Caribbean Vibes: A Chat with the Multitalented Geffen “Woo Master 3000” Gerrald
by Lou-Ann Jordan Jun 6, 2022
As Caribbean people, we share many things.
We share traditions, folklore, dance, art and music. Some islands are known for specific types of music. However, no genre is found exclusively on any particular island. That’s the beauty of being from the Caribbean.
Here, we have access to a vast pool of experiences, customs and art forms from which we can choose. Our artists often decide which music styles to blend, making them relevant to their specific experiences.
They artfully infuse them with their island’s culture and, in doing so, create something very unique. Geffen “Woo Master 3000” Gerrald is one of the region’s talented performing artists who, by fusing soca and dancehall, produce music with a distinctive Montserratian vibe.
As we continue in our Caribbean Vibes series to showcase the exceptional talent of our regional performers, we turn our focus to Woo Master 3000. Yello chatted with the versatile artist, who hails from the Emerald Isle of the Caribbean, the beautiful island of Montserrat.
A seasoned jack-of-all-trades in the entertainment industry, Woo Master 3000 capably juggles the roles of soca artiste, music producer and songwriter. Read on to learn what the artiste has to say about his distinctive style, life lessons and dreams.
At what age did you begin singing?
I began at 20.
What drew you to the entertainment industry as a whole and soca specifically?
My dad was a DJ, so that’s where the love of entertaining an audience started. Then I wanted to create music. Soca and dancehall were my vibe.
What’s the story behind your moniker?
I’ve always been called ‘Woo’ because my peers say I have a way with words. However, the moniker Woo Master 3000 was given to me by Yxng Rebel, one of the artists I work with.
The title rhythmic experimentalist is an interesting one. What meaning does it hold for you?
It’s someone who isn’t afraid to experiment with sounds. Whether you’re constructing a rhythm, arranging, mixing, or writing a song, the way you express yourself shouldn’t be defined by the genre of music. Never be afraid to experiment!
What helps you to decide upon which rhythm to record your vocals?
Usually, the rhythm has to speak to me.
Do you write your songs?
Yes, I do.
What guides your decision when choosing to collaborate with another artiste?
I look for chemistry and the talent’s ability to add to the project.
What is one thing you listen for when listening to a new recording?
I pay attention to how well the vocals and the music blend together.
As a soca artiste, what is distinctive about your style?
My style is a hybrid of dancehall and soca. It’s the ability to traverse between those two styles and deliver that makes me distinctive.
What do you most enjoy about being a performer?
I enjoy the freedom to express myself how I see fit on any platform.
In your body of works, which song proved to be the greatest challenge in the early stages but produced remarkable results?
In 2014, penning my first Soca project, ‘Slow Wine’, was my greatest challenge. I had previously only written Dancehall and Rap songs, so the transition was a bit tedious at first. After a week of struggling, I found my Soca legs, and the song went on to win me my first Soca Monarch crown that very same year.
Past or present, is there anyone you would like to work alongside, and why?
Arrow! He was a soca legend who was also Montserratian.
Who or what inspires you?
I’m inspired by possessing the ability to create a sound that people respond to well.
What is one fundamental lesson you’ve learned during your career as a ‘performer’, and who taught it to you?
Tian Winter once told me something before my first Soca Monarch triumph, “When me go pon di stage, me tell meself me a done everything!” That’s my mantra.
Where is one place in the region you would like to perform and why?
There are two. I would love to perform in Trinidad and Jamaica. I feel like they are the meccas for soca and dancehall, respectively.
What major goal would you like to accomplish as a performer?
I want to tour the major cities around the world and experience how different cultures embrace music and performers.
What is something about your personality that may surprise people who do not know you?
People would be surprised to know that outside of music, I’m a shy person.
What song do you currently have on replay?
My music, lol. Seriously, though, I’ve been listening to Etana & Vybz Kartel’s – Baby-O.
In what projects are you currently engaged?
I’m currently working on a song and music video project with the OECS Commission called ‘More Than Just Islands’. The project focuses on tackling ocean pollution in the region. I’m also working on two solo ventures, ‘Bad!’ and ‘Come a Me Yard’, with the music videos slated for release soon.