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Groundbreaking single ‘The Call’ puts positivity back in the face of T&T

By Kaelanne Jordan

Trinidad and Tobago’s music scene is abuzz with the release of a groundbreaking single, ‘The Call’ by Marvin ‘Mr King’ Lewis. The song, which debuted just over a week ago, has already garnered 43,000 views on YouTube and is now sparking conversations nationwide.

The idea for ‘The Call’, King told The Catholic News, had been brewing for three years. He emphasised the single transcends being merely a song; it’s a movement towards positive change, countering the prevailing negativity in both media and music realms.

King, son of the late calypsonian Austin ‘King Austin’ Lewis, is an entertainer, songwriter, and videographer. “Music is my passion… I use my music to try to bring across messages of positivity….I would not have started off my trail as the best of citizens but I’m glad through the power of God and through the power of good role models, I was able to turn it around and see the need for positivity in the society and share the positivity I would have learned that would have steered me away from a life of idleness,” King said.

‘The Call’, he explained, was inspired by the spiralling crime in T&T and the observation that conscious music has taken a “downward turn” in society and mainstream media.

“I don’t think media houses support conscious music, more positivity, they more go off on the hype of what is trending, which is badness, slackness…. And I was trying to find a creative way of putting positivity back in their faces. Kind of forcing their hand… embarrassing them into action,” King said.

Referring to the song’s collaborators fellow reggae and conscious artistes Ziggy Rankin, Isasha, King David, Prophet Benjamin as his “brothers”, King shared he thought of a storyline or script for the song. The final version is organic, a flowing conversational five-way video call.

“We would call each other on the phone…and talk about the situation, call and talk about problems, talk about the fact that the music not playing, talk about how much music we recording, and they not giving it a chance…we would discuss things like this so I said well what better way to put it back in their face than just how it does happen.”

Upon releasing the single, King said he knew it would go viral. In fact, he promised the other artistes it would. “So I expected the country to take a liking to it, but the level which it shot off, it was amazing. I dropped the song about 6.15, I sent it to about 15 people and 45 minutes after my phone started to ring until 3 a.m. the morning, nonstop, over and over.”

He added, “But what was the greatest thing about it was seeing the country answered the call, everybody shared it, it was on everybody’s status. The ministers, the Opposition, everybody that is somebody, they shared it which means Trinidad holds the same sentiment, we fed up…,” an impassioned King said.

King’s career began with ‘Oh Laventille’ a song cry for an end to war in the hotspot community. “And that song for me was a cry because I had a friend living Nelson Street and I was over closer to John John side, and he left and came over to John John side. I wasn’t around and he was murdered … I had no intention of writing it and the music was playing and I started to freestyle it and that was history,” King said.

He has been doing music since primary school and singing “all sorts of stuff”. He told The Catholic News he never got the chance to become “prominent or become a star” until the release of his latest single.

“So, then it was clear to me, that the Lord blessed this. Not saying He didn’t bless the things before, but He allowed this to propel so therefore I see it as my calling, something I need to do,” he said.

Questioned why he thinks his latest single is different from the rest of his contributions, King attributed it to the power of marketing. “The strategy in bringing it across is what made it different … a flowing conversation… ‘we fed up ah the boom, we fed up ah the bam’, and the way in which it was presented to the public. I think that the novelty in how it was presented gave it extra boost,” King said.

‘The Call’ is filmed with the Our Lady of Laventille church in the background. The visuals of the church, King asserted was to make a statement “to put God back in everything and to highlight the church and righteousness, goodness…”

King admonished society has removed God from their lives. “It’s as if to talk about God something wrong with you. And if we are not a God-fearing population, and we lean on our understanding then we seeing the result of it in today’s society. And I think we need to put God back into everything and I say that with no apology,” King said.

He maintains the single is “divine guidance” by God. “I’ve never seen a song like this go viral in a country. No Soca, no Rock, no Reggae, I’ve never seen this happen. I am 48 years old, I’ve never seen this happen in my life. So that I’m sure this is divine guidance,” he said. King revealed he has received calls of support from government members and ministers, and faith-based communities.

“So the conversation has been sparked, the call has been made and I think people are literally trying to answer the call,” he added.

Emphasising the influence of music, King, when asked to share his thoughts on Trinibad music, commented it reflects what is going on in society. “I don’t blame these youths for singing that. Remember these youths want a way out. Every youth want to be a star…. It’s like you have two rooms in front of you: one empty with some bats flying around the ceiling, and the one have food. Which room you’d go into? The room with the food. So unless you can put something substantial in the other room, or unless you can support consciousness more, or unless you can put something in place to make goodness attractive, they will not gravitate to it. They will continue to gravitate to badness,” King explained.

He shared there are many strategies that could be put in place to deal with the ongoing crime scourge in the country. He opined the powers that be are out of strategies and “out of touch” with youths and persons from these communities.

King recalled Laventille as one of the “most loving places”. “I could be biased because that’s probably all I knew at the point in time,” he said.

King discussed his plans of establishing the ‘A Call to Order Foundation’.

The video concluded in an open-ended tone, leaving viewers intrigued about what’s to come.

“It’s a call for everyone,” King reiterated, and the only person aware of the next steps is King himself.