Home' Trinidad and Tobago Guardian : February 14th 2014 Contents 5
Friday, February 14, 2014 • Issue 127
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"A marriage is a business and you must invest, invest,
invest in it." Sage words of advice to all married couples
on this Valentine's Day from soca artiste Fay Ann Lyons.
One half of the only married couple in soca, Lyons is not
shy when it comes to talking about what makes her mar-
riage to Bunji Garlin work.
"You have to invest in your relationship," she said. " It is
easy to get distracted but you have to forget people. At
She also believes that it is important for couples to in-
vest in their friendship. While she is Garlin's wife, as she
affectionately refers to her husband, she is also his friend,
the woman who could hang with him and his boys without
When they go home, however, she reverts to his wife,
his lover, and the object of his desire.
"For your husband, you must be the ultimate woman...
keep yourself in a gear," she said, noting that as much as
she doesn't keep fit for her husband, he is her motivation.
Growing up with parents who both had multiple children
outside of their own rocky relationship, Lyons learnt early
on what she did not want in her own marriage.
"I paid attention. I had horrible parents. Looking at them I
knew what I did not want," she said bluntly.
To that end, she works hard to preserve the union she's
shared with Bunji and to create a strong and lasting foun-
dation for their daughter Syrai.
It's no easy feat though, when you are a performer, con-
stantly in the public eye, sharing a public space with your
spouse. It opens one up to constant criticism, to which
Lyons is no stranger. Outspoken, aggressive and deter-
mined, her every action is scrutinised and dissected, often
unflatteringly especially when compared to her husband.
This Carnival is no exception as some have been com-
plaining on social media that she dominates the stage
when the Asylum Vikings perform when fans really want
to see her husband and not her.
Lyons is not fazed by the comments, which she dis-
misses as pure entertainment.
"The people on the Bunji train now are basically the peo-
ple now getting excited about Bunji. I was always on the
front line," she said, recalling the days when Bunji was con-
sidered too ghetto, too aggressive or even too black for
"The car Garlin and I drive have no backseat. Any
woman who thinks I should take a backseat is an idiot,"
she said, addressing comments from people who think she
should step back and let her husband shine on stage.
Lyons said her husband's success over the last year, cul-
minating with his Soul Train Award win has made him
many fans, which is good, but she is the one who has been
with him over the last 11 years, helping to lay the founda-
tion for the rewards they are reaping today.
A former Soca Monarch and two-times Road March
winner, Lyons said there is no competition between she
and Bunji or jealousy on her part regarding his success.
"We had training for this during all the years of Soca
Monarch. We live in the same house so at the end of the
day if I win a Grammy it is going to the same house. We
are on the same team, if he wins, I win. The competitive-
ness was only from a motivational standpoint."
The Vikings' new office on Panka Street, St James is a
good example of how hard Lyons is willing to work to sup-
port her husband and by extension, her family. The office,
she said, was her brainchild, which she recognised was
needed when Bunji got the Soul Train nomination.
"I recognised that a Soul Train nominee cannot have
meetings at home or take phone calls at home or stand
outside someone else's band room hoping it is available to
"If it was all about me, I wouldn't do all this to make him
look good. It's about all of us," she declared.
Dressed in the company's branded attire, Lyons over-
sees the company's day-to-day operations.
The company, known as MIME, has three units: a multi-
media unit that is responsible for promotions and adver-
tising and is home to EFF TV, an online reality TV concept;
SoundLock Studio, where all recordings take place; and the
Asylum Vikings which is the live performance unit.
"It is hard work but I believe it is an investment in our fu-
ture, it's a family business," she said, revealing that she has
put her law studies on hold to focus on building the busi-
Organised and always prepared, Lyons ensured all her
recordings for the 2014 Carnival season were done way in
advance, boasting that she did all her recordings in one
"While we were going through a change of manage-
ment I had all my songs recorded cause I knew I needed
time to do this. I have at least seven songs I have not re-
leased," she said.
With her releases: Gimme That, Mash Up and Done D
Party, and her EDM flavoured Catch Me that is proving to
be a hit with fete goers, Lyons has shown fans the true
versatility of her voice.
"You always want to have elements of yourself that you
want to keep back," she said, noting that she always sang
but kept those songs under wraps.
The confidence to release those songs now is in keeping
with their focus to expand their creativity and try new and
Asked what her own musical goals are, Lyons said she it
is not about getting signed to a major record label but hav-
ing the freedom to control her music.
"I just want to be able to do music and not have it
owned 100 percent by an entity. It has to be a deal that is
fair and allows the future generation to use my ideas."
Photo courtesy Multimedia
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