We get into this notion that Anguilla is only good for "small island music," and I want to get people out of that mindset where they feel like they're inside of a box.
Cherrod: In 2003, I started out with a band in high school called Supreme Band with my classmates. We used our houses as practice space, and in October of that year we decided to perform at Star Fest, an event hosted by our school in the carnival village. I've been doing music ever since then.
Was there a standout moment during your early beginnings where you realized producing music could launch you where you are today in your career?
After I joined Pantha Vibes in December 2008, I started to receive a lot of love and support on the local scene for helping to keep the band on top during that early period. That was a breakout point for me when I realized I probably should take this music thing seriously. Less than a year later, I left Anguilla to attend Full Sail University where I received a Bachelor's degree in Recording Arts.
Having produced for the likes of Tian Winter to Alison Hinds, you have an ever-growing catalogue of work that expands beyond Anguillian borders. How have some of your connections come about?
All of my connections came about from networking on the Internet and making links with managers or friends of the artists. My process typically consists of making the music, sending it to a writer who works on the lyrics, making a demo for the song, and then shopping it around to different artists. Once the artist likes it, we take it from there.
Any artist surprised you when they wanted to use your work?
I would say Alison Hinds because she's the Queen of Soca.
I would say the song that stands out most to me so far would be "In Dey" that I did for Supa Mario. Sometimes when I do songs, I'll listen back and not think it's good enough because I'm a perfectionist, but I felt every element in this song was just right to make people want to move and dance. There are some other songs I haven't released as yet for Crop Over that we think are going to be even bigger but can't talk about that yet (laughs).
Can we expect any new projects from you for this year's Anguilla Summer Festival?
Oh yeah, definitely. That's what I'm working on right now. I dealt with all the other islands before Anguilla so Anguilla is my main focus right now.
What do you value more: being known for a signature sound or being known for your versatility?
Definitely for my versatility. I don't want to be put in a box. I want to be able to make music that can fit any situation. I don't want people to come to me for a particular sound. I don't aim to have one. I ask people all the time if they're able to point out my songs on the radio, and they always say no because my sound is always evolving.
It's very important to me. I want CL Productions to not only become a brand known throughout the Caribbean, but throughout the world also. My aim is to take the world by storm. People know me for soca, but I also worked in a studio in Miami for about a year called the Hit Factory where I worked alongside many major artists like Lil Wayne and Drake so those are sides of me that people may not know, but they'll find out soon enough.
Tell us more about how you landed your opportunity at the Hit Factory.
After I graduated from Full Sail University in August 2011, I packed up all of my stuff and drove down to Miami and started hitting up different studios there. Within two days of sending in my résumé, the Hit Factory called me in for an interview. The following week they asked me how soon could I start, and I told them I'd be there the next day.
Where would you like to see Anguillian music progress in the grand scheme of Caribbean music?
A lot of people believe that Trinidadian music, for instance, has international appeal but don't realize that it's attributed to the mentality of the people who make the music. We get into this notion that Anguilla is only good for "small island music," and I want to get people out of that mindset where they feel like they're inside of a box. I'm in a state of mind where I'm not looking at Anguilla as just a small island but one that's able to take the world by storm as I said before.