By Michael Mondezie
By now Mical Teja Williams must have well and truly been a household name across the Caribbean.
As you read this, Teja is the person with the most popular pen in soca music. He has written monster hits for Machel Montano (Pleased Papi), Patrice Roberts (Drink Water and Mind Yuh Business) and Viking Ding Dong (We Outside and Hornin’ First), amongst others.
Teja has also undoubtedly put out prime quality soca music of his own in the shape of the inspirational and aspirational ‘Self Approval’ in 2018 and most recently the remake of Shadow’s (Winston Bailey) ‘Dingolay’ with Nailah Blackman.
So, why isn’t his name mentioned among the many genre’s elite? Why is he still only vaguely familiar to fans? Teja says making the step up starts with a greater personal understanding of himself as an artiste.
‘The transition for me has been an extended journey, one stuffed with ups and downs, I feel like I’m now understanding myself as an artiste as well,’ an earnest Teja told the Kitcharee on Friday morning.
Currently in Tobago to perform for the sister isle’s debut Carnival, he reckons its only a matter of time for him to have a big breakthrough, once he continues to trust the method.
‘I do strongly imagine in trusting the method,’ he echoed.
‘And likewise doing things otherwise. Hence the explanation I release different genres of music while still representing Trinbagonian culture,’ he continued.
There isn’t a secret formula to writing a success song, Teja maintains. Humility and exertions go an extended strategy to getting a refined product, he added.
‘Truthfully, there’s no secret! I say my prayers, keep grounded and work hard,’ he said.
Collaborations Create Hits
Music-making is a collaborative effort, Teja maintains. Understanding that creativity can’t be owned by anybody person is a freeing concept, he added.
While many music creators are eccentric at best and at times superstitious with their creative processes, Teja says he goes the other way and frees the caged creative bird.
‘I’m not defensive of something that’s not truly mine. Creative energy is something universal, it’s meant to be shared and experienced together with others. That’s mainly why most hits under any genre of music is a collaborative effort,’ he nodded with conviction.
His latest solo project, ‘Hall of Fame’, is already making a stir. Teja pays tribute to the soca stars of yesteryear on the self-produced track. He sings: Search for we Madness David Rudder say Search for we Straight off in de people place Search for we Real gyal and is just waist Search for we By the top dey go put we name In de Hall of Fame ‘For me, is a cultural piece that shares each how passionate I’m about culture and the art form in addition to paying homage to those who got here before,’ he said thoughtfully.
The song can also be an instructive and academic piece of music that young fans can learn from as he wants ‘listeners to feel how wealthy our culture is each musically and visually, which I believe is going on with the amazing feedback of the song and music video’.
Teja plans to debut the song this weekend at Tobago Carnival and says being an element of the history-making first official Carnival on the sister isle is ‘truly a blessing’.
‘I even have been given the chance to perform at some events for Tobago Carnival 2022 and it truly is a blessing to be within the sister isle representing our culture,’ he summated.
As for his Carnival 2023 plans? Teja says the mission stays the identical: ‘make great music’.
‘My plans for Carnival is to make great music. As cliche as it could sound. I would like people to feel the music of their soul, feel the spirit of Carnival not only from an enjoyment perspective, but additionally to have an understanding of what it represents, which is having the liberty to be,’ he concluded.