Gavin Mendonca will make you ‘twist and shout’ with “Creole Rock”
Through his music, Gavin Mendonca proves that one of his most invaluable treasures is his voice; a voice that is fashioned for Rock ‘N’ Roll while unashamedly displaying the nuances of the Guyanese accent.
Mendonca makes it pellucid that he is very proud of his “Guyanese-ness” and is enamored by any opportunity he is presented with to exhibit his talents.
Born on Christmas Eve, in 1991, the Punk Rock lover related that he had a very peaceful upbringing with a love for video games.
He noted however that he first recognized his talent and love for music when he picked up the guitar after high school, at age 17. The former student of Bishops’ High School said that he started teaching himself to play his favourite songs by using the many lessons and techniques that are available on the internet.
In 2011, the self-taught guitarist joined the local Heavy Metal band, “Feed The Flames” (FTF) which introduced him to the Bass Guitar, and a whole new realm of Guitar playing and techniques.
Mendonca notes that being in FTF has contributed significantly to the impressive skills he can now display on the guitar. He noted, too, that he also took up Music Theory and would write the exam every year.
The music lover is currently at Grade 5. Mendonca also started recording and producing music in 2015. But even though he is a two-time graduate of the University of Guyana with a Diploma in Computer Science and an Associate’s Degree in Chemistry, the “Creole Rocker” maintains that he will continue to follow his dreams of becoming a notable artiste beyond Guyana’s shores. Here is an in-depth look at his interview with the News Room.
News Room (NR): What are two misconceptions about you?
Gavin Mendonca (GM) Hmmm … Well, contrary to the expectations of being a recognized Musician, I am very shy when not in front of a microphone. I am also an introvert, with a case of social awkwardness at times.
NR: Which of your musical accomplishments are you most proud of?
GM: Performing in Suriname and Trinidad (multiple times) and of course – releasing my debut album ‘Creole Rock: The Beginning’ through Kross Kolor Records in April, 2016.
NR: What genre/s of music do you enjoy exploring?
GM: Heavy Metal and Punk Rock is what I live for. I also like to play Jazz and Folk.
NR: What are some of your latest tracks and where can we find your music?
GM: Some of my recent tracks are my Creole Rock versions of ‘Not A Blade Ah Grass’, ‘Small Days’ and my original piece – ‘The Great Rebellion’. My album is currently on sale for $1,500 at Zoon, Chetson’s, Howard’s Restaurant and Kross Kolor Records. My music can also be found on Facebook, Youtube, Soundcloud, CDBaby, etc.
NR: What disappoints you the most about Guyana’s music industry?
GM: The lack of support for the budding Guyanese artistes and the lack of Guyanese Content on ‘Guyanese’ Radio, although there has been a significant increase of both during the Jubilee Season. Also, there is no system in place for a Guyanese to earn money from his/her songs being played on the radio, or being used at public events or in commercials, i.e, the lack of enforcement of Copyright Laws.
NR: What is your current job?
GM: I am a full time Musician. I also am an independent Radio Broadcaster, producing my own show – Radio Rock n’ Roll.
- What are five weird facts about you?
GM: 1/ I use the Law of Attraction to manifest just about everything I’ve accomplished so far, and will accomplish in the future.
2/ I am Married. Yep. Happily Married
3/ My beard turns red after is gets to a certain length.
4/ I still watch wrestling, and cartoons.
5/ I’m an awesome dancer, but I RARELY dance in public.
NR: What or who influences your style and taste in music?
GM: Eddy Grant, Dave Martins, Kurt Cobain (of Nirvana)
NR: What inspires the lyrical content of your music?
GM: That would have to be my love for my Guyanese Culture and the Punk Rock way of Life, i.e., live life to the fullest and chase your dreams in the most positive manner.
NR: Do you think male artistes in Guyana rely too much on mimicking others musical identities instead of creating and developing their own personality and sound as an entertainer?
GM: Sad to say, I do. Guyana is heavily influenced by American and Jamaican influences. Some people, as soon as they approach a mike, they lose their Guyanese voice and deliver their words with a foreign accent. I personally believe that my Guyanese voice is the most unique in the world. I am very proud of this treasure and I will always use it when representing my creativity. No offence to anyone reading this or who sings/raps without their Guyanese accent. Do what you believe is the right thing to do for yourself.
NR: What projects are you working on?
GM: I’m the bassist of local Heavy Metal Band – FEED THE FLAMES. We’re going to Trinidad in July to perform for the first time. We’re also currently working on our first studio album. I’m also working on my radio show, Radio Rock n’ Roll, which I want to be a platform for Rock Music in this part of the world. The Caribbean Rock Scene is on the rise. I’m also working on more solo music with Kross Kolor Records. I am also a member of the Unity Ambassadors. We aim to unite Guyana, and the world through Music.
NR: What separates you from other local male singers?
GM: I’m a Punk Rocker. I live a completely difference lifestyle – that of Rock n’ Roll. I compose (and record) all of my music myself, Lyrics, Guitars, Bass, Drums, Keys … everything. I hate relying on ‘backing tracks’ to perform … I prefer performing with my live band.
NR: Who is your favourite local artiste if you have one and why?
Dave Martins because of his unique sound, originality and humour. I also admire the Yoruba Singers. Eze Rockcliffe, the leader of the band, is a role model to me.
NR: What is one of your hidden talents?
GM: The ability to influence my surroundings. I am a very positive individual. I have no room for negative energy in this vessel I call my body. Weird stuff, I know. But I believe we all have the power to make the world a better place, and it all starts within ourselves. Find Peace within, and manifest Peace around you.
NR: What do you feel most proud of in your career thus far?
GM: My album, Creole Rock: The Beginning, which was released on April 16, 2016.
NR: To give us a little insight to the kind of person you are kindly answer this; if you could only keep five possessions, what would they be?
GM: 1. My Wife. Although she is not one of my ‘possessions’, she is her own person and I never want to be without her. She alone would do, but to list the other four:
- My Guitars
- My Passport. I want to travel the world.
- A copy of my Album, to remind myself that I have accomplished my dream of releasing my own Music.
- A keychain that says ‘Legalize The Herb’. Cause that’s why.