20 questions with TC
How long have you been on the music/entertainment scene? I’ve been in the business a combined 32 years . . . . On the Kaiso/soca scene, 21 years.
When did you figure out soca/calypso was the path you are going to take? I was thrown into it on a whim because the band (COALISHUN) was the backing band for Lion’s Den Calypso Tent back in 1994 and the band manager committed me to singing a song in the tent which turned into competing in Pic-O-De-Crop that same year and placing third. After that I was hooked.
When would you say people started to take notice of you? In the calypso arena in Barbados it was almost immediate but in the Soca arena it was with the song Jammers which became a massive hit, first in Trinidad and Tobago and just took off like a runaway freight train.
What is the lowest you have ever been in your career? In 2002 when I placed last in Pic-O-De-Crop, then to be followed by a serious illness that almost took my life and I thought I would never make it back to stage but I did.
Hardest lesson you have learnt as a female in the music industry? You’ve got to work twice as hard as your male counterparts to be considered half as good. Take nothing for granted.
As a female artiste how important is image to you? Very, especially on stage. I’m most comfortable in slacks or jeans and sneakers but once I’m on stage or have a function to attend I love to get dolled up.
How do you stay grounded? Prayer . . . a close relationship with God . . . my family and friends who are brutally honest with me about everything – from clothing to songs I sing.
How do you turn off and get away from it all? Oh that’s easy. I stay at home and watch sports, or gather friends and watch sports . . . .Either way there’s sports.
What is your focus now in terms of your career? I’m on a re-energising of the brand TC. So it’s new writers, new producers and working on re-entering the regional and international market. I believe I still have a lot to offer.
You have been in quite a few over the years. What are your thoughts on competition? Competitions have their place, but they cannot be the sole judge of what is and what isn’t a good song for export. Actually, often times the songs that win our local competitions are not the songs that leave the shores and do well in the soca market, but I am of the opinion that because of the way things are set up or done in Barbados we as artistes almost feel like we need to compete to be heard and or seen . . . which is sad really.
As an entertainer any risks that you took that paid off or didn’t paid off? Well back in 1998, Sonia Mullins [manager] and I took the risk of investing most if not all of our savings to move my career to the next level and it paid huge dividends for us with two very successful albums New Direction and the follow up in 2000 Colour Me Soca and then TC became a name on the regional and international soca scene.
Have you ever turned down any song that you now regret? Can’t really think of any. I can think of a few that I should have left, but that’s not for this article.
How do you pick competition songs? I’m horrible at it. Sonia is much better than I am so when I’m being a good client I listen to her urgings and when I’m delinquent or stubborn – more often than not – I suffer the consequences.
Favourite song to perform? Hot Sun & Riddim (soca), Ah Can’t Take Dat (commentary)
Pet peeve? I suffer with OCD so they are many. I will leave that right there.
Plans for rest of season? To enjoy it . . . play mas . . . party . . . hang with friends and if it’s the Master’s will, win my third Sweet Soca Monarch title . . . . No one enters a competition in the hope to lose.
If it wasn’t music what would it be? I love helping people. I’m a sucker for a sad story so it would a vocation where I can make a difference in people’s lives . . .like what I do now in the insurance field. I help families plan their financial futures.
Finally, who the hell really is Kim? I’m still asking but I’m thankful for Kim. The song gave me the biggest hit of my career. We stayed on charts regionally and internationally for two years with the track. It allowed me to tour for six full years after all because of a ‘wrong name’. To this day, you will hear Who The Hell Is Kim in every Caribbean event regionally and internationally. That is heart-warming.