WAY back in the early 2000s, there was a hot soca track called “Rock Meh Body” that really had Guyanese grooving.
And while that track was actually recorded in Trinidad, not a lot of people realised that the vocals behind the melody was 100% Guyanese.
It was home-grown Guyanese Samantha Grant, who had taken a bold step and accepted an offer from a Trinidad producer to travel to the twin-island republic to do a CD.
Shortly after it was recorded, Samantha moved to Canada even before the song really started to take off, never getting to promote the track, much less explore just how great it had become.
But she’s back for a short while in Guyana now, and has been making the rounds, jogging memories about this hot little number.
The recent Mashramani celebrations gave Grant the perfect opportunity to rebirth the song. She proved that she’s definitely still got it when she gave a performance at the Senior Calypso Monarch competition last month; she was also out and about at the Miss Mash Queen Pageant, and was not to be left out of being on a band at the Mash Costume and Float Parade on Republic Day.
“Everybody thought like that it was a Trinidadian singing,” Samantha laughed as she took herself back down memory lane to give The Buzz the 411 on how it all went down.
Samantha was in a band that regularly performed at the popular but now defunct Sheriff Night Club, when the band was approached to come to Trinidad and do a CD. Though the producer wanted to take the entire band, the others were skeptical. But where they saw skepticism, Samantha saw opportunity.
“I felt like that was an opportunity to burst out on my own from Sheriff; an opportunity to say that someone great had burst out from our country; an opportunity to do something good and great,” Samantha recalled.
The song was part of a six-song album called “Hot and Sexy”. Samantha still has a hard time remembering the names of all the songs, but after giving it some thought, she recalled that there was “Leh We Whine”, “Is Everybody”, “Give Me It”, “Wet” and, of course, “Rock Meh Body”.
When it came to “Rock Meh Body”, she remembers down to the very last words. But that’s no surprise! It’s a hard song to forget!
The song was reminiscent of the kind of catchy, easy-to-love, summer Soca melody from songs like Natalie Burke’s “Do Weh Yuh Want Wid Mi” that famously rocked out at almost every “wedding house” back in the days.
“When we were finished,” Samantha recalled, “I came back home; I came back with the CD. And the DJ at the Sheriff… we let him play the CD. And everybody liked it.
“But he took that specific song, “Rock Meh Body”, and used to play it like every night; he would even come out and say, ‘One of our very own, Samantha Grant, is the singer.’ And I would smile.”
Not wanting to appear pompous, Samantha tried not to let the attention go to her head. Maybe she should have, though, as she did very little to promote the song. And shortly after she migrated to Canada, leaving the CD behind.
It was after she’d left that family members started calling and telling her that her song was blowing up on the radio.
“Before it started playing over the radio, I had already left the country, so I didn’t know. When I left, it was still playing in the night clubs, but I didn’t know about it being on the radio,” Samantha told The Buzz.
“It was when I was in Canada that my cousin texted me, and was like, ‘Guess what, cuz! Your song is playing; I just heard it over the radio!’
“And I was like, ‘Okay; that’s good!’ But deep inside, I felt very happy to know that it was being played.”
Since she’s come back, Samantha has linked up with Bonny Alves and SSignal Records to do another recording of the song, and put out a video. She really wanted to get the video out there; to put a face to the song that so many Guyanese had come to love, especially since the original plan was to have a video but never came off.
“The plan was to put a video to the song, but I left before we got a chance to do that,”she said.
As it pertains to continuing her music, Samantha isn’t completely sure of how far it will go, as she’s currently taking her time and savouring the moment as she re-familiarises Guyanese with the song.
She does have plans of hopefully doing another CD, and has already began working on other songs; “Private Dancer” is already out with a video. But whether she goes the whole hog or not, Samantha knows that music will always be a part of her.
“For me, music is life; music is love; music is everything. From the time I could remember myself, I was always singing,” she said.
“I actually start singing in church; I used to go to the Plaisance Church of Christ and I was always in the choir. I’d also started singing in school. I remember when I used to go to Eccles Primary School and they would have a show or anything, I’d always sing.”