Olatunji Yearwood was born 3rd September 1985 in the beautiful twin islands of Trinidad and Tobago, to parents Edward Yearwood, a well known composer and mother Mairoon Ali, local actress, radio personality and teacher. From birth, it was evident that Olatunji or "Ola" as he is widely known came into this world with raw talent flowing through his veins.
Olatunji attended Trinity College where he joined the parang group and entered the annual calypso competition held there. In 2002 at the age of 16, he entered the Junior Calypso competition arena where he place 2nd in the NYAC Emancipation Competition and 2nd in the Sunshine Snacks Junior Calypso Competition.
In 2003 Ola achieved success in every competition he entered, placing 1st in the Sunshine Snack Junior Calypso Monarch and 3rd in Scouting for Talent" receiving special awards for the "Most Outstanding Calypsonian" and "Most Promising Act". He was also awarded the "Top Stars" trophy by the NYAC. But Olatunji’s talents are not limited to singing; the multi-talented youth represented his school Trinity College in Football INTERCOL for 2 years and coordinated and produced the school’s Variety Concert where he was the Master of Ceremonies and also performed his original music.
In 2004, Olatunji decided on a future in performing arts and applied to schools in the UK after completing one year of Advanced Level at Trinity College. That year he took up the role as MC at Junior Calypso Monarch and Junior Soca Monarch. As his reputation as a performer grew, William Munroe offered him a position in his tent "Kaiso Stars" and he was invited to perform in the "3 Canal Carnival Show" as well as "Jab In The Box".
In 2005 while pursuing studies in the UK, Olatunji performed in the Cocyea Tent and formed the soca group "Level Crew". This group of West Indian youths living in the UK took London by storm, performing for several main events including the Miss Trinidad & Tobago UK Pageant and for Nottinghill Carnival, their spectacular performances made the local news including the quarterly editorial "Soca News" which gave the group grand reviews.
The group made a compilation CD offering a variety of Caribbean genres – Reggae, Soca and Kaiso. In 2006 Olatunji completed a Diploma Degree in Performing Arts at the West Thames College of Performing Arts and performed at several Caribbean functions including the Cacique Awards and functions held at the British high Commission in London. He released the track "Cry of the Nation" on Red 96.7 FM in August 2006. The "Naughty Boy" label showed interest in his unique style of music and he recorded tracks with "Hitman" and "The Executioner", well known Reggae/ Hip- Hop artistes/producers in the UK.
Upon returning home in 2006, Olatunji was called to join well known soca band Traffik where he stayed for 3 months before receiving an invitation from Roy Cape to join the legendary All-Stars. With The Roy Cape All-Stars Ola performed his first hit song "Get Wild" produced by Neil Bernard. It was one of the most popular songs for Carnival 2007 and earned him 7th place in the finals of The International Soca Monarch. Ola is now living his dream being part of the most highly respected soca band in the world with which he has already toured Canada. He has also enjoyed solo performances in New York, Miami, Grenada, Barbados and Antigua and has shared the stage with distinguished soca artistes such as Blaxx, Iwer George, Peter Ram, Crazy and many more, and has worked with producers Julio and Neil Bernard.
Olatunji is now looking forward to Carnival 2010, working with producer Neil Bernard, who produced tracks "So Ah Love It" and "Disorderly". He continues to sing vintage kaiso in which he strongly believes, and is also utilising his talent for writing by composing songs for upcoming artistes.
Olatunji’s motto and ambition is "to touch humanity through verse and song..."
Olatunji Yearwood - Photo by Tee Murphy (Teeography)
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