Elite Features

  • By CEM
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  • November 28, 2020
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Motto Deh

Educated, Multifaceted A Force Beyond the Bacchanal

When we talk about breakthrough artistes Motto’s rise is nothing short of meteoric, because while KES and Iwer George make stages go bad, this St. Lucian mashes up roads. Backed by his signature chant ‘Motto deh, Motto deh’, the 25-year-old producer turned artiste exudes pure wildness with an unbelievably loose waistline, and songs that ignite bad behaviour across the global carnival community. But don’t make the mistake of judging this book by his cover. He may be a bacchanalist, but he’s oh so much more. Motto is smart… very smart.

Foresight

Born Lashley Winter, Motto began his career in unusual fashion and with enough foresight to lay foundation for an empire. A track star attending school in the US on an athletic scholarship, he stumbled upon his gift by tinkering with music apps and teaching himself chords, harmonies, musical arrangement, and mixing and mastering. During his senior year, a season ending injury derailed his Olympic dreams but opened the door for Motto to invest more time into growing musically. He began sending his music home to St. Lucia’s underground Dennery Segment (a blend of local Creole, Zouk, African beats, and Soca, named for the village from which it originated), eventually emerging as the leader of this new Soca category. He then launched his own YouTube channel, the first official platform for Dennery Segment.

Before graduating he debuted as an artiste, releasing the instant hit “Bend Dong” and shortly after, gained even more popularity with its remix featuring Grenadian Mr. Legz and St Vincent’s Problem Child – whom he credits for teaching him the industry. A stunning example of what higher education can do, since earning 2 degrees Motto has gone non-stop creatively – applying an Associates in Information Technology to enhance his production skills and a Bachelors in Mass Communication to develop his writing and vocals. In just a few short years, he’s quietly tucked more than 30 songs and 20 riddims under his belt – which includes spending the last 2 years producing a bag of hits for some of the biggest names in Soca like Patrice Roberts, Lyrikal, Bunji Garlin, Skinny Fabulous, Machel Montano, and Kes.

Wrapping 2019 as his most successful year as a producer, Motto came into T&Ts 2020 carnival with 5 singles and 3 riddims. The most popular being the Baila Riddim featuring Kes’ “Boss Lady,” solidifying that he can rock groovy just as well as he can cause a scene. To ensure he’s not only recognized as a top producer but also doesn’t get overlooked as an artist, foresight comes again as he’s sure to produce his own track on every riddim he creates. Thus, whether it’s his song or the riddim itself that hits, it’s all a win-win for Motto.

Movements

With his label, Team Foxx Music, focused on expanding the international reach of Soca, while putting more Dennery Segment artists on the map, Motto continues to find alternative outlets for his fresh and ever-changing music. Featured as part of the Caribbean Connection, Motto joined 24 of his regional comrades on the single “We Got This,” a unifying and uplifting message during the Covid-19 pandemic. He’s also taken part in a live IG battle against Trini’s young hot producer equivalent Travis World, and hosted his own IG lives with fans. He is also in the planning process of building a music studio in both his native island, St. Lucia and current home Brooklyn, New York. Motto has broken through and his future is bright.

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