Now a days with such a large online social network, it has become very easy, for musicians especially, to promote their music and build their own fanbase. And that is exactly what new band, Cover Drive did.
The quartet from Barbados, began by uploading covers of their favourite songs onto youtube after the encouragement from drummer, T’Rays mother (Who has now become their manager.) The covers received a lot of views and the band began to create an enormous online fanbase and eventually got the recognition they needed to be signed.
The band have described their sound as “cari/pop, sunshiney and feel good” and debut single ‘Lick Ya Down’ captured that feel good factor perfectly.
They released their single in August and it reached the top 10 in the UK singles chart. Lead singer of the band Manda said: “It was a great moment, we didn’t expect it at all. We thank everyone who bought the record. We were so shocked because Ed Sheeran released the same day so we were checking the updates all the time. To be in the top ten with such amazing artists is great, we were honoured.”
Initially there was a lot of confusion over the name of the track leading to a definition having to be added to the start of their video. The band were keen to explain how the name came about. “In Barbados we have a lot of our own little phrases and ‘lick ya down’ is one of them. It only means one thing. It means ‘knock you down’. Or you can use it as a threat like ‘man i would lick ya down’
Despite being a mainstream pop band, they are one of the few artists of that particular genre to be heavily involved in the making of their music. “We are very involved, we wrote most of our album and it’s very important to us that we’re involved in the process as much as we possibly can be.” The band also each play their own instruments.
Since debuting in the UK, Cover Drive have been compared to the likes of The Black Eyed Peas. “We love the Black Eyed Peas and especially their Elephunk album, it’s a major influence. We love No Doubt as well and their Rock Steady album.
Another major influence on the band is fellow bajan, Rihanna who they recently supported back home in Barbados. They described this to be the best 20 minutes of their lives and one of their highlights so far as a band.
However they said everything that has happened has seemed like a highlight: “When the fed-ex man came with the contract, highlight. When we recorded our album, highlight. When we were in LA, highlight. Shooting the video, highlight. Rhianna, highlight. Song on the radio, highlight”
For fans to keep up with Cover Drive they have began, like many bands now, to do weekly videos on their website or on youtube. Theirs is called Weekend Lime. “One of the things in Barbados is that we always have limes, which are hang outs or just relaxing and chilling. So this was kind of sharing a bit of our culture with our fans and hanging out with them without actually being there.”
Also on the website is a mixtape for fans to download. It contains a little snippet of their next single “Twilight” which is to be released very soon.
Their highly- anticipated album “Bajan Style” will also be released towards the end of the year.
Cover Drive are a perfect example of how hard work and putting yourself out there through the wonders that are Youtube, Facebook and Twitter can get you massive success. Although everyone has their own taste when it comes to music, I think Cover Drive could fit in anywhere. Their sound is Caribbean enough and pop enough to be completely unique. They are sure to continue to win over more fans with their feel good music and through being genuinely nice people. Everyone should give them a listen
By Natasha Reid
Photo by Daren Borzynski