|Anguilla Life, Spring 2001
The popular 1988 Calypso King of Anguilla is the father of two lovely daughters, Cassandra age 10 and Lilly, age 3. He has his own band, Reggae Vision, which plays some gigs in winter but goes full blast in summer with three to four gigs a week all over the northeast, Boston, Springfield, Northampton, Cape Cod in Massachusetts, Hampton Beach, New Hampshire and Maine. Expanding his musical talents, Flakes has become a prolific songwriter, composer, lyricist and arranger.
Livingstone was born in St. Kitts on Apri119, 1959 (he says he still feels like he's 24 though) and raised in Sandy Point. At 19, he moved to Anguilla, his parent's birthplace where he became a popular calypsonian known for his wit and style as well as Master of Ceremonies for many touring acts including Third World. In the U.S. and St. Kitts his fans and friends know him as Gillie, a name which goes back to his days playing West Indian football and cricket. He played with Mentos and New Horizons before founding Reggae Vision in 1996.
Small Island Rasta, his second CD released in cooperation with Peppercorn Music, came out in August 2000. Eighteen tracks "transform his love of the land, deep roots in the mountains and fields of St. Kitts and soul connection to the land, pure beaches and crystal seas of Anguilla into music, rhythm and voice". Flakes handles the vocals and plays guitar while the musicians from Poolside Studios back him up on bass, keyboards and drums. The track, Tiny Island, speaking to an island man or even a tourist far from home, was #1 on MP3's Caribbean Chart.
MP3 by the way is a digital source of music on the Internet which enables artists and listeners all over the world to connect. Musicians publish their work through MP3 and there are over 150,000 artists and more than a million songs available. Listeners can go to the website: www.mp3.com, download a free MP3 player to their computer and listen to music, which is divided into many categories or genres, Each has its own chart that lists the songs by the number of times they are played every day.
Reggae Believer was released in 1997, while Dayz In The Sun and Distant Runner both came out on MP3 this year. Reflections, One Way Street and Lesson In Life are current projects whose songs are being released on MP3 although the CD's are not yet available. The song, Take Me To The Islands (from Don't Give Up) was #1 on MP3's Caribbean Chart in March and April this year. This album also includes the Lighthouse, inspired by working at Sombrero, guiding people safely through the storm which also translates nicely into helping each other pass safely through dangerous waters.
To catch up with Flakes check out his website: www.reggaevision.com and listen to his music on www.mp3.com/reggaevision. CD's are not available in Anguilla but can be ordered through links on the first site. Small Island Rasta ($10) and Reggae Believer ($8) are also available through www.Cdbaby.com as well asAmazon.com. The others may be ordered through www.mp3 for $10 plus shipping and handling.