Shane “Rizon” Gibson’s Trinbago: His music. His culture. His experience.
by Lou-Ann Jordan Apr 15, 2019
Trinbagonian culture should not be restricted to one event. As a twin-island, multi-ethnic state it is a composite of experiences. One such experience is its inspirational and gospel identity.
In 2006, the rousing harmonies of Shane “Rizon” Gibson flooded Trinidad and Tobago’s airwaves. Bursting on to the scene with his inspirational hit, Reach, Rizon inspired thousands to pursue their dreams relentlessly.
The Belmont native’s music classifies as both Caribbean inspirational and Caribbean gospel. And indeed, the didactic lyrics of songs like No Entry, Preserve, Making Decisions and Whole Day reflects this.
With his third album in production, this artiste’s music continues to inspire and challenge his audience. However, in addition to hard-hitting and catchy lyrics, Rizon’s beats are dynamic; amalgamating genres. Despite the merging of styles, there is an element of Rizon’s songs that is unmistakeably, Trinbagonian.
Well, the son-of-the-soil crooner chatted with Yello disclosing a bit more about his musical journey. Keeping things light, he also clued us in on some of his favourite things about his homeland.
How long have you been singing gospel?
November of this year marks 13 years. That is 13 years of me singing professionally.
An album is often a reflection of a current life view, what is your most recent album expressing?
Well, my last album release was in 2015, but the album I am currently working on centres on identity and faith. Singles released so far from this upcoming project are “Never Too Late,” “Who Got This,” and “Act Like You Know.”
Life can be hard, yet one’s view of God and one’s view on self can change everything.
As a musician who or what inspires you?
My musical diet is broad and deep. I tend to find inspiration from all forms of music and life experiences.
What advice would you give to young upcoming gospel artistes?
Talent can take you far, far away from God. That is if you’re not anchored in the Word and the practice of spiritual transparency and accountability.
What song do you currently have on replay?
Honestly, it’s Act Like You know. Yes, it’s my song, but it does minister to me on a deeper level.
In what ways is Trinbagonian culture reflected in your music?
Trinbagonian culture is reflected in the rhythms, melodies, accent, and definitely in the vernacular I use.
Describe your Trinidad and Tobago in three words.
Happy, resilient, innovative.
What is your ‘go-to’ local saying?
“Crapaud smoke yuh pipe.” It means: “You’re in big trouble.”
What is your favourite traditional dish?
It’s no contest—Roti or buss-up-shut.
What Trinbagonian tradition do you most enjoy and why?
It is playing all-fours. For those who may not know, it’s a card game. It’s full of excitement, and the ‘picong’ makes it even more entertaining.
Where would you recommend as a ‘must go’ to a first-time visitor to Trinidad and Tobago?
Tobago’s Nylon Pool.