Vincentian musician releases CD on new airport

Vincentian musician Oscar James, a singer, song writer and player of several musical instruments, has released a new CD on the Argyle International Airport, saying that air accessibility is “vital for Vincentians and foreigners who want to visit St. Vincent and the Grenadines.”

“I wrote this song, “Argyle International Airport,” because it is presently being built in St. Vincent and the Grenadines,” the Brooklyn resident told Caribbean Life in an exclusive interview.

“Air accessibility at Argyle International Airport will create employment for vendors, taxi men, hoteliers, artisans, plumbers, cleaners, bag handlers, tarmac traffickers and many others,” he added.

“By creating employment, it helps to grow the economy,” James continued. “When the economy grows, the government has an easy opportunity of obtaining loans from the IMF (Washington-based International Monetary Fund)/World Bank to do projects like housing, roads, hospitals, schools and improving the medical system.

“The advancement of any country depends heavily on air accessibility to move products quickly to and from different destinations,” he said.

The lyrics of “Argyle International Airport” say in part: “Dedication and desperation, nationals made their contributions/Eliminating our frustration from our neighboring islands/Their taxes so high we want to cry/ Cuba, Taiwan and Venezuela, Mexico, Trinidad and Tobago/Embracing our commitment/Witnessing our achievement/They are life savers/When we need good neighbors.

Chorus: “Argyle International Airport we flying/Argyle International Airport we landing/Argyle international airport we progressing/St. Vincent and the Grenadines it’s a blessing.”

“I am very optimistic about this song,” James said. “This is the right time to pen lyrics to this title. The lyrics are marketable and have lasting historical effects.

“Listening to this song reveals the numerous contributors who helped this project [Argyle International Airport] to come to fruition – from the project manager, financiers, engineers, architects, builders and labors.”

James described the song’s musical accompaniment as “scintillating, with powerful bass lines and strong horns.”

His musical career began in the early 1970s when he became one of the founding members of the Georgetown, St. Vincent and the Grenadines-based Affetuosos.

During his stint with Affetuosos, James said he wrote and recorded several songs that helped the band’s catapult into mainstream Vincentian musical circles.

After migrating to New York in 1980, James said he waited five years before recording his first soca hit, “Fun Time Again,” on Granville Straker’s label.

But two years later, he left Straker’s, starting his own and current label, KOJ Productions.

In the 1980s, James said he “contributed lots” of soca music and recordings for VincyMas, the national carnival.

He said his crowning moment came in 1989 when he performed alongside Calypso Rose, the undisputed Calypso Queen of the World, in Liberia.

In Liberia, James said he and Rose “did two performances” – at the Ducor Palace and Africa House.

James said his Katrina album, released in 1992, in both in Spanish and English, became an instant hit in Cartagena, Colombia.

At the time, he said Musica del Caribe asked him to perform his song to more than 20,000 fans in Cartegena.

James complimented Caribbean musical arranger extraordinaire, New York-based, Vincentian-born Frankie McIntosh, for “being there” for him in his myriad recordings over the years.

He also thanked Leslie Milliner, and radio personalities and journalists for coverage of his music, as well as “my many fans for their support.”

The “Argyle International Airport” CD can be purchased at cdbaby.com/cd/oscarjamesandtheravers.

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