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The Man is Simply “Crazy”

Vocalist and Performer Edwin Ayoung Speaks
on Pan and Steelband Panorama Music

A WST Exclusive with the Musician, Composer, Producer and Performing Steelpan Music Artist


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Global - Veteran recording artist, composer and performer Edwin “Crazy” Ayoung is one of the most versatile and respected practitioners of the art of singing and composing songs, several for the renowned steelband panorama competition of Trinidad and Tobago.  These songs can also be adopted for the New York, England and Canada steelband panorama competitions. For the upcoming competition in 2010 - Mr. Ayoung is set to rewrite the history books for having participated in more songs for panorama in a single season than anyone before.

In the interview, below, with When Steel Talks, Ayoung reveals where his passion for the steelband movement comes from, and his dreams for the “pan tune” singer.  He goes on further to explain why he thinks he is a chosen favorite among the writers of panorama music to add voice to their creations.

click to see the list of tunes for Panorama 2010

  • WST - The name Crazy and Pan have been synonymous for years now. When did you first develop this affinity for the steelpan instrument and music?

    Crazy - I played pan in ‘Highlanders’ pan yard in the 60’s with Bertie Marshall before he was a tuner - he was like how Boogsie is today - a great pan player - but nobody never mention it till now.

  • WST - You have become the de facto voice of many songs for panorama.  What is it that makes steelpan music songwriters gravitate towards the artist known as Crazy?

    Crazy - Most of the pan writers like [Leon] “Smooth” Edwards; Boogsie [Sharpe]; Amrit [Samaroo]; Robbie [Greenidge]; Ray [Holman], etc. - do not sing.  So they look for a voice that could interpret their messages; and they always mention to me, that I have the best diction and conviction in the business.  Another reason they come to me, is that they recognize my heart and soul are in pan for over 50 years, and I never charge a panman for singing his song.  I do it free, for the love of Pan, hoping that one day, Pan Trinbago will give me a big fat pay check, for my contribution to pan music for over forty years - 10 million for Crazy.

  • WST - The writers that contract you to voice their songwriting endeavors are quite varied - from Amrit Samaroo, Phil Hawkins, Jeff Narell, to Winston Scarborough, to Leon “Smooth” Edwards.  What is it they see in Crazy?

    Crazy - I could handle or tackle any melody and also fit words into it to form a pan classic.  I work with the best - Boogsie (Sharing Licks) Robbie Greenidge (Ramona) Ray Holman (Rocketman), Amrit Samaroo (Band from Space); also Americans like Jeff Narell and Phil Hawkins and many more too numerous to mention.

  • WST - 2010 is a big year.  You are involved in no less than six pan tunes for the year.  Are you happy with the way things have been going thus far? 

    Crazy - Actually it’s eleven (11) pan songs I did this year -- which I think will never be done again by me or anybody else.  Panmen and arrangers here in Trinbago say I am crazy to do such a thing, but I cannot help but work to build pan music which is my first love after God.  So far “Large is Large”, “When Steel Talks”, “Scratch Attack” and “Ah Love Meh Pan” are getting some airplay.

  • WST - What exactly is a ‘Pan Tune?’

    - A pan tune is a song composed specifically for panorama, with lyrics that says something to uplift the instrument and melody. A steelpan could play any melody for panorama, but not every song a band plays is pan song.  You got to have the knack to compose a pan song.

  • WST - What is next for Crazy?

    Crazy - I am going to help pan singers in the future. I will be the president of a organization call (TTPSA) that means ‘Trinidad and Tobago Pan Singers Association.’  Where Pan Trinbago will pay every pan singer that is involved in this organization.  Pan men don’t have $6,000.00 to pay an arranger in these times per song and also pay the singer $5,000.00.  So I will meet with my president of Pan Trinbago Mr. [Keith] Diaz to discuss money for pan singers.  Eunice [Peters], Anselm [Douglas], “Designer,” De Fosto, I and many others - sing our tails off for pan and get nothing for it.  That’s happening years now.  The pan singer is most important in these times; without us no [there is] sweetness in pan.  Blessing to When Steel Talks.

    More on Crazy

  • Contact Crazy

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