Reigning Monarch Challenges 'Hustle' Industry Mindset

Ricardo Drue, the Jumpy Soca Monarch King of Antigua for a second consecutive year, is admitting that there’s much more work to be done. Having adopted quite a strong work ethic and in recent time, seen marketing efforts enforced by his team, work to his benefit, Drue says he’s happy with the result, but admits there remains a level of stage confidence and comfort that he yearns to attain. With that admission, the young entertainer who’s been a part of the Roy Cape family for some time now, is promising supporters more work and even better delivery when he hits stages across Trinidad and Tobago in the Carnival season ahead.

“Professional”, a new smash single that’s been turning the airwaves inside out, already assuring his space on the soca scene in 2016, Drue remains focused. “I have another release set to hit the airwaves by the end of the month. It’s on the Harmony Riddim, produced by 1stKlase, and it features artistes like Kees, Lyrikal and Skinny Fabulous” he said. Separately, he also has a third song set for release. It was created in tandem with the producer who gave him “Vagabond” in 2015- a track that turned out to be a monster hit this year. “Roots is great to work with. He’s one of those people I really admire because of his work ethic and his production skills,” he said.

With true humility, Ricardo admits there are a few people in the soca music industry who’ve inspired him to strive for greatness. He says young producer, 1stKlase is one of those people. Likewise, he mentioned songwriter and vocalist, Preedy who’s proving to be one to watch on the soca music circuit. He says Erphaan Alves, a fellow up and comer in the business, is also a source of inspiration to him and he celebrates the victories of each of his counterparts. Likewise, Drue says the heavyweights in the industry, Machel Montano, Destra Garcia, Bunji Garlin, Blaxx and others have constructed the foundation for the new generation of soca music makers and personally, he’ll always be thankful to them.

Ricardo Drue is learning daily. He says working with the Roy Cape team has been beneficial to him in more ways than one. “If it wasn’t for Juiceman I wouldn’t have gone back to the studio to do ‘Vagabond’,” he admitted, explaining that he was given that support he needed to make it happen. Blaxx too has taught him the ropes and he says, time and time again, people have recognized the changes he’s made on the advice of his fellow frontline man.

This is no hustle for Ricardo Drue. He’s assessed the business of soca time and time again and says while many view it as a hustlem, he just can’t bring himself to. “I believe I’m in a position to change the way the “industry” is viewed. It may not be an immediate change but day-by-day we can change the structure of things, organize things better and work together to gain the respect of other music markets. Soca can secure our lives, many of us, for eternity,” said the young artiste.

In the carnival season ahead, Ricardo will bring more charisma to his performances. He works hard on getting into character when he hits the stage and next year, with ‘Professional’, one of those ‘must perform’ singles, he’s working on the perfect stage show to bring the song to life. For now, Drue’s priming up, getting the world at large familiar with the ID brand, which simply stands for “It’s Drue”. He understands the importance of marketing himself and branding his product and with hopes that he will become a Caribbean-wide and eventually, global household name, Ricardo Drue is pushing hard.

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