Keety popped in to see us this week and what was originally intended as a 5 minute stop to drop some bits off turned into an interview lasting over an hour. Mr Keety General is I think the most seriously funny guy I’ve met: and I mean seriously funny because he talked in great lengths about a number of topical issues that he felt very passionate about. Yet he did so with such a humorous undertone. Don’t get me wrong, he was not making light of the issues, but in fact Keety uses humour to convey his message. The term ‘never a truer word said in jest’ comes to mind and I found myself able to just sit back, listen and enjoy.
I asked Keety why the move from reggae /ragga to ragga /soca?
“Cause I’m a Grenadian, Simply that! I travel to my island every year without fail and I love the reception I get from my homeland. The music itself has merged so much as well and in pretty much every music genre you can hear tones and melodies from other genres. My change was a natural progression.
“What do you feel the need to sing about?”
I’m not an artist that is going to be recognised for one style of music. I enjoy militant songs, patriotic songs, love songs, songs with social commentary or just plain feel good songs. I write and sing according to my mood so I can slip in and out whenever necessary.
The audience size within the soca market. Does it not feel somewhat restrictive?
It’s not so restrictive anymore because the music has expanded into different genres now. Although the old time calypsonians are not necessarily the ones collaborating with R&B artists and getting huge successes, the music that blends their calypso with the soca and other genres allows the whole market to open up that much more which is better for everyone.
Have you played in others islands and what was the response?
Yes I have been fortunate to travel around the Caribbean and although I hate to say it St Lucia came out on top of my list (alongside Grenada). I hate to say it because my dear friend is St Lucian and I never wanted to admit that St Lucia was anywhere near as beautiful as Grenada, but it is! Wow, as soon as I touched down on the island I just got a feel for it and loved it straight away. I always been well received, must be my confidence that evokes that.
So what about 24ct Golden Touch?
Well as you know we are a sound system that has been around for sometime and have played out consistently throughout the years without a break or break –up. My brother Ken (Captain) is a founder member of the sound and really steers the ship.
And working alongside your brother all these years?
Its been great. Not to say we don’t have our times, but my brothers and I are best friends. Always have been. That’s how it should be in families and these days it’s not so. The sound will be together for years to come because it is a vessel that keeps us moving together as we should.
I understand that fitness is your other passion?
Yes I am a qualified fitness instructor and I currently manage a branch of one of the larger sports chains. I love what I do, especially because it will never be the case where I have to choose one passion over another. Both will always work together and it gives me nice balance.
5 minutes in front of a world wide audience and you would say?
Well I know I would probably use the 1st minute to beg for more time… then I would send a message to try and bring peace to our communities, imploring people to become aware.
For the last minute I would try and pitch for a recording contract.
Well it has been good talking with you today. Is there anything coming up that you would like the communities to know about?
I do have a new album available ‘Talk to Them’ and a CD due for release shortly. I can be regularly found every 2nd Friday of each month at the Victory NightClub in Southall Middlesex with my 24ct crew and other guest DJ’s. It’s a good night worth popping down and it goes on till quite late.