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Rich in a Troubled Time - the Video

An Exclusive Interview with Gregory Boyd

Denmark - His bio states that the sound of Trinidadian steel drums are reinvented and combined with contemporary pop music to create the global fusion that is the outcome of his approach - and that he is an accomplished steel panist, singer and songwriter who continues to push the boundaries of modern music with his very own brand of global music, which is “steel drum textured, vocal layered and steeped in the traditions of American Rock, Funk, R&B, and Jazz.”

All of the above is very true - but there is much more to Gregory Boyd - the artist.  He has that intangible and unquantifiable quality that makes one go “wow.”

Known as a “Steel Drums and Funk” recording artist, composer and steel panist Gregory Boyd speaks on his newly-released video “Rich in a Troubled Time” in an exclusive interview with When Steel Talks  (WST).


Gregory Boyd

WST: You’ve been a part of the When Steel Talks family for a while now, but for those who may not be aware of your work, and now being introduced to you - how did you become involved with the steelpan instrument?

Boyd: I was a member of the US Navy Music Program while serving in the US Armed forces. I auditioned for the music program to find there were no openings for drummers at the time.  So the Navy offered me a position in the Steel Drum Band.  My first reaction was, “I don’t quite know what that [a steel drum] is.”  I was then invited to sit in on a rehearsal.  It was then that I heard the band perform (Gioachino Rossini) “William Tell Overture”, Lord Kitchener’s “67” and Beethoven’s “8th Symphony”.  I was hooked!

WST: Tell us about your new video - Rich In A Troubled Time

Boyd: This is a song I wrote some time ago - and I wrote it to remind me of all of the family, friends and loved ones that I hold dear to give me comfort when times aren’t so good.  It is also a social comment on global current events.  It was filmed 'guerilla style’ in Århus, Denmark and in Budapest, Hungary.  I wanted to be subtle about the context and not make too much of an overblown cinematic idea, but just to suggest what the lyrics are saying, while keeping the video as positive as possible.

WST: Are we looking at Grammy considerations here?

Boyd:  Wow! Now that would be a dream come true!

WST:  Can’t think of another steelpan player that actually sings and plays like you do -  how did that come about?

Boyd:  I have always been inspired by artists who play an instrument and sing.  The coordination creates another style of expression. I have been basically inspired by them, and in turn created my own style.

WST: In your music can be heard a lot of that deep southern blues - (awesome) - is this a conscious focus on your part as it relates to your music?

Boyd: Well it is to some degree natural - I am related to Blues Legend Muddy Waters and my father is a true lover of all music that comes from a real experience.

WST: Who were your influences?

Boyd: That is a good question.  It would be too numerous to mention here because I love so many styles and performers. However, I can say that I really dig Marvin Gaye, James Brown, Muddy Waters, Paul Simon, Neil Young, Jimmy Hendricks, Seal, The Neville Brothers, Roberta Flack and some of the newer performers like Ben Harper.

WST: You were born in the Midwest and raised for a time in Detroit, Michigan.  After living in New Orleans for many years you now reside in Denmark.  How did you get across there?

Boyd: Well basically I was performing in a club called Joe’s Cosy Corner in the Treme area of New Orleans and this woman came into the club.  When I saw her I said to myself “that’s my wife.”  So we were married several years later and I moved here to Denmark to be with her.

WST: What’s on the horizon for Gregory Boyd?

Boyd:  I am looking to release the CD “Transformation” that this song is a part of - then after,  continue to spread this pan song around, and know that the best is yet to come!

Copyright 2009 - When Steel Talks   All Rights Reserved.

Check out the previous WST Spotlight on Gregory Boyd - click here

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Contact Gregory Boyd at http://whensteeltalks.ning.com/profile/GregoryBoyd

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