Candace Furbert (top), pictured during one of her performances with Up With People, will sing an R&B song on the album; Donald ‘Detrimental’ Robinson (middle) produces a song at his Near Future studio in Paget; and Khaalid Lovell (bottom), stage name KD, brings a taste of hip hop to the album. *Photos supplied
Candace Furbert (top), pictured during one of her performances with Up With People, will sing an R&B song on the album; Donald ‘Detrimental’ Robinson (middle) produces a song at his Near Future studio in Paget; and Khaalid Lovell (bottom), stage name KD, brings a taste of hip hop to the album. *Photos supplied
The island’s top artists, writers and producers have created a collaborative album that aims to ‘create an international buzz’.

Leading producer, Shane ‘Bermuda’ Woodley, is behind the project that brings together ‘the best of the best’ of the island’s musical talent.

The team has been handpicked by Woodley and called Da Squad Starting Eleven. It is comparable to a football team with titles such as striker, midfielder and goalkeeper because ‘football is Bermuda’s favourite sport’.

With Woodley’s professional reputation — this team is certainly one step closer to the Premiership. He has worked professionally with the likes of Jay Z, Beyoncé, Rhianna and Memphis Bleek and brings his expertise back to the island to share with his fellow countrymen.

Da Squad consists of island favourites such as Troy Anthony and Candace Furbert, as well as up and coming talent such as

15-year-old Jelani and 17-year-old Yung Mac.

Other featured artists are Kombat, Cheetah, KD da Beast, Fyah B, E-Levels, BLAC and Big Snipes. The album is made up of an eclectic mix of reggae, hip hop, rap, dancehall, R&B and gospel.

There are other characters in the music and entertainment industry who have pulled together to support the album.

There will be Premier League commentary by comedians Nadanjah ailey and Jah Simons of Two Fools fame.

The Bermuda Sun caught up with some of the album’s players to find out about their contribution and how they hope it will help their own prospects.

We also spoke to Shane Woodley about this adventurous project. See here or page 21 of today's Bermuda Sun newspaper for that interview and details of a live Da Squad performance this coming Saturday at Shine’s House of Music.


The singer/songwriter

  • Name: Candace Furbert
  • Age: 19
  • Title: Singer/songwriter

Candace Furbert is a household name in Bermuda.

The 2008 Bermuda Idol performs regularly around the island and has played concerts in front of up to 3,000 people. She is about to go to university to study musical theatre and wants to bring back everything she learns in order to teach and enthuse the island’s youngsters.

She said: “I’ve been singing since I was three but it wasn’t until I reached high school when I sang my first big solo in my first year at Berkeley Institute I realized this is a path I would like to take.

“I was just accepted into the American Musical Theatre Academy of London. My dream is to get musical theatre into the public schools and start them when they are young and excited to do it around primary school age.

“On the album I’m singing a song called I’m So Gone. It’s about a past relationship that went wrong — it’s basically saying ‘I’m not worrying about you, I’m going to go out with my girls and have fun — check ya later!’

“I love what Shane is doing because it is giving people opportunities — we don’t always get things like this so when you get it you grab and use it to the best of your ability.”

 

The producer and mixer

  • Name: Donald ‘Detrimental’ Robinson
  • Age: 33
  • Title: Musical engineer

Donald ‘Detrimental’ Robinson owns Near Future, a recently upgraded recording studio in Paget. He started off as a DJ and “fell in love with music”. He knew he had a calling in the industry and set about teaching himself how to produce and mix music.

He has produced the majority of songs on the album with the help of co-producer DeShae DeShields.

He said: “Producing is all about getting the sound you and the artist want out of a mix. If an artist chooses a song they like, then I mix it with whatever requirements they ask for. They may want it to be real loud or mellow — it might sound real bright or dark.

“I work with Protools HD (software) out of my studio. I am actually recording with Ninja Cutty right now.

“I have worked with international artists as well such as Vybz Kartel, Elephant Man, Bounty Killer, and Buju Banton.

“I am thinking about leaving the island.

“I’d like to go between (sic) Atlanta, Miami or Jamaica. Those places are hubs that a lot of artists go through to get to different destinations and when they stop there we can get together.

“This album will help promote local talent. Some radio stations don’t want to play local artists but, with our links, the radio will hopefully play it so that will help them.”

 

The writer and rapper

  • Name: Khaalid Lovell aka ‘KD da Beast’
  • Age: 26
  • Title: Rapper

KD first began rapping around three years ago with a friend who used to make beats from a small studio in his bedroom.

He won’t make Saturday’s show at Shine’s so his first live performance could be this summer at Chewstick’s hugely popular music event Beach Fest.

Whether it is performing or becoming a music engineer, he has made his mind up he wants a career in the music industry.

He said: “Right now my first choice is to perform and rap but I would like to know the music engineering side along with that.

“I’m planning on going to New York and looking at getting into a community college to stay out there. While I am away I would like to check out some A & Rs (artists and repertoire) as well.

“My lyrics are about life situations and trying to rise above all the problems.

My song on the album is personal  — it is about my mother who has been sick and I my little brother who I care for.

“A lot of my lyrics are about Bermuda so I will have to cross over if I wanted to get into the mainstream.

“I’m a very lyrical person so I like listening to lyrical music — stuff that makes me think. I listen to all genres but the main one is hip hop.”