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Trinidad in Reggae Fever

by Deana Myers
Reggae music has no boundaries the power it posses reaches every ‘nook an cranny’around the world, whatever the language. Trinidad and Tobago known for the best in soca music and carnival has many young artistes who have embraced reggae like RASKAL.
Born Diego Smith, 1988 in a small village know as Tunapuna, 

Raskal has already carved his name in the music industry. Whilst recording his first single ‘I Promise’ as recent as 2009, the song already open the way for Raskal. 

He is now signed to Platinum Trini Entertainment of Universal Music Group.  Universal Music Group undoubtedly the number one distribution company for music around the world. 
The future looks bright and promising for this young reggae artiste as he aims to make his country and community proud by putting their names on the international map through his music.
Who is Raskal?
Raskal is for the ladies and carrying out Jah works through music to please the people.
Trinidad is known for soca and calypso why reggae?
I am a mixture of Guyanese and Trinidadian parentage. Reggae, dancehall soca is a Caribbean thing I grew up with.
How do you measure yourself in relations to other young reggae artistes, considering the industry is a highly competitive and demands so much to get that break through?
Being a young artiste in the business is not easy. You have to get the right combination and sing songs that the ladies love and hold up the swag and keep up the appearance.
Trinidad like Jamaica is plagued with high crime rates. Do you think there is pressure placed on artistes being blamed for the crime in the country?

Artistes are always blamed for the misconception of the lyrical contents of the songs they produce. However it is the artiste’s responsibility to educate the people especially the youths that the contents of the songs are not real, in fact we as artiste base our lyrics on social commentary and sometimes pick a lyrical war that does not exist in real life. Music is like a story told – not everything read is real.

Most artistes shy away from the topic of HIV. What advice do you have for persons living with the disease and those who are not, and what do you have to say to those who discriminate against this deadly disease?
Abstain, protect yourself always, as we never know who is infected. As to those who discriminate just put yourself in the persons position – it could be your loved one. HIV doesn’t transmit if you touch the affected person, so show love and care for each other.
Reggae/Dancehall music has been stained over the past years with a series of unfortunate events for example Buju Banton’s drug case or Vybz Kartel being accused of murder. How badly do you think the industry suffers?
How a someone choose to live his or her life is their choice. I find people judge one man’s life and forget about the bigger picture, everyone is their own person. Reggae music will live on positively. After a storm there must be a calm and we Caribbean people are strong people. The younger artistes have their own take on the music but will steer it in the right direction.
Who is your favourite artiste?
Stephen Marley, Movado and Bunji Garlin. 

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