Anthony Michael Stanley Batson was born on August 14, 1994 and resides in the wonderful industrial community of Couva, Pt. Lisas. He begun signing when he was just 3 years old at preschool and music has always been an integral part of his life.
When he was just eight (8) years old he recounted that he heard a Sundar Popo’s song “Subhagie my Darling”and immediately fell in love with this interesting and intricate style of music. It was different to what he was accustomed to hearing at home. This was a door opening into a world of music, culture and religion which he further fell in love with.
Anand Yankaran, Sundar Popo, The Mighty Bomber, The Might Sparrow, Anup Jalota, Michael Jackson, Taylor Swift, Bob Marley and many many more local and international artist have definitely impacted upon his development,believes that the diversity of music makes him understand what love and humanity is about.
Junior Competitiveness & Redemption
The first competition he ever entered was a film song signing competition in 2010 at the Orange Valley Hindu Temple. He placed first (1st) with a rendition of Suhani Raat. Later that year he entered his school’s calypso monarch and placed second (2nd). He was then approached by his teachers to represent their School in the EMA Eco Sound Competition in the upcoming year (2011) in which he placed 5th.
He then entered the National Jr. Soca Monarch and placed 2nd.In 2011 he threw in his hat again at both his School’s Calypso Monarch and the EMA’s Eco Sound Competition and placed 1st. . This was his redemption year. He never gave up and felt compelled to continue striving for improvement and to learn all that he could about the artform.
In 2012, Anthony placed second (2nd) at the Mastana Bahar with a rendition of Sundar Popo’s Nanny and Nana and won the 2012 Schools National Carnival Chutney Soca Monarch Competition at the Queen’s Park Savannah.
He was then invited to performed at the Champs in Concert sharing this prestigious stage with Machel Montano, Aaron Duncan, Destra Garcia and Rikki Jai.
After three (3) years of competing at the Junior level and being very successful, Anthony felt that it was necessary to focus on music, song writing, hindi, religion and the local music industry. His focus on religion brought discipline and dedication in music and he even started a Ramayan Group in 2014.
Batson the Trinidadian:
On many occasions Anthony was asked about him being an Afro-Trinidadian, singing bhajans, east-indian songs and chutney music. He was even asked “do people look at you strangely because of the person you are, the way you dress, etc.?”. He responded that he sees himself as a human being first, a Trinidadian secondly, no east indian, no African, just a Trinidadian who loves music. He believes music can unite people, erase racial barriers and encourage love.
In 2015 Anthony began performing more frequently in Trinidad. He was gaining more experience playing the harmonium, dholak and keyboard. He also formed a traditional chutney group, while maintaining and performing with his ramayan group. It was the best of both worlds for him, youthful muscians in both groups and getting to do what is dearest to his heart.
Later on in 2015 past Junior competitors/rivals became friends in the music industry. Producers started hearing about him and more opportunities began knocking on his doors. A group called Trendsetterz was formed, and Anthony was asked to join to which he obliged. He saw it as an opportunity to work with a team, enhance his performances and network with leading radio stations, promoters and other local artiest.
In 2016 Anthony, through the guidance of the late Anand Yankaran, re-recorded a modern version of Mr. Yankaran’s song Nanadyaa. However 2016 was a busy year for Anthony, where he performed at numerous events, including the 106.1fm Sangeet Roadshow, 103.1 fm Curry Duck Competition which saw attendance from over 10,000 people, several boat cruises and charitable events.
- Anthony also performed at several Divali functions in Trinidad in 2016, including the Divali Nagaar at both the Main Stage and at the 103.1fm Nagaar Tent where he sang a medley of various traditional bhajans.
In December 2016 Anthony continued performing at various Christmas Treats, Toy Drives and other Christmas Events. Having been blessed with so much opportunities and experienced so much growth, personally and musically, Anthony was inspired to compose his first traditioanl chutney song.
Anthony wrote Sundar Ladki in December 2016 and it was recorded and released in the first week of January 2017.
The future promises to be a more eventful one with his eyes set on composing and recording more; international and local performances and sharing beautiful songs.
Author- Sangeeta Harrypersad- D’Songstar