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The home of music journalist Nicholas Jennings, author of Lightfoot, the definitive new Gordon Lightfoot biography from Penguin Random House.

Drew Gonsalves: Calypso's Crown Prince

Drew Gonsalves
On a wintery night at Toronto’s plush Koerner Hall, inside the city’s stately Royal Conservatory of Music, two generations of calypso stars are busy heating up the audience. Onstage in the foreground is the reigning queen, Trinidad & Tobago’s Calypso Rose. Just behind her is the crown prince, Drew Gonsalves, whose Canadian band Kobo Town has opened the show and is now backing the headliner. As the cheeky Rose sings and shimmies through her set to the crowd’s delight, the bearded, bespectacled, guitar-strumming Gonsalves is visibly beaming: he co-wrote and arranged many of the songs Rose is performing, all taken from her award-winning comeback album, Far From Home . And now he and the sep...
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Feature Article: Kobo Town and the roots of calypso

Feature Article: Kobo Town and the roots of calypso
Drew Gonsalves laughs about how he had to leave Trinidad to discover the rich calypso tradition of his birthplace. As a teenager, he was far more interested in rock and heavy metal music than the songs of Roaring Lion or the Mighty Sparrow. The legendary Lord Kitchener even lived up the street from his family home in Diego Martin, a suburb of Port-of-Spain, but he remained unimpressed. “I was very typical of a middle-class Trinidadian boy in that I had a taste for all things foreign,” admits Gonsalves, “which is something that (novelist) V.S. Naipaul wrote so scathingly about in the 1960s. Calypso was always in the air, but I just wasn’t interested.” That all changed when Gonsalves’ mother, ...
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