Focus on musicians : Youth Waves
To entertain their neighborhood friends, teenage “musicians” Patou, Alex, Junie, and Pascal would come together to “play music”.
With the backyard of Mr. and Mrs. Piper as their stage, these teenagers played their hearts out…on home-made instruments! Pots and pans for drums and bass, vocal sounds for keyboard, and a malfunctioning radio for guitar.
A couple years later Ramon, of Ramon & the Family Brass, gave them the opportunity to use his band’s instruments to practice on during their rehearsals, in his band house. Since reggae was the easiest music genre to play, this is what they practiced, however listening to bands like the Creole Stars they ventured into zouk then soca music.
As they progressed in their rehearsals, Ramon allowed them to perform for audiences during his play-outs when his band took their breaks. It was with this new taste for performance, that they began brainstorming a name for their band. Root Waves, New Waves, were some of the names they came up with before settling on Youth Waves. With their new name, Alex Piper, Patou Piper, Silvere Mingau (Junie), Pascal Adams, and new-comer Trevor Castel, founded the band Youth Waves that same year, 1986. Now all they needed were their own instruments…
Mr. James Frankel, owner of La Samanna Hotel, was the angel who made that dream come true, when he gave them the necessary funds to purchase their first instruments. Mr. Frankel did this because he saw their determination, drive, and potential as a band, however, Youth Waves insisted on repaying him in full.
Youth Waves gave one of their first paid performances at La Samanna Hotel, and began repaying Usd 375 monthly.
Years later, before his passing, Mr. Frankel wrote them a letter stating that their “loan” was paid in full, praised, and encouraged them on their climb to success.
The 90’s proved to be the climbing and establishing period of the still infant band Youth Waves. They established themselves as the local international band when they gave their first international performance… on Anguilla (1990). From that point on their international audiences has grown to include Dominica, St. Kitts, Tortola, Aruba, Bonaire, Curacao, Saba, St. Eustatius, St. Barths, Fr. Guyana, Guadeloupe, Martinique, Marie-Galante, France, Belgium, and The Netherlands, and the USA In this year they produced their first two studio recordings, That You Want That You Gon’ Get (with an album title so long, designing the name in wave form was the only way to make it fit on the album cover), and the single Reverse with which they won that year’s Carnival Road March title.
Youth Waves also produced two tracks in 1996 Moving to the Left and Leader, on their album So Sweet. These two tracks exploded on the music scene worldwide.
By the time Y2K rolled around, Youth Waves had produced albums like Tune Up, So Sweet, Versatile, Step Up, Ambassador, Evolution which contain tracks like Neural and Whine, Tune Up, Ram Jam, Pantyhose, Tonight Baby, Summertime, All Ova You, Piment la, Voting Jouvert.
To date, Youth Waves have accomplished much, which they are very proud of. They’ve opened concerts for world renowned bands like Kassav, Tanya St. Val, Lovendere, Lucky Dube, Steel Pulse, Digital Express, 727 La Rose, Mary J. Blige, Beres Hammon, to name a few.
International events such as, Fete de la Musique, France; Festival Terres de Blues, Marie-Galante; Carnival Tropical de Paris, France; Antillean Feesten, Germany; the annual CTO Gala Dinner, New York; Labor Day Carnival, and the Detroit Carnival, USA, are just some of the organizations/events for which Youth Waves have also performed.
This level of exposure solidifies Youth Waves’ mission which is to put St. Maarten/St. Martin on the map, musically.
According to the band, “our vision and goal is to attain to a professional level that would enable us to make a living from what we love most, while focusing on producing new sounds that will cross-over on a commercial level, and worldwide.”