Hugs from Hailey
Trinity Clarke, daughter of gospel artiste Kareen Clarke, has reached stardom in a very unique way.
What started out as a family exercise has blossomed into a catchy “feel good” calypso that has online listeners in awe of the four-year-old’s voice and the uplifting message in the song.
Under the stage name Hailey-J, the song Show Love has its share of popularity with calypso lovers across Barbados. There are no plans to enter Trinity into the Junior Monarch competition, says mum Kareen, but on the strength of Internet plays alone, Hailey-J has already secured some bookings for a live performance.
“I don’t want her to be traumatised by it (Junior Monarch). I want her to grow within a musical environment. She will learn to appreciate all forms of music, and learn to play an instrument.”
Kareen is not pushy about it, however. In her opinion, children are like sponges. They soak up knowledge easier than adults.
“And they are very flexible too.”
It is evident that Trinity is Kareen’s pride and joy; she can’t help but smile – grin really – when she speaks about her, and you can hear the love and adoration in her voice.
If her dad was part of the interview, it would be no surprise if he was the same.
To hear her explain the relationship between Trinity and her father, you would half-expect some jealousy on Kareen’s part. But no.
“Before her dad comes to pick her up, Trinity get all excited and the girliness in her comes out. She puts on lip gloss and seeks my opinion on attire.
“And when he arrives, that precociousness disappears and is replaced by a reserved, unassuming angel whose world is shared only with daddy.
“I see all my personality traits in her. They come out in a four-year-old way.”
So there was no intense prepping to record Show Love.
By the time they were ready to record, Trinity and her mum were singing the song at bedtime, in the car on the way to and from school; so she was quite comfortable with the lyrics.
Being familiar with the producer and the studio also helped in a big way.
The song has also spawned a charitable organization called the Hug Campaign.
“The Hug Campaign will involve Trinity and I going into childrens’ homes, visiting children in hospital and nursing homes as well.”
It’s really the Clarkes’ way of extending the public acceptance of the song and turning it into something everyone can share.
The symbolism of the “hug” – a physical expression of love that’s universal in meaning.
And hugging is something Trinity understands and appreciates – when asked what she liked most about her mum and dad, she replied: “The hugging.”
Trinity’s talents go well beyond singing. She can dance and there’s even some modelling in her as well.
“I took her to BMEX one year and she was on stage with some other children,” said Kareen. “I was coaxing her to model, but with little success.
“When it was her turn, to my surprise, she took over the stage. It was like she had done it so many times before!”
The Hug Campaign is the “big picture” to Trinity’s new-found popularity, Already it is in the advance stages of development – some sponsors have already signed on, and the list of supporters is growing day by day.