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3Canal performs new songs at Big Black Box

Published: 
Thursday, July 28, 2016
3Canal members, from left, Roger Roberts, Wendell Manwarren and Stanton Kewley will be performing songs from their new album (3canalFOREVER) at this Sunday’s show at the Big Black Box in Woodbrook. PHOTO: MARIA NUNES

What does the Love Warrior have in common with the The Rude Gyal Rapso Feminist? 

To find out, you’ll have to check out the Big Black Box in Woodbrook this Sunday night. These are two of the new artist performers about to show and share their talents at one of the hot spots of youth-oriented urban oral culture in Port-of-Spain. 

As events celebrating the idea of emancipation mushroom, the Big Black Box is presenting a new performance event this Sunday, which promises to be edgy, provocative and a celebration of freedom of self-expression. 

Called Freedom.com Forever, the performance features live new music from the rapso band 3Canal, and some new artistes and emerging DJ/producing talent. It will be the tenth anniversary of emancipation concerts at Big Black Box. 

It is also almost 20 years since the band 3Canal first came on the scene in 1997, and true to their commitment to the power of the word and the power of rapso music, they will be performing four new tracks from their forthcoming CD called 3canalFOREVER. 

“We hope to release the new album later in the year, around October,” said 3Canal’s Wendell Manwarren, in a brief Guardian telephone interview on Wednesday. Producing this particular album was a very different experience for 3Canal, said Manwarren, because for the first time, they had their own space at Big Black Box as a production base. So they took over a year to pull together the songs, in between other projects. 

“Producing the music was very organic,” said Manwarren, who credited Keshav Chandradathsingh, aka Laza Beam, and Kiwan Landreth-Smith as the producers of the album. 

The album’s working title was originally Time and Space, said Manwarren, who explained they wanted to expand themes from our own home ground to the world. New songs 3Canal will perform this Sunday are: Forever (about the enduring power of music); As We Prepare (about embarking on new journeys and adventures, and heading fearlessly into rough waters); Try Your Best (challenging people to do better); and Something Cooking (a song which triggered the whole album, said Manwarren). 

“Freedom is not something that anybody can be given, freedom is something people take and people are as free as they want to be. One hasn’t got to have an enormous military machine in order to be unfree when it’s simpler to be asleep, when it’s simpler to be apathetic, when it’s simpler, in fact, not to want to be free, to think that something else is more important.” This quote from writer James Baldwin hints at some of the themes of the event this Sunday, and is quoted on a press release from the producers. 

The production crew for Sunday’s show is introducing a New Artist Spotlight segment, where the audience is promised “the sound of the New Underground.” The new artists include Jelae Stroude Mitchell, also known as The Rude Gyal Rapso Feminist; Mogabi Thomas (the Love Warrior); and singer/songwriter Chalmer John. Also featured are emerging DJs Blase Vanguard and DJ Rawkus.

Jelae Stroude Mitchell, 3Canal says, is the “evolution of the midnight robberess...the saucy chantuelle and badass zanipwelle bringing a powerful message also known as the “rude Gyal anthem.”

Meanwhile, Mogabi Thomas says his mission is “to spread the love and open up the eyes of the blinded brothers and sisters in society to show them that love is all we need and all we need is love to make this world a better place.”

Tobago-born singer/ songwriter Chalmer John says he celebrates the high amount of local talent in T&T, but laments the lack of opportunities. 

3Canal is reviving the Music Liberation Front, which the members describe as a vehicle and a platform to promote all genres of indigenous musical expression. 

“This one is an Emancipation Jam session in celebration of the power of the music, new music, we music, all kinda music, T+T music, genre defying music, challenging limited notions of self and positing what we may be, when we put heart at the centre and start from the soul and aim for the World,” says 3Canal about the event. 

• MORE INFO: What: Rapso/DJ concert: Freedom.com Forever. Where: The Big Black Box, 33 Murray Street, Woodbrook. When: July 31, 9 pm, CONTACT: BBB at 622-1001, Tickets: $100 only. Check BBB from 10.30 am to 6 pm.

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