Lyndon Lai Tan
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Lyndon Lai Tan

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http://guardian.co.tt/features/life/2009/07/02/star-making

Lyndon Lai Tan
Cherisse Moe
Published: 2 Jul 2009


When Lyndon Lai Tan was born, with a faint heartbeat, doctors said his chances of survival were slim. They declared that he if he did live, he would probably suffer severe brain damage or mental disability, and would not be able to live a normal life. Those doctors were wrong. Today, the Naparima College graduate is a talented musician with a bright future ahead.

For the love of music

Born and raised in San Fernando, Lai Tan’s foray into music began at the age of seven, when his mother sent him for piano lessons. At nine, he did voice training and four years later, he picked up the guitar. “I didn’t really like music when I was small because I saw it as work,” he admitted.

Lai Tan’s sentiments quickly changed, as he realised music was his true calling. After entering and winning several competitions, he decided to turn things up a notch and take his craft to a higher level. “I learned to play pop songs that were playing on radio. When I was 15, I started writing and composing my own music,” he said.

Lai Tan’s crowning moment came when he won another competition with one of his very own compositions. “I discovered that people really appreciate your own work. It was an amazing feeling to win with something I composed,” he said. Lai Tan continued writing and as he grew and matured, so did his music.

“My music helped me through difficult times in my life. It gave me an avenue to vent. I began to realise that a lot of people were going through the things I was going through. It’s a great feeling to know I could touch people with my music. That’s better than any monetary prize.” Lai Tan’s first album came in 2006. Titled Bridges, it was a diary of his life and fans were in high praise.

“It was about the struggles I went through and how I found my way out of them. Most of the time I found my way out through Jesus Christ.” Currently working on his second album, the versatile artiste said fans could look forward to “emotional soundtracks” with an “international feel.”

Positive vibes

The attractive artiste, who specialises in rock, alternative and contemporary music, takes everyone by surprise with his powerful vocals and engaging performances. While he refuses to put himself into a box or categorise his music into one particular genre, his music is undoubtedly influenced by his strong Christian background.

“Whenever I sing, people have to sit up and take notice. They always say, ‘I didn’t expect that voice from you,’” he said. “I don’t categorise my music as gospel but my views are very much Christian-oriented. My music is like poetry: you have to search for the meaning.”

Realise your potential

For this ambitious twenty-something-year-old, failure is not an option. While he admits that the avenues to showcase his talent are limited in T&T, he is letting nothing hold him back.

“I want to head to the US to pursue my music. I’m hoping that it happens sooner than later. A lot of people here just give artistes lip service. You have to be where your fan base is. You have to make that dream come through,” he said. Some people live life without realising their full potential. Lyndon Lai Tan is definitely not one of those people.
- Trinidad and Tobago Guardian


Lyndon Lai Tan, left, and guitarist Gabriel Pierre perform at Bridges.

By Liam Camps

Anticipation and expectation climaxed, as Lyndon Lai Tan released his first studio album—Bridges—on the evening of July 7, at San Fernando Hill, attracting an audience of more than 400. As advertised, the band mounted the stage shortly before 7 pm, and Lyndon announced that they would take fans on “a journey of music and true emotion.”

It was the first concert event held by Lyndon since his sold-out performance at Naparima Bowl three years ago. Then, the concert was entitled Apgar 1, but on this occasion, it took the name of the album which debuted on the night—Bridges.

The four-piece band featured Jonathan McIntosh (drums); Gabriel Pierre (guitar); Lawrence Lai Tan (bass); and Lyndon Lai Tan (guitar/vocals).

The night’s opening item was Chains, a song not on the album. This item was almost like an invocation as Lyndon crooned, “Lord I know you’ll be by my side, pushing me onward into the light.”

Only For You immediately presented a livelier mix, as the show began to build in momentum and energy. It was followed by For The End, with an intentionally slow start transitioning to a high-energy rendition.

Lyndon later traded his guitar for keyboards to perform two of his slower and more emotional songs—To Feel and Bottle Life. It was a nice change from the relatively more strident guitar-heavy songs that preceded it, and allowed the set to flow smoothly and without any monotony.

