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Leon Coldero keeps pushing

Calls on fellow artistes to use technology to their advantage
Monday, January 22, 2018

The name Leon Coldero is a strong one on the Caribbean entertainment landscape. For years, Coldero has given music lovers hits that cross genres and create the perfect atmosphere for enjoyment.

In recent times, his Christmas Parang Soca releases have shifted the focus of many from what he initially started off singing, that being soca. Even from where he resides in Florida, Coldero kept pondering his roots in the business and knew he had to return to the soca circuit, passionately being driven to keep sharing his style with the world.

Two new releases for Carnival 2018 in hand, Coldero has been hitting the ground hard, reacquainting himself with his home base. The feedback, he says, has been generous, something he’s truly happy about.

The former Byron Lee and the Dragonaires front line man attests to keeping his ear to the ground, maintaining a strong social media presence and being in the know when it comes to what’s trending. It’s certainly what’s required in today’s business.

The turf on the overseas soca circuit is a bit different, Coldero has taken his sound to places one wouldn’t imagine. “I performed at Bob Marley’s Café at Universal Studios in Orlando for eight years,” he explained, telling of the overwhelming response he’d receive from people who’d visit the Café from around the world.

In 2001, after leaving Byron Lee and the Dragonaires, Coldero had formed his own band, something he called Code868.

He said he decided to follow his heart and create the band in the US to facilitate the needs of party promoters who couldn’t quite afford to pay bands to travel from the Caribbean to perform in the US. A promoter himself, Coldero understood all too well, the pains and strains of earning enough to cover the cost of bands flown in from the Caribbean, and make profit in certain US territories. “The reality is, what a promoter may be able to charge in New York, he can’t charge in Florida,” he said, highlighting that often times, the audience share is less and the demographics being dealt with, are completely different.”

Two major events, Flag Fete, which takes place in May, followed by Curry Fest, which is hosted in July, keep the Penal native extremely busy outside of Christmas and now Carnival in T&T. Being a part of such promotions have also proven to be an effective way of keeping a close eye on the industry.

Coldero and his partner, Nuff Live Entertainment, have unfailingly produced these two major events in Florida, pleasing Caribbean culture lovers for years. He says he was urged by fellow entertainer, Neil “Iwer” George to return to the fore of the soca music industry to share his expertise as an artiste with the up and comers.

Leon said he figured why not and went back to the studio to record soca. He has since unleashed Turn it Around, a track produced by Optimus Productions TT and a second single called With You, which was produced by The Black Carpet Movement.

Age is just a number in music Over the years of his absence from the local scene, Coldero said he’d been performing around the world. “Despite the fact that I wasn’t being seen in Trinidad and Tobago, I was performing in Belize, Turks and Caicos and throughout the Caribbean.”

His band, Code868 now disbanded, Coldero is bent on returning to the T&T soca frontline in a major way. He says he will continue to record throughout the year and release music with the intention of strengthening the genre’s catalogue of good soca music.

“I think we’ve been straying a lot from what our festive music really is. I feel like we’re losing the vibe and essence of our music. Our music is happy music, music that promotes stress free living. People worldover have a good time with our music and I feel like we need to give them the true essence of us,” he said.

On the topic of being a seasoned artiste in the game, Coldero is adamant that good music could and should never be defined by an artiste’s age.

“Good music is good music.

There should be no age barriers,” he argued, lamenting the fact that in today’s industry, the opposite is sadly, the reality.

“I’m not 21 years old and I am aware of that. I just want to be a part of promoting the culture throughout the world so that other people can know our music and understand our music, share in the greatness of this genre, something that can only have substantial benefits for everyone involved,” he said.

In today’s technologically advanced world, Leon Coldero, the father of a nine-year-old soca artiste in the making, says he believes in the power of social media and the internet. “As artistes, we cannot continue to rely as heavily as we have, on radio stations to determine whether our music will reach global audiences. We have the power at our fingertips via social media and other trending online music sharing sites.

Eventually, radio will become obsolete,” he predicted, telling the Guardian that no matter how things go, his passion and love for soca will live on and he will die doing just what he loves.


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