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Mattafix for young Vincy

Mattafix for young Vincy

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A young Vincentian, Marlon Roudette, has hit the music scene in Europe, taking Vincy talent further into international recognition.

Marlon named his new band ‘Mattafix,’ a fond expression of his past teacher, Sister Pat Douglas, who taught him Chemistry at St. Joseph’s Convent Marriaqua. {{more}}

With family extending through Dominica, Trinidad and the United Kingdom, Marlon has lived in Penniston since age 8 with his mother Vonnie, and sister Aiko.

He took up steel pan at age 10 with Ashley Kirby and later played tenor for Vinlec Potential and Vincy Spice. This early musical experience introduced him to the basics of musical arrangement and performance. He now plays keyboards, drums and guitar as well as steel pan. Many will remember Marlon rapping in various venues in Kingstown before he went to pursue A-level studies in London in 2000.

Marlon subsequently turned down offers from two London universities to study English and International Relations, and devoted himself to a more personal creative path.

In 2003 he took the London music world to task when he borrowed studio time, put together a demo of his songs with partner Preetesh Hirji and distributed them to several publishing companies. A contract with publishing company ‘Stage 3’ lead to a recording contract with an independent label, Bhuddist Punk, enabling Marlon and Preetesh to produce their album ‘Signs of a Struggle’ and assemble their band. Bhuddist Punk later signed a distribution deal with Virgin Records under worldwide distribution of EMI last July.

During the album production period, Marlon and Preetesh worked with Sly Dunbar and Robbie Shakespeare last April in Jamaica on the backing tracks of several of the album’s songs. They continue to enjoy a good working relationship with the two reggae legends.

Described by critics as ’21st century blues’ and ‘beautiful modern soul’, the music has powerful lyrics, each song with its own ambience. Marlon’s lyrics have developed through an early love of reading and writing poetry. His writing partner, Preetesh, of Indian heritage, brings a variety of musical influences to complement Marlon’s background in reggae, soca, soul and rap.

Marlon is acutely aware of his Caribbean roots and has promoted his homeland St. Vincent in interviews and performances on BBC, MTV and SKY TV. He has given radio interviews in the U.K., Berlin, France, Norway, Sweden and New Zealand so Vincentians at home can be proud that their island is getting positive promotion around the globe.

Unashamedly proud of his island home, Marlon ensured that the Vincentian flag was visible in the video of Big City Life shot in New York and directed by movie producer Scott Franklin.

Describing himself as a ‘Vincy man’, Marlon returns home whenever his schedule allows. Apart from nurturing his musical ability, island culture has forged Marlon’s keen interest in social and political issues. In his own words: “Preetesh and I feel ‘Signs of a Struggle’ is the perfect name for this first album, not only have we faced challenges creatively but we have written this album with a backdrop of international turmoil. At the epicenter of our work is a belief that creativity can bring great change”

Judging from the early response in Europe to Mattafix, that belief looks set to manifest.

DJs and concert audiences in Europe have been moved by the lyrical content and meaning in the songs which suggest that the Mattafix message is falling on receptive ears. ‘Big City Life’ has remained in the top 20 in the UK for five consecutive weeks.

The second single ‘Passerby’ will be released in Europe on 24th October, the album will follow shortly after.

The album will be available in the US and Caribbean in few months- those interested can download songs and find out more on www.mattafix.com. See their video of the single ‘Big City Life’ online.

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