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Winston Explainer Henry (H.B.M)
Trinidad & Tobago Humming Bird Medal Award Recipient.
To date is a Composer, Singer, Executive Producer Calypso Extraordinaire and Motivational Speaker. He was born on the 13th November, 1947.
He was affectionately dubbed the “Messenger” because he composed songs which expressed the ills of society and the oppression of the poor man.
Explainer started his career in the year 1967, which makes it fifty-four (54)years in the Calypso Arena, He made his debut on Scouting for Talent with the Late Holly Betaudier, then two years later proceeded to the Southern Brigade Calypso tent in 1969 which was managed by the late Edwin Peters.
In 1970 having that urge to be recognized nationally, he was taken to the late Lord Kitchener by Mr. Emorold Phillip (Valentino) and was accepted on the cast of The Calypso Revue the said year, where he sang during the period 1970 – 1974.
Explainer, being an admirer of the great Mighty Sparrow, who was also his mentor. He joined the Sparrow’s Original Young Brigade (OYB) in 1975, singing his first popular song called “Man and Wages”, followed by Mr. African in 1976 which took him to the National Semi Finals.
From there on he then shot to famine 1977 where he sang “Caribbean Integration” which took him to his first National Finals. After which he was no stranger to the Big Yard because he made it to the National Finals ten (10) times in total, and though not fortunate to win, was a favorite among his fans, with hits like “A Tribute to Maestro” in 1978.
Explainer had a bumper season in 1979, with major hits like “Kicksin in Parliament”, “Sunday Night Fever”, “Yuh Got to Pay” and the first Raga Soca called “Dem Weh Dred”. From there on he never looked back and his name was on the lips of every Calypso Lover.
In 1980, after assessing the prize of an amateur competition “Scouting for Talent” where the winner was paid more handsomely than the National Calypso Monarch, he decided to protest in song against the prize structure by singing “Not Me and the Monarchy” and “Table Turning”. Sissons Paints on hearing the song, decided to increase the prize money from One Thousand Dollars ($1000) to Twelve Thousand Dollars ($12000).
Explainer then joined Ace producer Rawlston Charleswho produced memorable tunes like “Ras Mas” in 1981, and the immortal“Lorraine” in 1982.“Lorraine”, that highly infectious song, was indeed a hit for locals and fans of Explainer internationally. In fact “Lorraine” made it to the British Charts at position #35. Notably in 1983 he sang “Rasta Chick”, “Free Base is Waste” in 1984 and “Is Horse” in1985, just to name a few.
Explainer stopped competing in the year 1998 because he recognized music as a "Mission and not a Competition". However, he continued to compose songs for various artistes namely, Rondell Donawa, Lady Adanna, Lady Melody, Queen Victoria (Victoria Cooper) Twiggy and Joanne Foster.
Being committed,as a cultural ambassador,Explainer took calypso around the world. He has performed in Europe, North America, South America and throughout the Caribbean. He has performed in prestigious venues like the Commonwealth Institute in London, The Royal Albert Hall, The Apollo Theater, Madison Square Garden, Studio 54 and Brooklyn Academy, just to name a few.
He also collaborated with popular Soca Bards like Bunji Garlin (Lorraine remake), JO JO (Wuk Up) Blaxx (Street Vibes& Soca Linkup), MX Prime (All Inclusive), Farmer Nappy (Carnival Again) and Nelly Cottoy (Want Yuh Body).
Explainer was also selected by the Ministry of Education, NALIS and UNESCO as a Motivational Speaker to lecture to students at various schools. The name of the project was called “Leading for Literacy and Numeracy Initiative”.
As he continues on life’s Journey, his main interest is to use his talent to assist those who are interested in composing topics that can be appreciated both locally and internationally, if so given the opportunity by the powers that be, and also towards the development of the culture of Trinidad & Tobago.