Dwight Plays His Strings Right
Fresh on the market, with his youth and charisma on the guitar, Dwight Florent took to the music industry immediately after making his exit from Corinth Secondary School. Dwight’s nineteen years have brought him opportunities to work with some of the most renowned artists on island. But according on him, it’s not just talent but also dedication that has earned him this much success. It was refreshing to speak with such an honest, mature and enthusiastic young man. Here’s what he had to say:
How did it all start? Where did the inspiration come from?
Dwight: My inspiration came from my father. It all started at church where I watched him play the guitar. I always had a deep desire to join him, alongside other musicians who played with him. I eventually took the leap and started to learn my very first instrument, which was the drums. After about 10 years of playing the drums at church I then moved to the piano, bass guitar then rhythm guitar, which is now my current and main instrument. Describe your love for music.
Dwight: My love for music is almost indescribable and can’t be compared to anything in this entire world. There’s not a day that goes by and I don’t listen to or play music. I’ve done many daybreaks and have starved myself unintentionally just for the love of music, doing research and practising, etc.
Why did you decide on the guitar? What makes it different from other instruments?
Dwight: It was a process. I’ve done keyboard classes and drum classes, and I even tried learning the bassoon, but they all didn’t feel like ‘’Dwight”. But when I finally placed my hand on a guitar it was like an “aha” moment from day one. Describe the evolution of your musical career.
Dwight: It’s been quite the journey, and still is. I have had ups and downs and played with several bands and artistes such as the Saint Lucia School of Music’s Jazz band, Black Antz; Barbara Cadet; Rob Zi Taylor; Kayo Guevarra and Chrycee Charlemagne. Currently I am in two bands: Evalucian and my band, Dynamix. Through these different opportunities, avenues were created for me to do more and more. I was able to get a lot of exposure.
What are some of your most significant musical memories?
Dwight: Getting to perform abroad on tour with my band Dynamix and also playing on [Saint Lucia] Jazz’s main stage with Kayo as his guitarist and musical director. Just being able to perform and experience different forms of music in places like Venezuela, Brazil, and French Guiana, etc. I definitely consider these to be blessings. What’s it like navigating and working in the local musical landscape?
Dwight: Being a young musician and working in Saint Lucia has been challenging. In the earlier days I always heard musician friends of mine warn me about fight down, and about the negative sides of the industry. I never saw it until now as I’m progressing into a more mature musician. The support has lessened. People start to see you as a threat when you begin to progress but my mentality is just to remain with my head up and keep progressing!
What do you see in store for the future?
Dwight: My ultimate goal as a musician is to go on tour with a big time artiste. I also have different intentions for now such as going to college
to study music, or continuing working as a guitarist and producer here in Saint Lucia. With that said, I believe that Saint Lucia has a lot of changes to make in order for a musician to live comfortably. I wish to be that change, but for now my focus is to reach international audiences and then, after accomplishing my goals, come back home to be the difference that we musicians need.
What would you recommend to those younger, or even older than you who are pursuing musical careers?
Dwight: I would advise every person who wishes to pursue music as a career to just remain focused. Only the passionate survive. It won’t be a walk in the park where you can just show up, make a big hit, then be rich and famous. It’s a process of trial and error, making mistakes, etc. The most important thing is that you learn and keep on going. Focus, be humble and don’t focus on only making money.
Saint Lucian musician Dwight Florent.