Art, Culture, Books and Travel

King of ‘Wuk-Up’

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FROM AGE FOUR he has been involved in music.

King Shepherd was born to a Barbadian father and a Guyanese mother and was christened Dwayne Semple. He spent most of his early days in Jamaica where he says he got his roots in music. For the last 11 years, he has been living in Barbados.

But who is King Shepherd?

This newcomer to Crop-Over is the voice behind the popular song Wuk Up Pon It.

While this song did not make the various calypso competitions, it received a lot of airplay and was played at fetes across the island.

Semple told the SUNDAY SUN in an interview on Thursday that the song, which was recorded in May, had a growing fan base, which he acknowledged did not happen overnight.

"I have been in Barbados trying to get into the studios. When I approach a producer and see that they are not at my level I am not going to call them. I know my potential and I know the struggle from which I came.

"I didn't want to start with anybody who will crash. That is why I started with my management," he said, noting his strong self-discipline and good relationship with his team.

This artiste admitted he was still coming to grips with the tremendous response he was receiving, especially that on Kadooment Day.

"I am speechless. The response is not what I have been hearing about the Barbadian people. It is unbelievable and to add to that I must say that it is a lovely feeling," said the father of two.

Semple spoke openly about where his inspiration to write this calypso came from.

"It is all about my grandmother. It is my grandmother who raised me. That is partially where the song Wuk Up Pon It came from. I didn't have a choice, I had to listen to the kind of music that she liked which was mostly calypso.

"My musical inspiration came from Capleton. He is my inspiration musically," said the star who believes he has the same kind of energy as Capleton when he is performing.

Semple said the song was based on a true story.

"I was performing on one of the boats that goes on a cruise and a woman who is from England came to me and said it was her third time to Barbados and she didn't know how to 'wuk up', and that's it," explained the 27-year-old who described himself as humble and charming, a trait he said he inherited from his father.

For this artiste, his musical journey has only just began. Semple and his team have big plans in store for next Crop-Over.

"I have more songs. It is not that I have one song, I just did not want to cause much confusion in Barbados. I need to let the people love me, not hate me; so I hold back. This is actually King, next year will be Shepherd," said a smiling Semple.

His new album, which will be launched soon, will include Indian Girl with a chutney flavour, The Haters which is most likely to be a dub track and Soca Is Carnival, just to name a few.

"When you put in the King Shepherd album, it is like you are having a fete in your house. You have various music, from reggae to calypso," Semple boasted.

He also attributed some of his success to producer Radar Studio Sounds and Neil Sinckler of What's up TV based in New York.

Semple described himself as an all-rounder who is capable of many genres of music.

"I am universal artiste, I do not belong to calypso, I do not belong to any one type of music. I am always there and you can expect anything from me. Just like how I popped up on the scene I can pop up with something else.

"I am here to do music, not to compete. It is actually against my belief to compete," said Semple, noting that he is also preparing for his upcoming music videos.

When Semple is not in the studio or performing, the artiste is out enjoying "the company of females".

"When I am not speaking to myself it is strictly music. I also used to play cricket when I was much younger but other than that, in my spare time I love to spend it with girls. I love the company of girls, they motivate me," he said cheekily.

by MARLON MADDEN

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