Mastermind’s plan to take soca global

In a recent interview with the singer with Shurwayne Winchester and YOU said: “At the end of the day the business we’re in is entertainment, and perhaps I’m just going to be a little more instrumental in helping to propel our music on a worldwide stage.

But it all starts with us here, learning to love and appreciate and showing that appreciation for what we have.”

He said taking our music global is truly one of his bigger goals.

“Everybody has all these big dreams of wanting to make it to the Billboard charts and winning Grammy Awards . . . but you really have to show that appreciation home before you could move on to bigger things.

“Also, as artistes we have to adopt a more professional attitude. A lot of times we find ourselves as artistes not really knowing the business.

“In fact sometimes we have artistes who simply disregard the protocol they are supposed to follow when it comes to handling different songs.

“We just need to adopt a more professional attitude and less of a hustler attitude when it comes to the business.”

Mastermind, who taught himself to play guitar, cuatro, marac, bass guitar, keyboards, drums and percussion, started playing music at the age of seven, and was involved in school choirs.

He started learning to play guitar from his dad Simon Noel. Mastermind, who attended Siparia Boys’ RC School, started playing in the Catholic Church in his community and that’s where he learned to play keyboards as well.

He then became heavily involved in parang, and was at one point a member of a band Dul Zora Caliente along with his entire family.

His mother was the lead singer, his father the lead guitarist and his brother the pannist.

After graduating from St Benedict’s College and completing a course at the San Fernando Technical Institute, Mastermind started working with Joseph “Joey” Rivers and Moods.

Shortly thereafter he joined the then Sensation, now known as the Asylum Band.

In 2003 on a trip to New York, Asylum bandleader Bunji Garlin acquired some equipment so they could produce their own music. That’s when Mastermind’s production career took off.

“Since then we’ve managed to put out songs that won International Soca Monarch (ISM) in 2004 (“Warrior Cry”), though at the time the company wasn’t as yet formed.

But in 2005 my wife and I formed the company Mastermind Productions based in Brooklyn, New York where we were basically doing music productions.” His wife, Natasha Andrews-Noel, was also doing artiste management and arts development.

“To date we’ve produced 2005 ISM “Blaze The Fire” which was an original on the ‘Pot of Gold’ Rhythm, 2006. Shurwayne’s “Don’t Stop” with which he won Groovy Soca Monarch, also, Terri Seales, Maximus Dan, Nadia Batson Fay-Ann on rhythms that I had done, namely the Nutmeg Rhythm and Pot of Gold Rhythm,” said Mastermind who also got involved in parang music again, producing three Christmas soca/parang compilations called Mastermind Christmas 1, 2 and 3.

There was also Mastermind Projects 1, 2, 3 and 4, and a few other digital albums that are available for download on itunes.

In 2006 Mastermind left the band to concentrate on the production side of the industry which was picking up.

“Now when did I start interfering with the singing thing?” he asked himself then answered: “While doing productions I’ve always been doing back-up vocals on several different tracks but my wife seeing that singing urge in me she told me ‘Hey! You want to do this singing thing eh?’ Last year is when she really started pushing in that direction and started putting hands on material that we could start recording.”

He said “Rum and Roti” wasn’t the original song that he was supposed to do.

In fact, he swears that he wasn’t even planning to sing on the song, but his wife insisted on it as she was of the firm view that he could do so many‘weird’ things with his voice, including sounding like an East Indian.

Asked how he felt about it he said: “It is definitely a different experience. I am accustomed to being on stage in a whole different capacity as a performing musician.

“But now that I am actually a vocalist with Shurwayne Winchester and YOU it is a whole different experience.”

Mastermind spoke of how it all happened: “Shurwayne and I have a very close relationship.

“After performing “Rum and Roti: with Patch, I started getting feedback that I had a real presence on stage and when I went across to Tobago to do a show with Shurwayne, a couple days later, he told me he wanted me in the front-line of the band for the rest of the season and that is how it all came together.”

However he hasn’t ruled out playing music on stage again.

“Who knows maybe at some point in a performance I may just run behind a keyboard and play a note.”


"Mastermind’s plan to take soca global"

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