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Cover Photo: KB Pixels

You’ve no doubt heard the Carnival 2020 anthem, Dear Promoter, performed by Kes and Voice. Do you know the Vincy producer, Captain John, behind this monster hit though? If not, we got you fam!

Listen to the interview below to find out a lot more about Captain John or you can read his answers to our questions.

Written answers have been edited for clarity and brevity.

HOW DID YOU GET THE MONIKER CAPTAIN JOHN?

It was a high school nickname. There was a period when I was very keen on aviation. My mum never let me get a PlayStation 4 so I had Flight Simulator. I went to school and spoke about it and all my friends called me Captain John. That translated over into the music when I started taking DJing seriously. I started DJing in school and everybody ran with Captain John. It stuck from there. I embraced it and it has been my name ever since.

HOW DID THE COLLABORATION WITH KES & VOICE COME ABOUT?

I sent the riddim for “Dear Promoter” to Voice right after Trinidad Carnival last year. It was an immediate reaction, he listened to it and told me if you haven’t sent it to anyone yet to hold it for him. It was months of work, there were about three or four demos.

Voice pitched it to Kes and he was crazy over it. Kes told me that he was in Miami Carnival when he got the demo and he listened to it nonstop. That’s the birth of the collaboration and it came together as an amazing project.

WHAT IMPACT HAS PRODUCING “TROUBLE IN THE MORNING” BY V’GHN HAD ON YOUR CAREER?

It was the first time I got to put my sound completely to a project. I got to sit with it from building to engineering and I was happy with every aspect. It was the first project that got me known as a producer. The riddim got me placements (in Soca Monarch competitions) in Trinidad & Tobago, Grenada, and St. Vincent. 

The main part of that project that I appreciate is that it gave me a lot of ears to pitch music to. A lot of artistes who heard that project were more willing to listen to other projects I had.

DO YOU HAVE ANY MORE RELEASES FOR TRINIDAD & TOBAGO’S 2020 CARNIVAL?

Yet to be seen! I’m always working so I always have projects. Honestly, I may be calling it a season. I definitely have some road mixes to put out. We will have to wait and see, depends on how the next few weeks go.

Photo of Captain John by KB Pixels

WHEN DID YOU START PRODUCING MUSIC?

I officially started producing music in 2015. I was always a musician. I played the piano from a very tender age. Also, I played the steel pan and guitar so it was really just a case of learning the programs.

WHEN DID YOU START DJING?

I started DJing in 2008, around there. That was the start of Captain John.

WHAT IS IT LIKE BALANCING MEDICAL SCHOOL AND A QUICKLY RISING CAREER AS A DJ AND PRODUCER?

This is a tricky one, I’m still learning the balance. It really boils down to time management and not procrastinating. There is a switch on/switch off thing that I practice. When it’s music time it’s music and I will give music a full week of undivided time where I may not even sleep. Then other times you can’t even get me to speak about music because I’m focussing on my exams and making sure my grades are up.

WHAT ARE YOUR LONG TERM GOALS FOR THE MUSIC INDUSTRY?

I have no boundaries to my goals. In the long term, I would love to leave an amazing body of work with the world that generations after me can appreciate. Hopefully, that body of work is good enough to get me a Grammy, good enough to bring Soca to another level. Just looking to make amazing music, take it day by day and hoping it reaches to the stars!

Captain John

WHAT CAN WE EXPECT FROM YOU FOR THE SUMMER CARNIVALS?

The summer Carnivals are definitely my favourite! I already have things in motion — you can expect more Captain John riddims, more Captain John music. The quality is definitely going to go up.

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