Far From Home (Because Music)
'No man alive or dead could take the crown off mi head,' sings Calypso Rose in typically sassy style on Far From Home. Feisty singer, storyteller, feminist pioneer and Caribbean cultural icon, it's more than 40 years since Rose was first crowned calypso queen in Trinidad and at 77 she continues to reign supreme. Co-produced by Stonetree Music's Ivan Duran and Drew Gonsalves from Kobo Town, with Manu Chao sprinkling his magic on several tracks, Far From Home is a joyous, turbo-charged update on calypso tradition for a 21st-century global audience, Rose garnishing her sweet-and-spicy calypso/soca sound with rhythms and melodies from Africa, Central America and across the Caribbean.
The upbeat dance tunes and carnival anthems also pack a powerful message with lyrics about subjects such as domestic violence and women';s rights. 'Calypso is for partying but it's also for storytelling, like being a reporter,' she says. 'You can dance but you must also listen to the words.'Other songs are peppered with pugnacious personal observations about her long career. 'They say I reign too long, forgetting my constitution is strong,'; she sings, making it clear that she has no intention of giving up her crown. This was evident at the Victoires de la Musique ceremony in Paris in February where she received the Best World Music Album award and declared 'I am the Queen of France right now!'