Junkanoo, for Dyson Knight, is a time of building – costumes and music, as well as self-esteem, confidence, friendships, and memories and the lack of Junkanoo parades this year has spawned his latest single “Give Me The Road” – to bring the magic of Junkanoo to Bahamians that needs it and everyone else that can use it.
“I believe that if there’s one thing that could save the emotional state of Bahamians as a whole, it would be Junkanoo. It is the most celebrated part of being Bahamian,” says Knight.
“Give Me The Road” is meant to cut through our present reality and create a realization that our parade is spiritual.”
He says the single reaches out to the people that treat Junkanoo as a lifestyle, as well as the hypnotic energy and seemingly inescapable grip Junkanoo has on the hearts of the people that love it.
“It speaks for those that embrace the cultural parades as a part of their being,” says Knight. “This is the song that travels a road where the pandemic has no power that can match that of cultural music.”
At the start of the pandemic-related lockdowns, Knight says he failed at maintaining his creative flow:
“My busy-bodied wife [Wendi] and her personality twin, our one-year-old daughter, Zenndarah, took up almost all of my energy. I could only work from home and Zenn made that next to impossible. Wendi’s day job was essential work so it was full-time daddy duty for me. I started staying up after bedtime to work on my ideas but that ended up draining me since bedtime in the house was around 1 a.m. I was a wreck. When we were taken off lockdown and put on curfew, my in-laws were able to tag in. This gave us a window to hit the studio and work on pending projects.
“‘Tamarind Riddim’ is one of them. Writing this song started as a protest. There was a good deal of lyrics that scream for freedom. I was going pretty deep too. Things like removing statues and breaking away from the queen were all in there. I realized that I was frustrated with pandemic life and my emotions were high so I took a step back. I found balance in understanding that everyone was doing the best they knew how to do, so I decided to focus the song on cultural and emotional freedom.”
Knight says with his new single he wants to remind people of their strength and their inner Junkanoo.
“There are people who became legendary through the soul of Junkanoo, like [the late] John ‘Chippie’ Chipman, whom I mention in the song.”
He says a sense of can-do, can succeed, can overcome is what he wants everyone to take away from “Give Me The Road.”