Meet the Artist: David Rudder

We had a few questions for one of the most successful calypsonians of all time, David Rudder, who brings his powerful, genre-defying sound to Harbourfront Centre as part of Island Soul‘s stellar lineup on August 6.

When was the first time you realized you wanted to be a musician?
At the age of six. I started to perform at age nine.

What was the first instrument you played?
Harmonica.

What artist or album you have on repeat?

Fela Kuti.

What’s the last live performance you saw?
The Big Five Steelband concert in Trinidad.

What are your favourite cities to play?
Port of Spain. St John’s, Antigua. London. NYC. Toronto.

What’s your favourite book?
All Quiet on the Western Front by Erich Maria Remarque.
The Black Jacobins by C. L. R. James.

What are your top pieces of advice for aspiring artists?
Don’t be afraid to say no. Failure is a great teacher. You’re young, don’t fear falling. Dust off and come again. Sometimes it takes over ten years to become an overnight success.

What’s the first live performance you remember seeing?
Percy Sledge at the Globe in Port of Spain.

Who’s the artist you’d most like to meet, past or present?
The two Bobs, Dylan and Marley.

What’s your latest project?
I’m about to begin work on a new album.

Can you offer any practice tips?
Know what you want, but don’t be afraid to leave a creative passage for the players. Magic could happen.

What’s the next goal or challenge you’re setting for yourself?
Writing my memoir.

You hope someone comes away from one of your shows feeling…
Like they’re flying.

Catch David Rudder live on the Concert Stage on Sunday, August 6 at 9:30pm as part of Island Soul, August 4–7, 2017.