,
Chuckaree said his plan is to take pan music to a serious
international level where people can experience all genres
of music on pan. To accomplish this he has put together
a four-member band called Over Drive, which is currently
working on several original compositions.
Asked what East Indian culture meant to him, Chuckaree
said: "East Indian culture, to me, is my heritage. When East
Indian indentured labourers came to Trinidad, they came
only with the clothes on their backs and few material belong-
ings. However, their rich culture, values and ethics came
with them and live on to this day."
He added: "In today s predominantly western society,
the East Indian values and ethics of peace, hard work and
their dedication to religion should continue to be highlighted
and taught to our younger generations."
Keshav "LazaBeam" Singh
Johan Chuckaree, left, having fun onstage with his fellow
Phase II Pan Groove players.
Indian heritage influences art
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