At just 17 years old, Aaron Duncan’s name is already synonymous with excellence in local entertainment.
His previous performances have even been compared to those of young Machel Montano performing Too Young to Soca.
He holds five Junior Chutney Soca Monarch titles (2013-2016, 2018), four Junior Calypso Monarch titles (2010-2012, 2018) and two Junior Soca Monarch titles (2012, 2016).
But while Duncan could easily rest on the laurels of his accomplishments, he’s now eager to redefine himself and reintroduce himself to local audiences. And in doing so, he’s not afraid to take creative risks.
Duncan recently spoke to Newsday at his Petit Valley recording studio.
“I couldn’t do the songs that I do now three or four years ago … People would say that I was still in high school, that I hadn’t got my passes yet, but i already sing songs about girls. Duncan said when describing a recently released song called Stay.
Stay, written over three years ago, was originally written to express his love for music, which he hoped would never go away. But, with the ability for people to perform the song as a young Duncan singing about love, at that point it was not released. But since he’s now older and doesn’t feel defined by his age, he decided to release the song, with updated lyrics to reflect the chronicles of young love.
In the video, Duncan is seen dealing with a falling out with his girlfriend after she became jealous of his best friend. In the end, he prevents a confrontation between the two women and runs away from his friend for his girlfriend.
While the lyrics and video might not be what some people expect of him, he said he was focused on being in his music wholeheartedly.
“I don’t feel pressured now (to present a certain image) and I never want to feel pressured because then I wouldn’t like what I’m doing. I never want to feel the pressure I have to make my music in a certain way for people to listen to me. because then I would have the impression that it is a job.
“It’s a job, but I never want it to be like that.”
In his latest song, Double Trouble, Duncan isn’t afraid to take risks and get into trouble. In the video, we see him organizing a “zesser party” banned at covid19.
On the song’s mix of dancehall and soca, Duncan said, “It’s a song that represents us as Trinbagonians, soca lover and how we think there is no carnival 2021. He talks about how we have to find a way to express ourselves as the tabanca (carnival) falls on us.
He said listeners responded positively to his new music, with Stay even inspiring a dance challenge on social media video sharing app Tik Tok. On YouTube, Stay has over 200,000 views and Double Trouble, released last month, has gained over 50,000.
But he himself is not the only thing Duncan is exploring in his new music: he is also exploring different facets of his musical abilities. He co-produced Stay with Kit Israel from AdvoKit Productions and produced Double Trouble on his own.
Last year, after setting up his own recording studio, Duncan began learning music production online.
“Everything in life is evolution, and since I started producing I do my best to find my place and myself in the production world. Since it’s my studio, I make my own music and do my own productions, because music can come anytime.
Duncan said Israel had been a mentor to him.
“I admire him in the production world and he gives me the energy to continue producing music. He told me that I was a few light years ahead of my peers and that young people like me might not get there so easily. I am happy to be able to express myself through music and to create my own rhythms.
Duncan has said so far that the scariest part of music production is releasing the finished songs. Once it was all mixed up and mastered, he said it was like raising a child and watching it come out into the world on its own.
“Sometimes you can listen to a song (that you produce) over and over again, thinking it’s the next big song, and then you perform it in the world where you get a positive or negative response. For me, this is the most “sturdy” thing, because sometimes you can love a song so hard and the moment you let go of it you don’t get the same response.
But it’s a feeling Duncan will have to get used to, especially as he hints that more self-produced music is on the way.
With its evolving sound, its next releases will explore different genres and will not be limited to soca. In the coming months, he’s very excited to release a song called Perfect, which he describes as having a unique sound that doesn’t fit any genre.
“I believe this song will be the first time people will hear me sing a song like this. When the world hears this song called Perfect, I’ll love to see how women take it and if they feel perfect.
Although Duncan is now testing the waters of producing and experimenting with his own songs, he hopes to start producing for other artists soon, especially up and coming young artists.
As expected, covid19 affected him as an artist but he keeps a positive attitude.
“When covid19 hit (last March), I had more time to stay home and do my job. I had more time to concentrate on my studies. I would say it helped me get my passes.
“It also helped me as an artist, as I had time to get into the production of the music industry, where I could make music anytime, non-stop.”
Upon leaving St George’s College, Barataria, Duncan had six freshmen and a second year on the CBSC exams last year. He is currently studying for a degree in music technology at TT University.
While he doesn’t exactly participate in the carnival celebrations and understands why this year’s celebrations had to be canceled, his heart is still in shock.
“I am really disappointed that there is no carnival, and not only that there is no carnival, but there is no way that we as Trinidadians are trying to make it happen. a way to feel that spirit. Nothing will be virtual and there will be no virtual edition of Carnival 2021. “
Duncan has no plans to host a virtual concert, but hopes to host a music production for his 18th birthday in June, once covid19 regulations allow.
Although much remains uncertain at this time, Duncan is certain of his music.
“The future holds a lot of new music, just trying to find myself and find space in the entertainment industry. I know I already have my space with the young people I represent. But I do. just try to find me in a way where i can represent young people and adults so they can all listen to my music, i want everyone to love my music like they love the music of the older ones.
He hopes to one day collaborate with Machel Montano and Jesse “College Boy Jesse” Stewart.
As Duncan looks to the future, he doesn’t do it alone. With his mother as a manager, he said he had a strong support system with his parents as a foundation.
“I’d rather have my mom on my management team than anyone else because the only person I would say wouldn’t give up on me is my mom and dad. Everywhere you go, and you see Aaron Duncan, you either see his mother or his father, or you see us all. It’s still a unit. “
Follow Duncan’s new music by following him on Instagram @ aarondeboss123 and Facebook at Aaron Duncan.