Andrew “Simple Dan” Noel was born in Chinapoo Village, Morvant, Trinidad and Tobago. By the age of 3 he was fascinated with music. He was hypnotized by the rhythms and melodies of the calypso tents he visited with his family. At 9 years old, his family migrated to Boca St. George’s, Grenada; there he discovered his love for literature and writing in primary school. He combined his writing talents and his passion for music to write songs for his younger brother, Chucky Dan. The brothers formed a trio with Therone “Maximillian” Francis and became Northeast Soca Monarch Champions for three consecutive years. Five years later, the group disbanded and he would join local musician Yaga and become an unstoppable duo.
Tron “Yaga” Stewart was born in Trinidad and grew up in Perdmontemp St. David, Grenada. His musical journey began when he was in primary school where he would perform in front of his fellow classmates. It would soon become his career and passion. He is widely known for his soulful vocals and for claiming the title of Grenada’s National Groovy Monarch in 2008 with his hit song “Somebody.” Soon after receiving this title he would team up with fellow artiste Simple Dan and together they would take Grenada by storm.
Their music is spreading like wildfire internationally and their style is unmatched. Join me as I get to know more about “The Dans” and their artistry.
7 THINGS WE LEARNED ABOUT SIMPLE AND YAGA DAN
Kaye: When did you begin making music?
Simple: I have been singing for over thirteen years, but I started my career in dancehall. I knew that Soca was for me when I was pulled on stage during a show one year. The artist was having a contest to see who could perform the song the best. Once I started singing and feeling the energy of the crowd, I knew I should go in that direction.
Yaga: While I was in grade school I had to perform during an assembly. I sang “I Believe I Can Fly” [by R. Kelly]. I looked into the audience while I was performing, and I saw a girl crying. I thought am I doing something wrong? But afterwards I realized that she had actually enjoyed the show so much, that it had brought her, and others, to tears. I knew that I had to pursue music.
Kaye: Tell us the background story of “Simple and Yaga Dan”.
Simple: I guess it just kind of happened that we’re both into music.
Yaga: We are cousins by the way. Everyone thinks that we’re brothers, even twins. [laughs]
Simple: Yeah, I have a few other family members that perform in church and some were even in the music industry also but they left a while ago. So one day he and I got together and we vibe really well and feed off each other’s energy and we’ve been performing together ever since.
Kaye: We know many soca artistes compete in the International Soca Monarch in Trinidad. How many times have you competed previously? Do you plan to compete in the upcoming Season?
Both: Yes we have.
Simple: I have competed three times in the International Soca Monarch semifinals in Trinidad. In Grenada, I won the Northeast Soca Monarch 3 times in a row and I am the reigning town of St. Georges’ Soca Monarch champion.
Yaga: I have also won the Northeast Soca Monarch. But next year we will be in the International Soca Monarch Semifinals for sure.
Kaye: Your single “Posse” was recently released. Tell us about that single.
Simple: Posse was born in October of 2014 in the hot tub of a hotel in Trinidad. The single helped to keep us on that constant climb. We have seen the views grow faster than any other track we have released. We’ve gotten regular airplay both foreign and local. Our fan base grew larger and foreign media and promoters are even approaching us.
Kaye: What makes your style of music unique?
Yaga: Our music is unique because it’s not typical jab-jab. It’s a mix of different styles and cultures. It has a little dancehall, some R&B, soca and Trinidad style.
Kaye: What is one thing that you would like your fans to know about you as an artist?
Simple: I won’t let them down. I will keep performing and growing as an artist. I appreciate the love and support and I want to give them the same.
Yaga: I love and appreciate all of them.
Kaye: Tell us about your goals for 2015. What can your fans look forward to this year?
Simple: In 2015, we want to become full time artists. We want our music to reach other countries that have Carnival.
Yaga: We realized that even though we’re in the music business, we know more about the music than the business. So we’re trying to focus more on the business side of things. We are really following our dreams this year.
HERE ARE 2 FUN FACTS WE LEARNED ABOUT SIMPLE AND YAGA DAN
Kaye: Tell us about a “unique” habit that you have.
Simple: Unique habit hmmm [laughs] Ok, I rub my deodorant on my stomach first before I use it. I don’t know why, so don’t ask [laughs]
Kaye: What is one of your funniest or most embarrassing memories from a performance?
Simple: Ok, I was performing in the Soca Monarch semifinals one year, and right before the show we decided we should dress up like mummies. So we stripped down to our shorts and wrapped ourselves in gauze and we got on stage. It was raining that day too. While I was performing I noticed a lady pointing, but she wasn’t pointing at my face. [laughs] A few other ladies started to point too and the looks on their faces were like “Wow. Oh my gosh!” So I noticed that I was… giving them a different type of show. [laughs]
Kaye: [laughs] Seriously?
Simple: I mean I wasn’t completely uncovered, but it was definitely noticeable. And the only thing I could do was keep performing.
As two talented musicians from Grenada, Simple and Yaga Dan are destined for greatness! With their unique style of music, sultry vocals, and not to mention their handsome faces, I expect big things from them in the future. Their music is quickly spreading worldwide and they have no intentions of slowing down. I am grateful to have had the pleasure of getting to know Simple and Yaga Dan and I am confident you have a greater appreciation of their wonderful music as I look forward to hearing more great sounds by these two artistes.
Get social with Simple and Yaga Dan
- Facebook (@Simple Dan @Yaga Dan)
- Twitter (@IMAGrenada)
- Instagram (@Simple_Dan_10 @YagaDann @IMAGrenada)