SINGING SANDRA-Is the future of Calypso Music in the right hands?
OUR AMBASSADOR5™ SERIES SHOWCASES 5 QUESTIONS WITH A CULTURAL AMBASSADOR WHO IS ACTIVELY PROMOTING CARIBBEAN CULTURE THROUGHOUT THE WORLD.
By Marissa Williams
Her commanding presence enveloped the room; long locs wrapped like a crown at the top of her head while carrying her African inspired dress with pride. An engaging mix of legend, mother figure, disciplinarian and friend all presented at once. That was my initial impression of calypso legend, Singing Sandra, after catching up with her during a recent visit to Atlanta for the Rum Punch & Pan Event. This event hosted by Lynette Rocke of Priestess Productions was held at C&J hideaway in Atlanta on Saturday, August 16th. In this interview the 2BKaribbean team takes a journey with this calypso pioneer from her early career to current role as cultural ambassador for calypso music.
About being a female pioneer in the calypso arena:
- She credits her career to Divine intervention because she never saw herself as a calypsonian. Singing Sandra remembers fondly that her initial musical interests were centered around folk music and negro spirituals. But, a request by a fellow calypsonian to sing two songs led to success in the Young Brigade competition and so the journey began.
About soca vs. calypso:
- In her opinion, the two work hand in hand and the focus is more on teaching the younger generation the right way to go. She believes one of the first steps to ensuring the success of the music is getting rid of songs that encourage violence and degradation of women.
ABOUT WOMEN’S EMPOWERMENT AND GUIDING THE YOUNGER GENERATION:
Singing Sandra does not claim to be saint by any means, but, she does believe that the way to guiding the younger generation of women is through example as a way to show a positive direction.
About being a cultural ambassador:
She credits Dr.Slinger Francisco for her initial exposure to the international arena. From those experiences she learnt the value of being authentic with her music and came to understand even more that calypso is bigger than any one individual.
About maintaining a strong brand for calypso:
- Once again, she emphasizes that calypso belongs to the community and we are all responsible for its success. She credits the Trinidad & Tobago Unified Calypsonian Organization (TUCO) as a group that is making positive strides to ensure that calypso is less seasonal and for creating a sense of family within the calypso fraternity.
Listen here for our detailed Ambassador 5 interview with Singing Sandra:
Video Credits: Bronson Blair