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Hotseat - Alex Piper

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Alex Piper is a talented home-grown musician, whose sounds have soothed the eardrums of many audiences. The scorpion-born musician is married and has twins, who reside in Marigot.

Alex is a member of local band Youth Waves, which was formed when Alex's brother Patricio "Patou" Piper got together with him and three teenage friends years ago to indulge in their love for music. Back then, they had no professional equipment. Their love for music prompted them to use whatever they could find to play. Pots, pans, drums, sticks and a faulty radio were used to create music. Their talent caught the eye of Ramon of Ramon and the Family Brass, who allowed them to use his professional band instruments to rehearse. They perfected their skill and began performing publicly. It was an exciting experience that they loved.

In 1986, the group decided to call themselves Youth Waves, with each of the five band members – Patou, Alex, Silvere "Junie" Mingau, Pascal Adams, and Trevor Castel – sporting one letter from the last name of the band on their T-shirts. The group later convinced then owner of La Samanna Hotel, the late James Frankel, to sponsor them. They obtained a loan to purchase their own instruments, which was later repaid in full.

Owning their own instruments created opportunities for the group, which began performing regionally. Over the years, the band has performed in Dominica, St. Kitts, Tortola, Aruba, Bonaire, Curaçao, Saba, Statia, St. Barths, French Guiana, Guadeloupe, Martinique, Marie-Galante, France, Belgium, the Netherlands and the US.

The group has produced about 11 albums and several singles. The band has competed in and won several Carnival Road March competitions and is a household name in St. Maarten/St. Martin and the region. They have opened concerts for top stars and performed in highly-rated events.

Today, the band continues to entertain with three original members: Patou on base and vocals, Alex on keyboard, Silvere on drums and newcomer Angel Richardson on base. The group is versatile and plays everything from reggae, zouk and soca to calypso jump up and merengue. Alex shares a bit about himself in this week's Hot Seat.

How would you describe yourself?

I am a very simple and down to earth person. I am very hard working and enjoy meeting people.

Where were you educated; what did you study and why?

I started school in French St. Martin and then attended FVPT (now St. Maarten Academy in Dutch St. Maarten). I switched schools back then because I did not want to travel to Guadeloupe to finish my studies.

Tell me something interesting about your school days?

My school days were very good days. There were not so many delinquents back then. I did half of my studies in French and the other half in English.

What's your role in Youth Waves Band?

My role in Youth Waves Band is playing the keyboard, managing the band and making sure everything goes smoothly with the band. This is one of the reasons we are what we have become today.

How did you end up in the music industry?

I ended up in music industry because of my brother Patricio "Patou" Piper.

What is it about music that you like?

Music is a major relaxation for me and there are so many things to learn and see.

Best performance and why?

My best performance to date in the music industry was when Youth Waves played in Belgium to over 100,000 people in three nights.

Do you have any (other) special talents? Please explain.

I like to try everything. You need to have creativity.

How do you occupy yourself when you are not performing?

I like going to the studio and working on new tunes and making sure that all of our staff persons are up to date.

What are your hobbies?

I enjoy cycling and going out dancing.

What is your pet peeve?

My pet peeve is negative criticism.

Where do you see yourself in 10 years?

In 10 years, maybe I will still be playing music or trying to get young people in the music industry and making a name for their country.

Happiest moment?

Getting positive results and when we are playing for everything to go well and when everyone is happy with the performance.

What is your favourite type of music? What artistes do you listen to?

I love Caribbean music. I still listen to a lot of artistes, but I don't have any favourites.

If you could invite three famous people (dead or alive) for dinner, who would they be and what would you cook for them?

I consider my mom and dad as being very famous because without them, I would not be where I am today. I will cook them a lobster dish, Creole style, my style.

Youth Waves can be booked by calling 590-690-50 02 80 or email: This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it