“London you never cease to amaze me in how much your love for me grows stronger and stronger every time! Show was the best of the run so far!”
Rupee, July 2012
The ladies ‘lurvvve’ him and London loves Rupert Clarke for he can count this as home having spent his early years living in England, before becoming Rupee, the internationally acclaimed Barbadian Soca artist.
(video interview is at the bottom of the page)
The youngest in the family, Rupee was born in Germany to a Barbadian father and a German mother. Working in the British army meant that his father and family were relocated to England where he spent some of his childhood years. Growing up in a diverse music household, meant he absorbed music genres such as rock, rap, reggae, R&B and calypso. Invited to his brothers rap performances in England and Germany he learnt to write verses and rap thus sowing the seed of his other love, reggae. At the age of nine, he moved back to Barbados where seeds of becoming an artist and stardom where planted.
Back in Barbados, he entered a school talent competition where he sang at the time a big reggae version song. He did not win that time round. In 1996, when the hip-hop world moaned the passing of Tupac Shakur one of the greatest rappers who ever lived, he entered another competition, the Richard Stoute teen talent. This time he won and thus his journey began. A year later he joined the top band Coalishun and had the role of the chanter in the band. A window of opportunity saw him fill in for the band’s vocalist, singing. In 2000, he ventured out as a solo artist and singing the hit song ‘Ice Cream’ he found his calling. Through his different musical tastes, this has seen him invent his own style and has penned hits infused with influences from his family’s diverse musical tastes.
He then followed on from his first single with ‘Insomnia’ and then ‘Jump’ which surprisingly did not win Road March in 2004 and followed with the international hit, ‘Tempted to Touch’ a personal favourite of his that saw him being signed to Atlantic Record Label. He has worked with New York based hitmaker, Salaam Remi the man that produced hits for Fugees and Nas, Peter Coppin, Chris Allman, performed with Black Eye Peas, Beenie Man, Shaggy, Lil Kim, Sean Paul, Daddy Yankee, Rihanna, Fay Ann Lyons-Alvarez just to name a few. His international and media footprint reads from Japan, Europe, Coca Cola, Sri Lanka, Caribbean, Desperate Housewives, BET, US, South America, Canada, MTV and is still growing and making its mark. He is an undercover student having studied graphic design and showing his skills through being heavily involved in his marketing creative designs.
Part of his image is known for his cuteness, endless collection of hats frequently adorned on his head and having ladies swoon over him. However do not be fooled by this, for they say never judge a book by its cover because you don’t know where it has travelled. His life has not been entirely rosy. Upon encounter you can see the uttermost respect, appreciation and love that he has for women. He has also penned a song titled ‘Woman Always Be There’ and there is reason why? Temptation led to his father being infected with the dangerous disease AIDS. Subsequently his mother was infected and as result both his parents passed away. This was a very dark poignant time in his life suffering from a severe loss and depression, for despite his father’s deadly mistake he had loved his parents dearly. He recovered from this, however has never forgotten his mother and that memory. Turning a negative into a positive, he has used this reason and experience to become an advocate speaker for HIV/AIDS, and works with the UN and other organisations to raise awareness on this worldwide issue. In addition he never fails to pass on his message to his fans and young men/women, of the importance of respecting a woman and the dangers that lie with contracting the deadly HIV virus and AIDS.
He has followed on producing hit after hit of music, ‘What Happens in De Party, Magnet To Steel, Everybody, Slow Motion, I Am A Bajan, to name a few and contributing endlessly to the sweet music that is Soca. However, 2012 sees Rupee at a standstill in terms of showcasing his latest music. With Barbados Cropover looming, imminently around the corner, on the music front he has been quiet. Through his hard work to bring out his music early, events beyond his control have seen his music delayed in being launched. His music style might be slated for vying away from his culture. But he is a man that understands the evolution of music and the need to add different musical elements to it and bring it to the masses worldwide. Despite the diversity that he brings or the fact that he performs alongside American artists, he is a Soca artist and still flies the flag high for Barbados and Soca music. He continues despite his setbacks to tour, smile, to give a loving hug to his fans, to acknowledge those around him; humbly and this is why he is loved and continues to be loved by all those around him.
UKSS had the pleasure of talking to Rupee briefly after his performance at the band launch of UK Chocolate Nation. We can say without a doubt, he is one of the most down to earth, hard-working, open, likeable artist’s we have had the opportunity to talk to. We were further touched and felt appreciated by his gentlemanly approach to quietening the crowd so he could hear and speak to us and thus UKSS thank him for the humanly gesture that he bestowed upon us and the opportunity that he gave us.