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Kadeem Alleyne in the Spotlight

A Steelpan man - and more...

There is a fresh and young group of devoted, gifted, intelligent and forward-thinking steelpan musicians all over the globe who have already begun to leave an indelible mark on the present and future of the steelpan instrument, music genre and culture.  While they all stand on the shoulders of the magnificent accomplishments and great sacrifices of the pan people of the past, make no mistake - they are charting and navigating a new course with their own ideas, concepts and expectations.


Brooklyn, New York - Within the past year When Steel Talks’ (WST) travels and activities have crossed paths with major talents like Mia Gormandy, André White, Iman Pascall, Kareem Thompson, Khan Cordice, Jonathan Scales, Kenneth Headley, Sune Borregaard, Andy Akiho and of course 10 year-old Rashiyd Wilson waiting-in-the-wings - among many others.

Now meet Kadeem Alleyne - this 19 year-old Berklee College of Music student is perched to add his name to the growing list of under-thirty steelpan musicians who have expanded their outlook and focus to incorporate multiple aspects of the music performance and entertainment industry. 

WST: When did you start playing the steelpan instrument?

Kadeem: Well, I started playing pan at the age of six while growing up in Trinidad.

What drew you to the instrument?

Kadeem: I grew up in a family already playing pan; my Uncles played, in the early days and basically helped develop Merrytones Steel Orchestra in Diego Martin, [north-western] Trinidad.

WST: When did know music was your career path?

Kadeem: I really started knowing music was my thing when I was in Junior High.  I started playing keys, and I really loved it - then I played pan on my first few gigs, and arranged, then came along with that. Pan really helped me develop a lot of my talent, as far as writing songs is concerned, and producing.

WST: What aspect of the music industry attracts you?

Kadeem: Well I’m really a producer at heart and I was always intrigued in manipulating sound, and creating music from scratch; a lot of my friends had the programs and I just had a Yamaha keyboard, and that’s it.  I used to come up with music but try to remember it and record it with my friends, when they had time...  So production is really my thing!

WST: You are a student at Berklee College of Music - how is that going?

Kadeem: When I first arrived at Berklee I was so excited.  My good friends Sheldon [Thwaites] and Iman [Pascall] were there already, so I was willing to be there, in a place I wanted to be.  Then during my time there I developed a very close friendship with André White, and also an understanding for music that is really amazing.  Now when you first get there [to Berklee], you think that you know all, and everything will come easy.  But Ear Training and Harmony, put you in your place, and make you realize that we’re all learning and still have more to learn.  The good thing about having people like André White, Sheldon Thwaites, Iman Pascall and Kareem Thompson there and being around them - is you get a lot of different views as far as pan music, and just music is concerned, so it helps you to understand why people dislike the things you like in a pan song, and that to me is cherished a whole lot because - there’s no where else I can get that knowledge.

WST: You just released your new single - how did that come about?

click hear a sample of “Breakfast Party”

Kadeem: Me releasing my debut single; when I first did it I really did not want to sing it.  But my friends told me that I had a talent, and I did feel like other artists wouldn’t bring out the feel that I wanted, so I just did it.  I put everything aside and told myself that I would make a sound that for the people has good music, and great energy - and “Breakfast Party” represents that; so for it being my debut song, I’m proud.

WST: What can we expect from you in the future?

Kadeem: Well I’m currently working with a few new and old artistes - not only in Soca but in Hip Hop and R&B too.  I will continue to pursue my own artiste career, and make good music, and I may do a “pan tune” for all those bands who want a new sound, who knows?... But I do know that music will be involved in my future, I am planning to work with some legends; but we’ll see what’s going on.

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