He is Rupee and he is an artiste extraordinaire.
Born in Germany on September 10 to a black Barbadian father and white German mother, this young, dynamic entertainer first gained recognition after Winning the Richard Stoute Teen Talent Competition in 1993.
After this early achievement, he became one of the three lead singers in the Barbadian band Coalishun with whom in 1995 he released their first raga-soca hit single “Thundah”.
This paved the way for the following year which saw the release of the mega Ragga-soca hit “Ice Cream”. The track’s sweet melodic rhythms praising and acknowledging how sweet women are, sparked great regional and international recognition for Coalishun. This resulted in overseas bookings for the band which toured England, Canada, Bermuda, New York, Trinidad, Grenada and throughout the Caribbean on the strength of the single. Today “Ice Cream” remains a favorite, especially with the women.The band subsequently went on to record two albums which allowed it’s members to be a staple on the world carnival circuit.
Then came the year 2000 , after gaining invaluable experience and knowledge from performing and being a part of the band, Rupee moved on and made his debut as a solo artist. It was in this year that he released the infectious, eternally popular, carnival anthem “Jump” This would be a defining moment in the young Bajans career. The self penned, Monstapiece studio produced “Jump” won the the “Road March King Title” in Barbados, being the most played song on the road, as the carnival bands made their procession through the streets on carnival day. On it’s way to winning the Road March title in Barbados.
“Jump’s” infectious melody and irresistible hook reached phenomenal heights in Barbados Crop Over 2000 being the most played and requested song for the season. It was loved by young and old, and was even adopted as an anthem by the Barbados Volleyball Team, who won the Caribbean Championships placing first in both the Men’s and Women’s finals “jumping” all the way to victory. “Jump” also had the distinction of holding the #1 spot for the final three weeks of the festival on both of Barbados’ most popular rival radio stations.
After winning the Bajan Road March title with “Jump” Rupee went on to break barriers and set records all over the world, capturing similar titles in New York for Labour Day 2000, (one of the largest festivals in the world with an estimated three million people attending), Miami, Boston and Toronto carnivals and more.
And then came Trinidad and Tobago (affectionately referred to as his second home) where Rupee exploded into star status, Performing throughout the country to various audiences from young to mature, upscale to urban crowds who all embraced him and welcomed his warm nature. At children calypso shows and during school tours, Rupee was virtually mobbed by adoring fans, having to spend hours autographing flyers and posters.
In addition to “Jump” , Rupee also released another smash hit titled “Insomnia” which went on heavy rotation on the Trinidad charts. Audiences there demanded that Rupee include this song in his performances on the twin-island State as the song relates to the observation of J’Ouvert at pre-dawn on Carnival Monday morning.
After a year of hectic touring as a result of his success with “Jump” Barbadian entertainer Rupee released his debut CD “Blame It On the Music”.
An instant collector’s item , the CD had a variety of slamming tracks embracing different musical genres including new wave Soca, Hip-Hop, Rhythm and Blues and Reggae. To his further credit all tracks on his debut CD were written by Rupee including “Thanks”, “I Will Be There” and “Hipnosis.”
His second CD “Rupee-Leave A Message” followed the success of the first, topping the charts with such tracks as the monster hit “Tempted To Touch” “Till Morning”, “That’s Where I’ll Be” , “Frenemy” and “This Is Festival”. But it was the hit “Tempted to Touch” that would create waves around the world and bring Rupee one step closer to a private dream.
As “Tempted To Touch” began a breakthrough in the mainstream market in North America , Rupee released his third album “thisisrupee.com” and website. The Website has been a huge success which features audio clips, concert footage pictures and a fan message board with Rupee constantly updating it and staying in touch with his many fans.
Again Success blessed the entertainer and “You Never Know” a track dedicated to many who had touched lives significantly in their passing, became a new anthem for remembering loved ones. Other hit tracks on the album comprise “Festival Again” , “Uh Oh” “skin II skin”, “Helpless” and “D.T.D.T.”
But back to the dream . Secretly acknowledging that he had what it took to impact internationally, Rupee secured a recording and distribution contract with one of the largest labels in the recording industry – Atlantic Records. The label’s new interest in Caribbean music and the potential of “Tempted to Touch” were the catalyst in the signing of this artiste.
Now Rupee is on a new path : One that he has worked for throughout his musical career and for which he carries another dream – to take Soca music to the world.