The band then passed the spotlight to 4Free, which offered a pleasant serving of diversity to the mix of music on the night. Using their voices and harmonies, this band was met with much appreciation by the crowd through the extent of their set. They were followed by an original presentation, offered by the San Fernando Open Bible drama team.

Lyndon returned to the stage and began the second half of his performance with the fan favourite, Higher Perspective. The response was expectedly memorable, and continued with the song Broken World—a newer song on the album, and Contemplating Silence. The latter is also not on the album, but has been heard by many of Lyndon’s fans over years. In this “anthem of hope,” Lyndon addressed the issue of suicide as he proclaimed, “the world is getting colder by the day, but don’t you stray.”

In an effort to fill time while the stage crew made technical adjustments, Lyndon announced to the crowd that the band would present the bonus of a freestyle dance. The ensuing “breakdown” further lightened the mood of the audience and was an unexpected twist to the performance.

Lyndon then introduced his band and proceeded via an upbeat drum intro into Stay A While, another new song on the album. Fans had been requesting the Lyndon classic, By The Water, all night, and when the band finally delivered toward the end of the night, it was to the joy of a satisfied audience.

The album Bridges will be available in music stores across the country within the coming weeks.
- Trinidad and Tobago Guardian


Cherisse Moe

A first class event. That’s the best way to describe the 2008 installment of the Copyright Organisation of T&T (Cott) Music Awards, aptly entitled Music Takes Flight.

Dare I say anybody who is anybody in the music industry, was at Queens Hall, St Ann’s on Thursday evening, to take in the show.

So great was the turn out, many patrons discovered that securing a parking spot inside the compound proved a futile task after 7 pm.

Artistes, publishers, songwriters and invited guests were all dressed to impress, as they celebrated the achievements of the local music industry in fine style. The paparazzi were also present to capture the moment, as guests got their chance to be in the spotlight.

Kudos go out to Cott’s management and production team, who evidently did their home work to ensure the evening proceeded smoothly.

Talent reigns

Opening the show was Mungal Patasar and Pantar, who gave a riveting performance.

Gospel artistes Joel Murray (Positive) and Jadee Sellier added a touch of inspiration to the evening, performing their hits, Never Let Go and Not Inna Dat.

Decked in a sexy feathery ensemble, Soca diva Destra Garcia gave a very sultry performance which was well received, especially by the males. Garcia later went home with the Female Songwriter of the Year Award.

Not to be outdone, however, songstress Nadia Batson, dressed in a beautifully decorated sari, was her usual engaging and entertaining self throughout her entire performance.

Also performing on the night were Shal and Kerwin Du Bois as well as Lalchan Babwah (Hunter), who took home the Chutney Soca of the Year award.

Rohan Rochan (Fireball), whose single was then lodged at number 2 on the Billboard chart, delivered an intense performance. Receiving the Pioneer of the Year Award was Timothy Watkins, (Baron), who received a standing ovation as he walked on stage to accept his award. Looking dappa, as usual, he sang his evergreen smash hit single Sweet Soca Man.

The Honourable Dr Slinger Francisco, The Mighty Sparrow, having received the first ever International Achievement Award, treated the crowd to Jean and Dinah, showing that age was just a number and he still had what it takes to move a crowd.

Special mention must be made of Lyndon Lai Tan, a relatively unknown artiste, who literally took the audience by surprise with his powerful vocals.

Also, Russell Leonce and the Laventille Youth Chorale had patrons in awe as they delivered a first class gospel performance.

Shurwayne Winchester and renowned reggae superstar Maxi Priest brought the house down with their collaboration, as they were given the esteemed pleasure of closing the show.

Big win

Soca star Machel Montano, whose HD production stable includes nationals from Barbados and Grenada, continued his winning streak, having copped his fifth Songwriter of the Year award.

He told the T&T Guardian that he was honoured to win the prestigious award.

“This is my fifth year winning the Songwriter of the Year Award. This award means family to me. There are a lot of people who write with me and help me every year. They are my family and I want to share this award with them.”
- Trinidad and Tobago Guiardian


Discography

2006 - Bridges
Currently working on other album for release in late 2009

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