Caplin & Massiah
BEFORE I wrap up the day’s work…
I have been speaking with Zeeteah Massiah and Paul Caplin of Calplin & Massiah. They have been telling me about their formation and the anti-Trump message behind All You – I ask them about Donald Trump and how they feel about his state visit to the U.K.
The duo reveals whether more material is coming and if touring is a possibility; the sort of sounds that influence their music; which new artists we should get behind – they each end the interview by selecting a song.
Hi, guys. How are you? How has your week been?
Hi! Our week has been exciting but a little exhausting as we race to get our new video ready.
For those new to your music; can you introduce yourselves, please?
We are Zeeteah Massiah and Paul Caplin; a husband-and-wife musical partnership. We’ve made two Zeeteah Massiah albums together and we’re now releasing our first track together as a duo, Caplin & Massiah.
How did Caplin & Massiah get together? When did you find one another?
We first met in 2005 when we were both visiting the same person in hospital. Zeeteah was living in Germany at the time but we kept in touch and over the next few years, our friendship grew into a romantic and musical partnership.
All You is your new single. I believe there is a strong anti-Donald Trump message. Was there a particular speech/moment from him that influenced the song?
Like so many people, we used to regard Trump as a joke, just a buffoon. As his campaign for the presidency gathered momentum and he gained in confidence, we began to be alarmed by the things he was saying and the popular support he was attracting. Now, as our song says, we don’t think it’s funny anymore. Paul says: “If there was one single turning point for me, it might have been the notorious and nauseating video clip of him mocking a disabled reporter”.
He is coming to see us in the U.K. on a state visit. Do you think he will be met with a lot of fury and protest? How do you think he is changing/affecting the world right now?
Major protests have already been organized around the country, including a huge march in London. It’s reassuring that people perceive the danger to all of us of allowing people like Trump to gain political power and are willing to do something to make their feelings known. How is Trump changing the world right now? He’s dragging the global economy down and sabotaging people’s sense of right and wrong, true and false.
Will there be more music from you in the coming months? What are you working on?
Zeeteah performs regularly at clubs around London. Catch her if you can! We’re preparing an album of her live performances and writing new Caplin & Massiah tracks. More soon!
I get splashes of Bajan and Reggae in your sounds. Can you give me an idea of the music you both grew up around?
Zeeteah was born in Barbados and grew up with Calypso and Reggae. As a teenager in London, Paul was into everything from Mozart to Psychedelic Rock. The two of us have been through so many stages of musical development and enjoyed so many different musical styles. We love it all.
What do you hope to achieve in 2018?
Our immediate goal is to promote our new single, All You, and the message behind it. After that, Zeeteah’s live album and new Caplin & Massiah tracks.
Have you both got a favourite memory from your time in music – the one that sticks in the mind?
We both have so many…but:
Paul: Going from zero to famous overnight with Haysi Fantayzee - and the first time I wrote a song for Zeeteah.
Zeeteah: Singing with Tom Jones on a world tour. It was one long, crazy party (and what we’re doing now).
If you could both support any musician alive today, and choose your own rider, what would that entail?
Zeeteah wins this one: Shirley Bassey. Tthe rider is that they get to sing a duet.
What advice would you give to new artists coming through?
All that matters in music is what you feel when you hear it. Make people feel.
Where can we see you play? Do you have any gigs approaching?
Zeeteah has lots of live shows coming up. Just google ‘Zeeteah gigs’.
How does your live set usually unravel? Will you be playing new album tracks or dipping into your past work for upcoming gigs?
‘Unravel’? Hopefully, it doesn’t do that…
Zeeteah’s live shows cover a huge range of music, including our albums and classics that she loves. Caplin & Massiah is mainly a studio project but we’ll be planning live shows once we’ve finished our first album.
Is it important getting on stage and putting your music to the people? What kind of buzz do you get?
Zeeteah: it’s absolutely my favourite thing.
Paul: I’m happiest in the studio - but watching Zeeteah perform is absolutely MY favourite thing.
IN THIS PHOTO: Laurence Jones
Do you get much time to chill away from music? How do you unwind?
Not at the moment! But, in general, we make plenty of time to relax. We’ve just moved out of London and it’s so easy to chill in our new home in the country.
Finally, and for being good sports; you can each choose a song and I’ll play it here (not any of your music - I will do that).
Zeeteah: Bonnie Raitt - Something to Talk About
Paul: Nina Simone - I Wish I Knew How It Would Feel to Be Free
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