Shurwayne Winchester who is undoubtedly blessed with a singer's voice, a quick wit and an ability to make pictures with music was born on February 8th, 1974 in Tobago.
His talents first came to light in 1996, when he was only twelve years old and began competing in local calypso competitions, where he consistently placed within the top three. He participated in these local competitions until 1990, when he was encouraged to compete against seasoned veterans, such as Calypso Queen Denyse Plummer, Calypso Monarchs Cro Cro and Luta in the Carib Independence Calypso Competition. As a result of his performance, he was hired for various calypso tents both in Trinidad and Tobago from 1980 through 1996.
In 1996, Shurwayne joined the band "TROBBLE", but the band was short lived. Upon its demise, he was asked to join "INXS". One year later, Shurwayne auditioned for Spectakula, one of the largest "Calypso Tents" for Carnival. Spectakula's management felt that he would be better showcased as a front line singer for a soca band, and recommended him to Andy Joseph, bandleader of "Traffik".
His first recording was made in 1998, with the tracks "Leave it in" and "Soca Baby" with Traffik. His voice caught the attention of record producer Devon George. Then he recorded "Get out of my dreams" written to Marlon "Socket" Clarke. The song, released in December 1998, remained in rotation for two years until July 2000 a rarity in the Soca genre!
1999 saw Shurwayne back in competition this time, the sweet voiced singer entered the Soca Monarch Stakes. His performance garnered rave reviews and was deemed "Most Dynamic" by the press. Shurwayne became the heartthrob of soca, both locally and internationally among West Indian markets. In My, he recorded a remix of "Quelvis" by and with King Wellington for the album "Rumour Riddims". His overdub is credited with sending the song to the top of the charts within one week. This song remained on the charts for seven months. Shurwayne has five additional tracks written by him on the album.
His 1999/2000 releases "Avanelle", "Wine Down" and "Who Say" which were also written by him exceeded his previous successes. Released in November 1999 "Wine Down" stayed on the charts until mid August 2000, while his up-tempo "Who-Say" released in December 1999, climbed the charts quickly and remained a hit through October 2000.
On October 21, 2000 Shurwayne was awarded "Best New Artist" and "Male Vocalist of the Year" at the Sunshine Music Awards, New York. In late October he released "Why yuh blaming me?" which hit the charts the following week. In November he released "Jouvay Jump Up" which followed the same path, and "You Make Me Wanna" (a.k.a. So Hot) this became an instant favorite.
"Release the Beast" and his challenge tune "Revenge" joined the others on the charts in January. "You make me." Stayed on the charts thru August 2001. These five songs were all written by Shurwayne.
His first solo album "Under My Spell" was released in January 2002. Two cuts from the album "Splash" and "Doctor on Call" were also hits for Carnival 2002. The first release for Carnival 2003 was "Baby Love". It took off immediately, and became of the requested songs for the ladies.
"Masqueraders" was the second release, and was a contender for Road March. Shortly thereafter a third song "Front" was released. It took the airwaves by storm, and was the most requested song by Shurwayne. Both men and women showed their love for the melody and lyrical structure, which again took him to the finals of the Soca Monarch. He collaborated with Chinese Laundry and Ricky Jai on his composition "Rags Don't Care", a fast nation building and unity song, which was respected by both artistes and fans alike. "Powder" was his J'ouvert contribution and hit the charts on West Indian radio stations in North America.
In 2004 he released his second album titled "Press Play" featuring his 2004 Road March song "The Band Coming". Shurwayne walked away with three awards at the Annual Soca Awards held in New York in August 2004. He won the award for Best New Soca Collaboration of the year for the song "Come Beta" with Destra Garcia. Shurwayne also won the award for Favorite Up-Tempo of the Year-Male and Soca Vocalist of the Year.
Shurwayne did it again in 2005, winning the Road March title two years in a row with his infectious track "Dead or Alive". This song was off his 2005 offering "Give Thanks" his most intimate album to date. The sixteen track album boasts one hundred percent new material and also features a host of collaborations including "Jammin All Night" with Traffik band mate Candi Hoyte, "Don't Waste Water" with reigning Soca Monarch Bunji Garlin, as well as the title track "Give Thanks" with Maximus Dan.
In the recently held Copyright Organization of T&T (COTT) awards Shurwayne received Songwriter of the year and Song of the Year for "The Band Coming". In addition, Shurwayne also received Up-tempo Song of the Year-Male and Song of the Year at the Soca Awards held at the prestigious Queen's Hall, in Trinidad.
with Shurwayne Winchester
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