Sunday 21st january 2007


Nicole De Coteau

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By Camille Bethel

Blue Ventures’ female vocalist Nicole De Coteau is looking forward to a hectic Carnival 2007.

According to De Coteau, banker by day and singer by night, her groovy soca track Take Ah Break, which has been riding the airwaves of Caribbean Tempo 105 and Power 102 FM, is one with a difference as it seeks to support men and not bash them.

“It is an uplifting song which is acknowledging the good and hard working men in today’s society by recognising their efforts in taking care of their families,” she said in a recent interview.

De Coteau got the song last year from her cousin Sylvan Mortimor Price a producer and song-writer based in Canada, while there working with him on completing his album.

“While there, we did a number of collaborations, but when I heard Take Ah Break, I told him, ‘I’m taking that song back to Trinidad,’ he laughed, but agreed.”

When she returned to T&T, she set to work on having the arrangement for

the song done as well as redoing the lead vocals.

“The arrangement was done at Cisum studio and I redid the lead vocals at Ken Hutchinson KHB studio’s in St Joseph to give it more of a Trini flavour,” she said.

The Diamond Vale Diego Martin beauty started singing professionally in 1990 with the Lydians, but her love for singing goes way back to secondary school, she said.

“I have always loved singing and so have been singing all my life. I was known as the Woodbrook song bird at Woodbrook Secondary where I was involved in the school choir,” she said proudly.

In 1997, after placing third at the Song Festival that she was approached by the band Kalyan to join them as their only female vocalist.

Her love for singing later prompted her to do vocal training with Lorna Myers in 2005.

“Anthony Johnson who I sang with for song festival knew the bassist for Kalyan, who told him they wanted a female vocalist for the band. Anthony put him on to me, I did an audition and that was it.”

From 1997 to 2003 De Coteau had the opportunity to do several genres of music including soca, pop and disco, soul, reggae and jazz.

After leaving Kalyan in 2003, De Coteau started focusing on her writing.

“I was always involved in writing poetry so I started dabbling in song-writing, but what I always wanted to do was a pan song. So in 2003, I started working on some original stuff and I came up with a nice song called Pan Take Over.”

The song, she said, was produced by a Buff who was very impressed with the structure of the song.

“He told me I had the potential to give Boogsie some trouble,” she said with

a laugh.

But being out of a band for some time, De Coteau longed for the stage. Then, one day in 2005, while at work her phone rang.

“It was Bobby Frank, the owner of Blue Ventures, on the other end of the line. He was looking for another female lead vocalist. I met with him for discussions, had my audition and that was it. I made the band. It has been two years since I’ve been with Blue Ventures and I am enjoying it.”

De Coteau is hopeful that the public embraces Take Ah Break especially the men and hopes that it picks up some more air play during the carnival season. She is also hoping to participate in the Groovey Soca competition this year as a solo artiste.

“I didn’t bother to fight up to get into a tent I’m taking it easy this year, but I will resubmit my song from last year called Lost Paradise.”

T&T, she said, can also look forward to a video for Take Ah Break before the end of the Carnival season.

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