The Star (St. Lucia) - - LOCAL -

By Toni Ni­cholas

As promised, I did at­tend part two of Tapas on the Bay’s Voices on the Bay on Wed­nes­day May 11. Yes, my ta­ble was re­served this time and again the food was out of this world. But on that night, as it was last Wed­nes­day, it was all about the mu­sic – some amaz­ing young vo­cal­ists as well as an ar­ray of tal­ented young musicians, many of whom I was see­ing and hear­ing for the first time. “This is­land is brim­ming with tal­ent” was the un­der­state­ment of the night. If for one mo­ment I thought I was be­ing mis­led and hear­ing some­thing bet­ter than most, the re­al­ity check came when oth­ers kept com­ment­ing about how fab­u­lous the night was due to the riv­et­ing per­for­mances.

For starters there was Kiz, a young singer with a pleas­ant, mel­low voice and an im­age to make the ladies swoon. At first per­haps the crowd and its in­ti­macy jolted him but by the end of his short set he had cer­tainly warmed up.

Christal Valere was up next. She el­e­vated pro­ceed­ings and soared through, above and around the au­di­ence with her vo­cal range and stage pres­ence. Her de­liv­ery of ‘Lit­tle af­ter Mid­night’ was im­pec­ca­ble and, when she ended with another of her own com­po­si­tions: ‘Make you love me’, the au­di­ence clearly still wanted more.

Like a proud fa­ther, Ron­ald “Boo” Hink­son - one of the or­ga­niz­ers - looked on with a glow­ing aura of sat­is­fac­tion.

Next at the mic was Linda Choco­late Berthier, once known mainly for her Gospel and in­spi­ra­tional songs. But on that night she was out to prove that her God-given tal­ent could go in dif­fer­ent di­rec­tions as she cre­ated a stir with a di­verse reper­toire. Be­sides her own orig­i­nal com­po­si­tions she did songs like Kas­sav’s ‘Siwo’ as well as the Afro-Pop song ‘John­nie’. By that time the singer had the au­di­ence fully en­gaged, many of them up and danc­ing.

For those who missed them last week, the au­di­ence was treated to brief cameos by Du­pes and Aiyah, both spe­cial treats. How­ever, the one that blew the lid off the roof was a young lady by the name of Khym. Do­ing the stan­dard ‘At Last’ and ac­com­pa­nied by “Boo” she took the au­di­ence on a magic car­pet ride dur­ing her one-song per­for­mance.

It is not of­ten to find STAR pub­lisher Rick Wayne out so late at night. But on Wed­nes­day he was mes­mer­ized and stayed till the end. He would later tell me about Khym’s per­for­mance: “Man, that girl was amaz­ing. Did you hear what she did with that song? This girl hit all the right notes, she looked good and was very cap­ti­vat­ing.”

“So what hap­pens to all these young peo­ple next?” Rick asked. That’s for another show.

Voices on the Bay con­cluded with a su­perb per­for­mance by Michael Robin­son who was short­changed dur­ing his per­for­mance on stage two at Pi­geon is­land last week. Backed by a tight band and a mel­liflu­ous back­ing vo­cal team, Robin­son looked and sounded like he be­longed on the main­stage. It was pure melan­choly for me when he segued from Mali Mu­sic’s ‘Beau­ti­ful’ into the Bieb’s ‘Sorry’ among other high points. And yes, there were more than enough on the night.

Thank you Boo, Jonelle and Rosie for af­ford­ing these young Saint Lu­cian tal­ents this plat­form and for giv­ing many oth­ers and my­self some good food for the soul too.

STAR Pub­lisher Rick Wayne was bowled over by the per­for­mance of this young lady - Khym.

Christal Valere had many ask­ing, “Who is this girl?”

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