By Kevanté Cash
“Snakes in the garden keep me guarded // my price is critical” are the opening lines of the latest Bahamian song to hit airwaves this month, written and executively produced by recording and visual artist Rashad Leamount.
Though it is not typically “Bahamian” sounding with melodies of classic Rake N’ Scrape, this soft and sultry vibration is accompanied with lyrics so salty in taste one is almost made to believe he is ‘coming’ for them. But, perhaps he is?
Photo by fashion editorial photographer Scharad Lightbourne. Image courtesy of artist Rashad Leamount.
The next lines of the first verse read: “B*tches preach at me biblical then waver on the principles // Instagram models popping bottles from the beginner series // You see me juicing and ginning”, and immediately, anyone from today’s generation can make a connection.
“Snakes + ladders” (S+L), an ode to the social media age of making, keeping and losing friends through general assumptions made online, got its inspiration to be written, Leamount says, after having “an awkward conversation with someone who clearly only knew my Facebook ‘personality’ and judged me for what they perceived me to be. So often that is how things are, and I find it weird because, in reality, some of the most judgmental people on social media have so many skeletons to hide.”
“S+L” teaches lessons on the cruciality of being able to identify the real from fake both virtually and in real life. This track is not only a timely one but may be a timeless hit for this and generations to come to be able to ‘vibe’ with.
After a two-year sabbatical, “S+L” became the appropriate first song choice as a comeback to release off of his upcoming project “Leamount” scheduled for release this summer.
“It felt like the perfect song to me because it was the first one I wrote for this project… almost two years ago. The shell [of the project] was there but I did not have an intention for the song nor did I have other content to go along with it. After my National Exhibition 9 piece was done, in collaboration with Freeport-based photographer Allan Jones, I got this jolt of energy and direction that helped me to focus and continue creating the EP. To me, “Snakes + Ladders” is the glue that keeps the rest of the project cohesive.”
‘Snakes + Ladders’ cover artwork created by Fonte Designs. Image courtesy of artist Rashad Leamount.
Leamount credits the fruition of this work to his dream team consisting of: poet and spoken word performer Tanicia Pratt, whose poetic piece is featured at both the beginning and end of the track, recording artist and master engineer Sketch Carey, who recorded and mix engineered the vocals on the recording, Beats by Mantra who polished up via production, LANDR Music, who digitally master-engineered the beat and Jade Lou, Scharad Lightbourne and Fonte Designs who brought Leamount’s acoustics to life by way of visual effects – photography and graphic design.
Up next are two more of his singles to be issued (“Blur” and “Roses”) before the debut of ‘Leamount’, the EP, becomes available on all streaming services this summer.
The National Art Gallery of The Bahamas celebrates in the achievements of artists across all genres and salutes Leamount in his musical endeavours now and moving forward.