JOAQUIN BREWSTER (Picture by Reco Moore.)
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JOAQUIN BREWSTER IS good with his hands, but he is even better with his voice.
After four years of submitting songs for competitions during the Crop Over Festival, the 22-year-old was finally rewarded with a spot in the finals at the 2016 Soca Royale competition at Bushy Park, and though he was confident, the placement came as a shock.
“It was a shock but I knew the song was strong and it had potential to actually make it in but I wasn’t sure if it would be heard and if people would like it,” he said proudly.
“I can’t even explain it. I just want to thank my mum, I want to thank God, I want to thank everyone who pushed me and told me that I can get this done,” he said.
This year was the first time that he took a back seat and did not write his own songs. Fellow artiste Sanctuary and songwriter Young D crafted This Place.
“I always entered the competitions but last year was my best year. I always entered competitions but I never got in and then last year after I did the Machel Montano’s 1Love show, I made the decision for myself that I’m going to focus on my music and really put me – how I feel – into my music and hope the people receive it the way I want it to be received,” he said.
And not only is he a dynamic performer as was seen by his highly energetic performance at Phenomenal Friday, he also has some hidden talents.
The This Place singer told EASY in addition to being on top of a stage, he also likes to be under the hood of vehicles. “I was always good with my hands and I grew up around my cousins and they used to always do mechanics and it just passed down to me so I knew how to do certain things with vehicles,” he explained.
When he is not performing with his band Lejend 246 on the hotel circuit or at shows such as Outrageous In Red, Soca On De Hill or Mahalia’s Corner, he can be found cutting hair at the Faders Barbershop, Black Rock, St Michael. But despite these additional talents, he said he preferred his first love – singing.
In a recent interview at his J.A.B recording studio at Codrington Road, St Michael, the former Alexandra School student said he was in the process of expanding the space as he had just purchased equipment with the intent of doing more work behind-the-scenes by next year, where he expects to be producing his own music.
Brewster, who said he was capable of singing multiple genres of music, including pop, R&B and rock, was a bit timid in front of the photographer’s camera but when he was asked to sing he instantly came alive and electrified the room, as he does on stage.
“Before I go on a stage I don’t know what I’m gonna do so I just go up there and I don’t know I did it until I watch it over, and from the time the music starts it’s like a different spirit comes into me. I don’t know – call it an alter ego,” he chuckled.
“But it comes over me and I just go up there and do me and at that point on stage everything just comes fluent,” he added.
He thanked his parents, grandparents, and Faders Barbershop family, his management team and Tony Bailey, who is a member of the band krosfyah.
It was Bailey, he said, who wrote his very first soca song Ah Feeling It, and krosfyah that gave him his first shot at stardom by allowing him to open up for them in 2012.
He said he felt he was a natural talent as he came from a family of singers, including his mother Lee-Ann, great uncle Ray Brewster, who performed on the cruise ship scene, and so he was surrounded by music.
He also listed entertainers such as Michael Jackson, James Brown, Chris Brown, Marvin Gaye, Edwin Yearwood, and Machel Montano as some of his inspirations and he said one day he wanted to be memorable just like them.
“I want to be an artiste that people always remember, an artiste that is in your household, an artiste that when people hear my name that it puts a smile on their face,” he said.
At the time of the interview he and his management team had just completed plans for the big show. On July 24 he will put his skills to the test when he faces off against more seasoned entertainers such as TC, Biggie Irie, Peter Ram, Mistah Dale, AC and Edwin, but despite being the youngest competitor, he said he was up to the challenge.
“The thing is, I don’t feel nervous at all, really. I like a competition, and that motivates me to do even better and I like people that can give me a challenge so I’m waiting to get on that stage again to really do my best and show people what I can really offer.”