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New energy from 3canal: Rapso group leads a new generation - Trinidad and Tobago Newsday

Out of the darkness of the pandemic, rapso group 3canal has emerged with a view to the future, not only that of the band, but of the artform, collaborating with a younger generation.

“There’s a fresh fire in the camp because of the number of people we’ve collaborated with. That’s a first for us, working with so many different artistes, producers and songwriters,” said band member Wendell Manwarren.

He said the collaborations were not at all planned as he and the other members, Roger Roberts and Stanton Kewley, had written many songs during “the lockdown.” But, he said, for some reason, this Carnival season, many people reached out to them.

The result was eight new songs recorded for the season with six of them being collaborations.

Manwarren said 3canal has always engaged in succession planning without being overly academic about it, making it part of the work and the process. This season, that planning came back to roost as most of the people they worked with had some kind of connection with the band.

He explained that the first track was Clear the Way by Carlysle “Juiceman” Roberts, musical director and leader of D' All Stars Band. He said they were flattered that All Stars had a song ready-made for them and it “had vibes.”

When the band members went to the studio, the producer of the track thanked them for giving him his first opportunity on stage, way back when 3canal had a space in Longden Street, Arima.

“You just never know. We just made that little space, never thought about it, but that stuck with him and all these years later he was able to say, ‘I have a song for yuh.’”

One of the producers, Nicholai “Chaz” Chasseau, 22, was Manwarren’s nephew who started sending him beats during the pandemic. They decided to explore this new development, worked on the beats, and created Santimanitay.

[caption id="attachment_998299" align="alignnone" width="690"] 3Canal's Wendell Manwarren at the band's base in Woodbrook. - SUREASH CHOLAI[/caption]

3canal also collaborated with local dancehall artiste Rheon Elbourne, on the track Try Yuh Best. Elbourne used to be part of the band’s pre-show years ago.

“He has developed into an artiste on his own and he always had the intention of working with us. He said, ‘I have the song for you this year.’ He brought the song and played it, and everybody say, ‘That song bad!’ Of course we doing it.”

Songwriter and producer Jason “Shaft” Bishop, another friend from the Longden Street days, sent them a track, which they later named Kinds of the Jouvay. The song features Devon “Dev” Harris who, like 3canal, brings out a J’Ouvert band.

He said one of his favourite collaborations was Warzone with Joshua “De Pan Man” Regrello as he knew Regrello’s parents before he was born. His other favourite was Look We With The Band with The Brothers. The duo, Mogabi and Shermarke Thomas, were graduates of 3canal’s Backyard Jam series and were mentored by the band through The Tallman Foundation.

There was also a collaboration with Nickolai "Gyazette" Salcedo on Black Pierrot

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