Ramon 'Fryktion' McDowall - on the rise.
Cast your minds back to 2009. Summer. For those of you with your finger on the pulse of Vincy soca, you’ll remember that the refrain ‘your woman butting me!’ was beating down the airwaves of SVG’s radio stations. You will also remember that when the song was first released, not even the most ardent Becket fans could tell that this was the work of a ‘sound-alike’ – Ramon ‘Fryktion’ McDowall.
The self-taught musician, who is making a name for himself in the soca realm, took a little time out of his busy schedule to chat with Hairouna ATS.
So, tell us a bit about yourself…
I’m Ramon *anonymous middle names* McDowall lol…my age is mid to late 20’s….I was born and raised in LAYOU, and currently reside in Brooklyn, NY. I have a lovely 6yr old daughter, Taylor Madison McDowall :)… 3 sisters… no brothers.
How did you decide on this path in life?
Growing up I was always heavily influenced by music. I had an uncle on each side (mom and dad) who were musicians – Randolph McDowall and Daneth Dopwell, who co-wrote Disco Ivy “ah drink 2 rum and I marry IVY….” Both played in ASTERISKS Band from SVG. I guess you could say from the time I was born I had no choice but to be musically inclined.
What caught my interest with music was the way it made people react: it could turn a sad moment joyful, and it could be your companion in lonely times.
Throughout life my MAJOR influences are my mother and Father, Raymond & Vernette McDowall, who both encouraged me & kept me on the right path. In terms of music, I’m very much an old soul, so the home town hero was BECKET, then ASTERISKS, the band TOUCH, Winston Soso, Bob Marley, Marvin Gaye, Otis Redding, Teddy P… I could go on and on….
So what about challenges? You must have faced some along the way…
The biggest challenge for me was whether to drop school for music or not. I was an accounts major and the school I was attending didn’t offer music as a course…in the end, I followed my heart and went with the [musical] notes 🙂
What do you consider your greatest achievement so far?
Greatest achievement? hmmm… I would say capturing 1st and 3rd position in 2009’s Carnival roadmarch. First position was ‘Mad House’, which I produced; and third place was “Yo woman buttin me”, which I also produced and sang….I’m still after that elusive Soca Monarch title though lol
What do you still hope to accomplish? What’s the 10-year plan?
Well, I’ve bin producing for about 4 years now. It’s still early, and like I mentioned before I wanna win a soca monarch with my music. I would love to work with Machel, was always a fan… Mattafix also… It’ll be a long list… A major accomplishment would be to help take soca global and be recognized as a serious and strong GENRE of music. I would love to be a part of that!
In 10 years time? Once God spares life, it’ll be tryna explain to Taylor why she can’t go to this party or that party lol… also I would love to be touring and doing music… watching different artistes perform to my tracks.
Any advice for the young ‘uns out there who want to pursue a similar path?
I’m young, too lol! But seriously, my first bit of advice would be, if you believe that you have what it takes, DON’T STOP BELIEVING. Go all out! It can be hard when people around you doubt your ability, but you just gotta work harder and prove them wrong. Been there, done that! And dont get caught up in the hype too quickly and lose your way. Remain humble, acknowledge advice – even if it’s from someone who might know less than you. Hear them out… Blend all that with your drive & talent, trust me, yo good to go!
You have an uncanny knack for sounding JUST LIKE Becket. Is that your natural voice or are you that good an imitator?
I would say I’m just good at imitating him. He was an inspiration coming up… It’s like listening to so much of his music and just imitating the voice it became almost natural to do “a becket”. People would laugh and say: “Boy, like Becket ah yo daddy!” lol…
Anything your fans might not know about you?
I’m a soccer fanatic, but I guess everyone knows that lol… erm contrary to the nature of my work, I’m really a home body. Partying is the last thing on my mind when the weekend comes. Anyone who knows me would attest to that. When I do go to a party, if soca isn’t playing then my whole night is a waste. My non musical hobbies/interests would be movies, and I’m a techno junkie! A real nerd at heart. Also love playing video games… and I can cook – love to cook!
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Vodpod videos no longer available.
- Attended the Kingstown Preparatory School and the St. Vincent Grammar School. After I migrated to the States, I attended the Borough of Manhattan Community College up until my love affair with MUSIC.
- Favourite food is pelau… love it!
- Artistes I’d most like to work with are Mattafix, Machel, Rihanna and Sean Kingston
- Preferred pet? A lil pet chihuahua… cuz girls like cute lil dogs lol
- Top 5 places I’d like to visit, and why? Manchester, UK, cuz my fav soccer team is from there… Paris, because its Paris :)… Egypt, just to see where it all started… Rio de Janeiro, beautiful women and beaches… and #5, Hollywood, its where the stars are 🙂
- Three things I’d take with me on a desert island, and why? Rihanna, because she’s meant to be there with me… my studio so we could still make music… and you, Jamila, so you could document the experience and turn it into a best seller book 😉
Follow Fryktion on twitter (@Fryktion), have a peep at his Facebook page, or subscribe to his Youtube channel!