St. John’s Antigua- “Make stepping stones out of stumbling blocks,” is a proverbial phrase that a young Antiguan artiste has decided to make his mantra, as he forges ahead to build bridges that will propel his career in the music industry.
This is the new persona Joel “Hard Knaxx” Lewis is taking on these days as he rises to fame on the international stage.
The artiste, last year’s soca monarch winner and member of the group Mad-T-Guans returned to the island today after making his debut performance in Brooklyn last week.
Lewis is among a handful of local artiste who journeyed to New York to take part in the Labour Day celebrations. For Lewis, though this was a special moment.
Hard Knaxx, who took the US stage by storm, was nominated in the best male up-tempo category for his song “Kentucky” which earned him the title of Antigua’s Soca Monarch in 2011.
His accolade came during the International Soca Awards, which was also held stateside.
Manager of the group Kem Hodge said Hard Knaxx outdid himself during three great performances, which left the crowd wanting more.
“Knaxx performed at the Marcus Garvey Park in Brooklyn, the red carpet affair for the soca awards and last Saturday at Caribbean Splash,” Hodge said.
Hodge said the artiste was well-received and got kudos from the patrons and the organisers alike.
He said the prospects are good and Hard Knaxx may be booked for future events
“The main organiser of Caribbean splash is already planning to re-invite him to perform at the event next yea. She said his performance was thrilling,” Hodge added.
Questioned about the artiste’s future plans, his manager said he has been booked for a few gigs, which include Dominica’s Carnival next February, a performance in Canada and a re-mix with a popular regional DJ.
“Even-though this is his first visit to the United States, we are not stopping there. We intend to take it up a notch as we continue to build the group’s musical career,” Hodge added.