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Imbert’s speech a local hit, DJs add music to MP’s voice

Monday, April 6, 2015
System32 members, from left, Jameel Bellerand, media/visual editor; Simon Sanowar, DJ/producer; Mical TeJa Williams, writer/producer; and Kevin Beharry, producer/engineer.

PNM Diego Martin East MP Colm Imbert has become a musical sensation thanks to a song that has just gone viral on social networks—System32’s electronic dance track Cowards. 

The song, produced and composed by a local DJ group, adds an infectious dance beat to the speech the Opposition MP delivered before he led a PNM walkout during the Government’s motion of no confidence in Opposition Leader Dr Keith Rowley. The concept behind Cowards is similar #Selfie by American DJ duo The Chainsmokers which was released last January by Dim Mak Records/604 Records.

System32’s lead production engineer and sound designer Kevin “OneKB” Beharry, in a telephone interview from the group’s Diego Martin studio, said the track was not something they had planned to produce. He said the team, which consists of DJ Simon “The System” Sanowar, Beharry and Mical “TeJa” Williams, came up with the idea while they were listening to a clip of Imbert’s speech in Parliament. He said Williams pointed out that the MP’s voice had a musical tempo.

“The way he was talking it was to a tempo and Mical heard it and he made a draft beat with his vocals in it and he liked how it was sounding ‘cause it was in timing with 128 tempo, a conventional tempo,” Beharry told the T&T Guardian. He said the team started composing more beats to go with Imbert’s voice. “We used that tempo to make another song to put on top of it and everything fit in time. We decided to go with it and we made it into a full song, even though it was two minutes,” he said.

Cowards is enjoying heavy airplay locally and is regularly featured on Slam 100.5FM. Beharry said the System32 crew was surprised by the attention the song got on the airwaves. “This was not really a project. This was really to show our creative muscle, just to demonstrate what we could do and we did not expect it to blow up the way it did,” he said. Beharry said while the song is a one-off thing, they have been getting calls to do more songs featuring other politicians.

“Trinidadians like things that are funny and things like this would catch on faster than if we sit down and do a real song. Trinidadians like things that have comedic things. It could happen as we head into the elections once it is newsworthy and it is something we feel with could work on and put together,” he said. Beharry stressed that System32 is not politically affiliated with any political party. However, he said, it is good to know that something creative like Cowards is appreciated.

“It was not meant to be politically driven. The beats are our creations, we build music and composed that we build everything from scratch. We heard that Colm Imbert likes the song and we heard that it is his ringtone,” Beharry said. This is not the group’s first brush with popularity. They have produced songs with local artistes for Carnival, their most recent was K Rich’s Baddest.  The group is currently working on soca songs with Machel Montano and other artistes for Carnival 2016.


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