We catch up with Cover Drive

We chat to the band about Barbados, Rihanna and their growing fame

Wed 25 Jan 2012

We chat to Cover Drive about their debut album, working with Emeli Sande, touring with Rihanna and Tinie Tempah's crush on Amanda

Cover Drive planted themselves firmly on our radar last year after storming into the Top 10 with first single Lick Ya Down

With their new single Twilight climbing the charts once again and their first album out later in the year, we couldn't say no to a chat with the Bajan band about their growing success. 

Read the interview below as we chat to Amanda, T-Ray, Bar-Man and Jamar about their Bajan roots, their upcoming album, working with Emeli Sande, touring with Rihanna, being awkward around Jessie J and Tinie Tempah's rumoured crush. 

Tell us about your upcoming album, Bajan Style.

Amanda: Bajan Style is the name of our album. It’s feelgood, sun
shiny, like you’re on a beach party in Barbados.

T-Ray: Guaranteed sand in your shoes.

How has growing up in Barbados influenced your music?

A: Growing up in Barbados you hear a wide variety of music
on the radio. You get a lot of UK and US pop music but since we are in the
Carribean we also get a lot of local music - Calypso, Reggae, Dancehall. So
that’s what you’re being fed all the time in Barbados. So when you create music
naturally that’s what comes out - a mixture of the two. A fused sound: ‘Carib-pop’.

How do you think the Caribbean flavour to your music
translates in freezing cold Britain?

A: If you can’t go to Barbados and it’s winter time in
Scotland, or London, or Sheffield just put on our album and close your eyes and
you’ll feel the warmth.

How was supporting Rihanna on her tour?

A: A dream come true. It was our first ever gig and in front of 25,000 people. Literally a sea of people. It was never ending when you looked out there. To open for someone like Rihanna, who’s Bajan, who’s an international superstar and has an amazing career - the kind of career we’re striving for. It was just an inspiration for us.

Amanda - is it true that Tinie Tempah has a crush on you? And
are you interested?

A: Apparently he was looking for me. I find it really funny
as I met him before and he clearly doesn’t remember who I am. He’s a cool guy.
I’m a huge fan. I wouldn’t shoot him down if he did directly ask me the

Of all the artists you’ve met so far, who has left you the most star-struck.

T: Other than Rihanna, who was the ultimate, we also got pretty starstruck when we met Jessie J. We  were at the Clyde One gig in Scotland and we saw Jessie. Someone nudged me and said ‘look, Jessie J!’ We saw her come down the walkway. We couldn't talk we just froze.

A: She had on the most amazing gold DM’s. I just wanted to ask her where she got them.

T: Then, later we ended up on the same plane as her and still couldn't really talk properly.

B: I spoke to her later at the bar and asked her to come back to our dressing room to say say hi. She came by later and she sat down and there was silence as the guys couldn’t talk. It was really funny. She must have thought we were really strange. 

One of your first song-writing sessions in London was spent with Emeli Sande before she was signed. Tell us about the song you came up with, and why isn’t it on your album?

A: That was one of our first sessions and it was great to work with her. She’s an amazing writer and vocalist. What an incredible voice. It was a feel-good song as we like to write feelgood music. I won’t tell you the name of the song, just in case another artist gets to use it, but the reason we didn’t go with it was because it wasn’t completely Cover Drive and we wanted the first album to really reflect us and represent us 100%. That song is amazing, but it wouldn’t have worked on the album we’ve made.

The Saturdays say they wish Lick Ya Down was one of their songs. If you could have one of their songs, which would it be?

Bar-Man: Can I have one of them?

A: I love their song Notorious. I think it’s a really, really great song.

T: I like Ego. I heard it in Barbados before I’d even heard of The Saturdays.

Jamar: That’s a great song.

A: Of course we’d put a little Caribbean twist on it somehow.

T: Make it Reggae.

Lots of acts are being tipped for success this year – do you
have any favourites?

J: We were just on the Dappy tour with some really cool
artists coming through. One is particular is PW. He’s really really cool.

B: We like StooShe a lot too.

You were voted into the Top 10 Stars of 2012 on the 4music.com
Chart Show
, and managed to beat out the likes of Taio Cruz, Lloyd
and Lana Del Rey. What do you think of your competition?

A: Wow. We respect the competition 100%. They’re all
different and unique and so to be in a category with them is amazing. We’re so
happy for that. So thankyou to to all of the fans who support us and helped us
into the Top 10.

What guilty pleasures do you have on your MP3 players?

T: I love all music, especially things from the 90s. So if
you listen to my iPod I’ll have some metal, some gangster rap, then you might
hear an 'N Sync song come on. You know, they’re good songs. Like Bye, Bye Bye.

A: My guilty pleasure is... actually I have plenty of guilty
pleasures... definitely The Little Mermaid - Part Of Your World. That’s one.
What else... I have a lot of Glee songs on my iPod.

J: I would have to say The Power Rangers theme song.

T: How is that a Guilty Pleasure? That’s amazing. I love
that song. C’mon Pokemon too. (Starts singing the Pokemon theme song).

B: I have this song on my iPod that’s mostly made out of
computer noises. I can’t remember the name of it. It’s a Dancehall tune made
from MSN Messenger noises. I wouldn’t want that to come on the car stereo when
people can hear...

What are your plans for 2012?

T: The first step in world domination. Phase One - get some No 1s. Then cross over to the US hopefully.

A: Then release an album.

T: Phase Two - get a Nando's Black Card.

What do you guys like to do when you’re not working in the

A: Not working? We are ALWAYS working... We’re definitely
all together. We watch a lot of Family Guy. The guys play video games. We hit
the beach if we’re in Barbados. If we’re in England we go to Westfield or

T: Jamar and I go skateboarding.

A: T-Ray teaches me to skateboard sometimes. It’s
embarrassing. I do awesome kick flips..hahah. (T-Ray shakes his head).

Watch Cover Drive perform Dappy's No Regrets

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