The Quietus - A new rock music and pop culture website

Baker's Dozen

Panning For Gold: Fimber Bravo's Favourite Music
Zakiya Mckenzie , March 3rd, 2021 10:13

In this week's Baker's Dozen, Zakiya Mckenzie speaks to steel pan legend Fimber Bravo about his favourite music, from Aretha Franklin to Stormzy and Johnny Cash; Sun-Ra, Hot Chip and Miles Davis

Fimber Bravo’s musical prowess was first seen in the late 1960s when he began playing classical European compositions with the Pan Am North Stars, a steel band based in Trinidad. Growing up among the genesis of steel pan music, Fimber Bravo was able to hone his skillset as a pan man across genres. The 1970s Black Power ideology of African-American musicians was to also have a lasting effect on him, teaching him the responsibility of speaking for and to the masses. Through this Bravo channels a uniquely Caribbean outlook on topics from decolonisation in decades past to the Black Lives Matter movement of our present moment. His ability to play confidently across kaiso, funk, jazz, hilife and calypso has made Bravo a pioneer of shifting steel pan away from the idyll stereotype of the ‘sun, sand and sea’ and into more radical musical territories – as he puts it, part of a mission to give the music “a harder edge to break away from the colonial marginalisation of steel pan as a novelty, for foreigners on cruise ships and at hotels.“ Fimber Bravo’s latest album, Lunar Tredd features Senegalese percussionist Mamadou Sarr, vocalist Cottie Williams, Vanishing Twin’s Catherine Lucas, and production from Lapo Frost and Ghostpoet producer Shuta Shinoda.

Lunar Tredd is out now on Moshi Moshi, click the picture of Fimber below to begin reading his Baker’s Dozen selection