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Cover Drive on EP Liming in Limbo, T-Ray's love of Jordans and why they make music for the fans

From L-R: Jamar, Barry, Amanda and T-Ray

From L-R: Jamar, Barry, Amanda and T-Ray

To some, the name Cover Drive is met with confused expression, given their brief year-and-a-half on the international music scene, but not to their 150,000 plus fans on Facebok or their 15,000 loyal Instagram followers – pretty much, anyone who’s up-to-date with music and pop culture.

We know we haven’t been here physically in the UK but we still felt that strong connection with our fans. That never goes, we love them. Amanda

The hottest group to leave the island of Barbados – ever, with a lead female vocalist thrust into the mix of three sun-kissed male band mates, it’s hard to number 1: not feel jealous of Cover Drive’s Amanda Reifer, whose sultry on-stage presence and curvaceous frame has seen her compared to fellow island-mate, Rihanna, several times. Together with T-Ray Armstrong (drummer), Barry Hill (guitarist) and Jamar Harding (bassist), the group’s iconic sound, dubbed ‘Carib-pop’, have won the esteem of President Obama, landing a spot on his 2013 inaugural playlist and a top 15 debut album in 2012.

You can’t let the pressure get to you because if the pressure gets to you then you’re not going to release your best product. You just have to relax and let the music do the talking. T-Ray

In the lead up to their highly anticipated comeback, Cover Drive embarked on a headline UK tour earlier this month, fresh from touring the States and ready to reconnect with their worldwide ‘CD Fielders’ a.k.a. fans. Current single, Lovesick Riddim is riding low on the radar for the moment but offers a glimpse into their creative growth and newer, more mature sound. In addition to the release of their new EP, Liming in Limbo, due for release on November 11, the band have been cooking up some stellar material with the likes of Boy-1-da (Jay Z and Drake), Angela Hunte (Miley Cyrus, Snoop Lion and Alicia Keys) and Supa Dups (Bruno Mars and Estelle).

There are those pressures there, but we’ve had to learn to not focus on them and just do it the same way we did the first album so it can come out as authentic and as real as we want it to be. Amanda

Just hours before appearing on stage for date 4 of their 9 UK gigs, I squeezed into the band’s box dressing room at the Birmingham 02 Academy, and was politely offered a cosy seat right in the middle of the group’s more vocal members, T-Ray and Amanda. Not only did their HD-beauty look even more prominent while our faces were just inches away from one another, or moments before when I gave each one a friendly hug, but Barry’s interest in my quite dapper-looking Kindle and compliments on my outfit, gave them gold stars way before they offered me a spot in the group. Well, that didn’t happen but you’ll hear what did when you listen to the audio below, along with which person in the band is a hopeless romantic and why it’s so important for the fans to follow them on this journey to the second album.

To book tickets for Cover Drive’s remaining UK tour dates click here.

Lovesick Riddim is available to download on iTunes now.

Leave a comment

  1. Elliott
    November 9, 2013 / 12:35 am

    You wrote your article well, it looks well researched and the interview sounded real good! The first album didn’t sell as well as I believe it should have done. Do you know if they are still signed to Polydor and are Amanda and T-Ray still going out?

  2. November 9, 2013 / 12:56 am

    Thanks very much…I believe with the promo that they’re doing, the second album will also boost sales of the first one as they have over 6 months to really push. I’m unsure of both of those facts but they love tweeting fans so if you asked them, I’d sure they’d let you know!

  3. desmond knox
    November 9, 2013 / 2:23 pm

    Hi yea,
    Indeed a fascinating technology angle to journalism used for the interview. Kindle Fire to record the interivew and then up load to sound cloud.I really enjoyed your interview. I loved the accents as they all have cute ones. Meeting Amanda kind of nailed it for me even thou I was a fan of the group already. Amanda is so nice but also so drop Dead.
    As a band they do love the fans and they do read the input from them which is so refreshing. My neice was blown away when they told her that they had read her remarks. They tried to say her surname before she had offered it. That blew me away !! Respect to them totally for this.
    Anyhow the EP sounds different from the earlier material. They do have a certain sound now it depends on the development of the music direction they may wish to take following the new cd when it finally comes out.
    The are a little like No Doubt with the Reggae music imput var a solo female singer. But will need to develop a fuller sound like they started to do in order to build a career. Reggae allows all kinds of direction and perhaps this band is the starting point for them all. Lets enjoy them for now and allow a good natured group to embrace us further with the fun loving island sounds of Barbados bajan style :)))))))))))

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