As we approach the Crop Over season, we will be featuring some of the best names in the industry. These articles will take an interview style format, with most of the responses coming from several different articles.
Name: Anderson Armstrong
Born: February 1st 1968
Secondary School Attended: The Lodge School
I’m sure our readers are dying to know. How did you get the nickname “Young Blood”?
“Young Blood was a name I got from the Mighty Gabby by accident. He could not remember my name when I first met with him and he wrote it on a cassette. At first I thought he had given me the wrong one but then I realized what he had done. I liked it and I used the name. Over time, people would just call me Blood and so today that is what I use on stage”. Taken from last.fm
So tell us about the early beginnings of your singing career.
Well when I was younger I used to sing in my primary school choir. Then as secondary school progressed I started singing in competitions from around 1983. It was this same year I entered and made the finals of the Richard Stoute Teen Talent Contest. I used my own material in this competition even though it was a risk because no one knew them. But it worked out really well despite that. Taken from last.fm
You mentioned that Gabby gave you the name Young Blood by accident. Tell us about your early relationship with him.
He was like a mentor to me. The same year I made it to the finals of Richard Stoute, I performed in Gabby’s first timers Calypso Contest. He was a real help to me in those early years and like I said, he was a great mentor. Taken from last.fm
From all these beginnings, singing in the school choir, Richard Stoute, Gabby’s Tent, how did you have your first real breakthrough as a calypsonian?
In 1984 when I was 16 Mac Fingal encouraged me to join The Untouchables Calypso Tent. This was so awesome because I was able to share the stage with the great RPB. It was so surreal. Here I was basically a kid, sharing a stage with the King of Calypso himself. Then when I thought things couldn’t get any more surreal, I became the youngest person ever to make the Pic-o-de-Crop finals at 17 years old. To be competing among the greats at such a young age was so incredible. Taken from last.fm
And what did you place in the finals?
5th. Gabby won the title that year. So from there, me and a good friend George Jones formed Square One in 1986 . And from there things really took off. We got a few more members and I was the lead vocals of the band until my good friend Alison Hinds joined in 1987 as a co-vocalist. Taken from last.fm and mtv.com
What was the experience being a part of one of the leading party bands in the Caribbean?
Words cannot describe it to be honest. We toured all sorts of countries: English Speaking, Spanish speaking, even French and Dutch speaking countries. We were named Hotel Band of the Year by the Musicians & Entertainers Guild of Barbados in 1988, 1989 and 1990. Having Alison there was great especially because she could sing songs in French, Portuguese and Caribbean Patois. Taken from last.fm and mtv.com
You have so many Career Highlights but can you pinpoint one that you would consider to be in your top 3 best moments?
Definitely when Square One travelled to South Africa to perform for the 2003 Cricket World Cup. That was amazing. Taken from last.fm
We know about Blood, the member of Square One. What about Blood the Solo Artist?
I was successful solo as well. I have been able to produce and record many solo tracks and albums including a Christmas Album. Taken from Caribbean Dreams Magazine
Most of our Bajan artistes get involved in the “background aspects” of music such as judging competitions and writing songs. What about you?
Well my “background aspect” coincides with one of my proudest achievements in life. I started my very own recording studio. The best part about doing this was watching it start from nothing and become one of the top studios in Barbados. So from being mentored by and looking up to some of the greatest calypsonians, I now have them coming into my studio to record tracks. Taken from last.fm
Okay Blood stop impressing us already!
I’ll try. I’ll try. [Laughs]
What about life outside of music?
As cliché as this seems, I also had a few acting gigs. I have performed in “T-Jean and his Brothers”, “Red Carnation”, “Going for Love”, “Sobie” and “Macbeth”. I’m also one of the Directors of SAYGE Theatre Company. Taken from Caribbean Dreams Magazine
I thought I said to stop impressing us! [Laughs]
I tried, i really did! [Laughs]
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