Famalay written through divine inspiration – Machel
Soca star Machel Montano says that the song “Famalay” makes one realize that we all must go beyond just thinking about ourselves and instead, we must embrace each another.
“We living in a time when … we have been taught to stick to our families and stick to our corners and put our family first.
“…Your child belly full, forget the neighbour child…. That level of thinking must be transcended in this moment in life,” Machel told a gathering at the VIP lounge at the Argyle International Airport (AIA) last Thursday.
The Trinidadian added, “We must go beyond thinking about our own corners and our own islands and see everybody as an extended Famalay. It (Famalay) is a much bigger concept than family and it is necessary right now because the Caribbean has a role to play on the world scene.”
Machel, Ian “Bunji Garlin” Alvarez, Gamal “Skinny Fabulous” Doyle and Krishna “Dada” Lawrence were at the AIA to celebrate the success of their joint release, “Famalay”, a song that that won the Trinidad and Tobago (T&T) 2019 Road March competition, making it the first time that a foreigner has officially won the Road March in that country.
Machel said that the song is special because when we look at what is going on in the United States and the Middle East, unity is very important.
“Skinny is a great man because great men make great change, and they change the world and they change history and right now the message of this song ‘we don’t see skin, we duh see colour, we see strength, we see power, we duh see race…’ this message is the best message to win anything, the best message to take across the globe,” an emotional Machel commented.
Machel, who won his 10th Road March title this year with the collaborative effort (Bunji had his first win this year), said that he feels proud to be associated with the song as in his opinion, it was written by Skinny because of “divine intervention”.
The 35-year-Soca veteran said in 1955, a German composition “Valerie Valera”, made popular by BBC Radio UK won the T&T Road March and immediately after that, the rules were changed so that no foreigner would be able to win Road March. Then in 2008, the rules were changed once again as he did a song with Jamaican “Shaggy” called “Toro Toro” and it was headed for the Road March, but in stiff competition with another song he wrote, “Footsteps” with “Farmer Nappy”.
“…And immediately they changed the rules to the Road March saying that the song should be two thirds contribution by locals.”
Machel said that he ties this into divine intervention as “Famalay” is a two thirds Trinidadian combination.
“When Skinny decided he wanted myself, Bunji and him on this track I sure he didn’t know he was just tweaking it.
That level of wanting to share is what took us across the line because two thirds of us, as the artistes, were from Trinidad and Tobago and made it eligible for Road March and when we have moments like this, we have to observe why is this happening, why is he being inspired to share or take such a risk because it is necessary in this time,” Machel stressed.
He also noted that Skinny is someone who thinks deeply and thinks about others and it was a pleasure to be part of Skinny’s effort to bring people together.
“I am feeling emotional because this feels like real love and it is quite a privilege for me to be part of project,” Machel stressed, while adding that he and Skinny have collaborated on many things as Skinny has been one of his writers for a long time.
“The key to good work and good production is education because he is a well studied young man. He has a brain that functions very highly, and I admire him for that.
“When Skinny sent this song to me, I was in Calgary and I was doing a show…I was backstage and I had so many songs and I was in the middle of doing a 20-song album and from the time I heard it and what he wanted to do…the music jump out and the beat was crisp and different and vibrant and I thought ‘wow’ this is something that will have the whole place bumping,” Machel said.
The entertainer said he knew that when Skinny penned the song, he had a vision and he was not thinking about Road March, but collaboration.
“That vision and that desire to share is what I admire about Skinny the most. He is always willing to share whether he will benefit from it or most importantly the audience will benefit,” Machel said.