Cocoa Tea to Release Obama Tribute Album
By Roland Henry, Observer staff reporter
Kingston, JA – Following his recent Barack Obama media blitz, veteran crooner Calvin ‘Cocoa Tea’ Scott is set to record an album inspired by the US Democratic Party presidential hopeful.
“Me have a new album which me a go put out and it a go name Barack Obama,” the Rastaman tells Splash during a visit to the Observer on Tuesday [Mar. 19]. Dressed in a black T-shirt, jeans, brown shoes with his locks bundled under a knitted tam, Cocoa Tea, who recently released Reggae Anthology: The Sweet Sounds Of Cocoa Tea, adds that the follow-up project is expected to hit the streets by August.
‘Right now, I’m in the process of mixing all these songs. I would like to finish the album before the Democratic convention, so that hopefully I can get the opportunity to perform there,” said the artiste. The track entitled “Barack Obama” was recorded three weeks ago and was last week featured on CNN, and reported by mega news leaders such as The New York Times, Washington Post and The Associated Press.
“I didn’t imagine it would a get so big,” Cocoa Tea admits. And though he professes Rastafari, a religion known for its stance against western politics, he maintains that it’s nothing political but rather about Obama’s message of change. “I never say Hillary (Clinton) because the message that Barack Obama is bringing resonates among black, white, old and young, it’s not about him being a black man. I just can identify with him message.”
Cocoa Tea further endorses Obama by adding “Me love seh him a preach withdrawing of the soldiers from Iraq. and that him a go bring change to Washington.”
Though Cocoa Tea’s track has received the most mileage of all the Obama-endorsing songs, which includes one from Calypso King the Mighty Sparrow, other industry A-listers, like media mogul Oprah Winfrey and comedian Chris Rock, are also a part of Team Obama. “Me can see why Oprah endorse him. Him trying to make people see a better life, and me haffi highlight that,” says Coco Tea.
“I feel honoured to know that people appreciate me because I have the ability to put my thoughts on Obama into words and riddim,” he adds.
Still sounding overwhelmed by the fact that “millions of people listened to [his] track on CNN,” Cocoa Tea continues, “usually people in [the White House] probably no used to reggae music, under normal circumstances we wouldn’t get this kind of exposure.” The “exposure,” Cocoa Tea believes, ought not to go unnoticed. “The government needs to acknowledge it when these things happen because this can help to build our tourism product,” Cocoa Tea says. “This is a big thing for reggae music, it mean that Washington is listening and that’s no joke business.”
He is also somewhat disgruntled that the American media put the song under the spotlight before the local players. “We as artistes are not getting the recognition we suppose to get, it takes a CNN to cough before anything can gwaan yah so,” adds Cocoa Tea, sounding mildly irritated.
Connecting to ‘Yes We Can’ aside, Cocoa Tea is not worried about the flak he’s already receiving about choosing to share his political affiliation to a foreign senator, while seemingly apathetic to the concerns of ‘yard’.
“We haffi concern ’bout waah gwaan up deh, because what go on there directly affect us here. You have a lot of Jamaicans out ya weh want visa,” Cocoa Tea shares. “Right now, America supposedly a go through a recession an’ watch how that a go seriously affect us down here.”
(check our Video Gallery for Cocoa Tea’s Obama video)