‘Total Freedom’ hears the duo present a proper high-definition Soca track, inclusive of real carnival excitement, delivering that unmistakable euphoria that’s found precisely in T&T. “I’ve been working with Jesse for many years. He’s written for me in the past and he’s a good youth – always smiling, always positive,” said Jai. Rikki says collaborating with the younger artistes is important to him. “While many of the youths seem to think that the elders in the music business have not supported them over the years, I tend to disagree. Personally, I have produced many young artistes and I believe the most important thing we can do is pass on the knowledge we have gained over the many years.” A third track, “Soca Till I Die,” is also making the rounds in T&T – a song that makes Jai’s feelings for the genre, abundantly clear. The track was produced by KVG and Trini Baby.
Speaking on the business of music, the entertainer, who opened his Sheriff Street Restaurant and Lounge in Queens, New York, in April last year, said it must be understood that in music, the return on investment is never guaranteed. “A lot of us, while we may have a name out there, we have had some lean years. We do this full time – taking care of ourselves and our familes. The returns are not guaranteed with music. You can invest thousands of dollars and have no returns unless you have a hit song,” he explained. He noted that unless an artiste’s brand has solidified to the point of receiving global bookings consistently and brand endorsement deals, it is an uphill battle for artistes. He said because of this, it is very risky for even seasoned artistes to take new artistes under their wing. Rikki however said no matter what, he will always be supportive of the new creatives making their way into the industry.
On Saturday, January 13th, the artiste performed at Soca Love Story in Trinidad. The crowd loved him. An artiste of the people, the San Fernando native says he anticipates an enjoyable carnival season, saying it’s a necessary getaway for all the ‘Homesick’ Trini’s abroad, like him.