We interview Aeion “Yaaka” Hoilett leader of the Jamaican band, C-Sharp. They are one of the most exquisite amalgamations of musical talent that Jamaica has seen in a long time. Originally referred to as Sentimental Touch in the ‘jazz world’, C-Sharp came together in December 2001 with core members, Aeion “Yaaka” Hoilett, Dwain “Wiya” Campbell and Ordean “Bingy” Francis.
Q: How did you guys meet and when was C-Sharp formed?
ANS: The group was formed in 2001 at the Edna Manley College of Visual and Performing Arts. Our Drummer “Randy” was added to the Band a few years after when our first drummer departed. Likewise after our first album “What A Day” our first lead singer parted ways with the group and Chevaughn became the new singer.
Q: What was your first gig and what was the experience like for each of you?
ANS. Our First gig was the wedding of a good friend. We had just started making a name and we really wanted to expand on our then small fan base so we offered to play free of cost. Very cool experience, many of the people present expresses how much they enjoyed the band.
Q: The band has backed quite a few people in concert in the past. Did that experience prepare you for going on your own as a featured group?
ANS. Backing so many people over the years has helped to mould and prepare us for this day as a featured Band. One of the experiences we gained from backing is the way the artiste got the full attention of the audience.
Q: How would you describe the style of reggae music you do?
ANS. We describe our style of Reggae as a fusion of Roots Reggae and other popular genres. So from time to time you will hear a song with a touch of Country seasoned with Reggae or Rock with Reggae.
Q: The single “What’s the Matter with the World” will be on the upcoming album is popular in parts of Africa. Has the band performed in Africa or have plans to go there on a tour?
ANS. We have performed in Africa on two occasions and would really love to visit again soon. In 2006 we did Africa Unite in Ghana Africa and then 2008 performed in Kenya.
Q: How were your receive in Africa?
ANS. The Response in Africa was awesome on both trips. ½ hour sets turned into 1 ½ hour sets. It felt like performing for fans home in Jamaica. After all we were on the motherland.
Q: Any planned tours this year?
ANS. We are still trying to secure some dates for 2010 but presently there are plans to be in Europe from January- February for 5 weeks. We are hoping to be in the South Pacific and West Coast USA after the Europe Tour.
Q: Who is the song writer in the group?
ANS. The songwriters in the group are Aeion, Lamont and Chevaughn.
Q: What are your thoughts on the direction reggae music is going?
ANS. Reggae Music over the years has been taking a positive move which we are happy about even though you have a few negatives involved. Looking on the positives in Recent years many new faces and names has been making their mark in the industry both on local and the international stage. We have seen many other artistes been able to make it to the international charts than some years ago. The industry has also been seeing more females’ artiste making a mark in Reggae, people like Queen Ifrika and Etana so it is not anymore a fully male dominated market. Recently there have been massive increases in the number of Reggae Band which are featured groups in the industry. Names like DUB TONIC KRU, Roots Underground, Raging Fyah and C-Sharp to name a few. It feels like a Reincarnation of the vibe of our musical forefathers, the Wailers, Third World, Black Uhuru and others.
Q: Bands are known to have their internal disputes and heated arguments. Who would you say is the “uniter” of the group and keeps everyone in harmony?
ANS. We all have developed a friendship over the years and consider ourselves brothers. That has taught us to argue and not fight, debate the issues with respect for each other views and most of all to listen to each other.
Q: Does the band have concerns about the sales of music worldwide?
ANS. Like all stakeholders in the Music industry we do have concerns about the sales of music worldwide but like all industry the music industry has to deal with modernization. With modernization comes changes and one of those changes that the music industry see is the exit of CD’s cassettes. With the advent of IPOD, mp3 players and other internet friendly gadgets more and more people will be going technology. We now have to find new ways to keep our music selling. So there is the film industry, gaming industry and other industries where we can sell our music or even lease the music. So we are very concerned but we think new opportunities will be showing themselves in the near future.
Q: Where do you see the band in 5 years from now?
ANS. Five years from now we are seeing two more albums maintaining high standards, some world tours, much larger fan base and performing in places where some of our musical father did not get to reach with their music.
Q: Thanks for the interview. Any final thoughts?
ANS. Thanks to all our fans, family and friends that have through the years supported us and Reggae Music in General. Look out for our new album coming in 2010. Continue supporting great Reggae Music and join us as we aim at changing the world through “Ground Breaking Music”
C-Sharp Band Member
Aeion “Yaaka” Hoilett …………….
Randevon “Randy Patrick……………Drummer/ Vocal
Lamont “Monty” Savory……………… Guitar Player/ Vocal
Dwain “Wiya” Campbell………………..Keyboard Player/Vocal
Chevaughn Clayton……………………… Lead Singer /Percussionist