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'It was like Frank Sinatra trying to sing Biggie Smalls': Waterfront Fire

A St. John's band was selected for a Canadian television show, Club One New Releases, that pairs artists from Canada's East Coast with groups from the Caribbean.

St. John's rock band teams up with Trinidadian string quartet

St. John's rock band Waterfront Fire told CBC's Carolyn Stokes their new song with a Trinidadian string quartet may qualify as a whole new genre. (Waterfront Fire/Facebook)

Pop-rock soca? Progessive folk metal?

The members of St. John's rock band Waterfront Fire aren't sure how to classify the song they've done with a Trinidadian string group called Alternative Quartet.

"I think we've created a new genre," said Andrew Boyd, one of Waterfront Fire's guitarists, along with Ben Thistle.

The band was selected for a Canadian television show, Club One New Releases, that pairs up artists from Canada's East Coast with groups from the Caribbean and films the results.

Waterfront Fire — the other members are bassist Cody O'Quinn, singer Jordan Coaker and drummer Ryan Tobin — and Alternative Quartet collaborated on a soca pop song called "Waiting on the Stage" by soca singer Machel Montano

Soca music is an offshoot of calypso that developed in the 1970s in Trinidad and Tobago, meaning the string quartet's choice of a pop song is already a fusion of styles. 

St. John's band Waterfront Fire talk special project with Trinidadian musicians. 5:15

"It's definitely experimental," said O'Quinn.

"We got lucky, because Alternative Quartet were so passionate about being experimental and pushing boundaries. With their music, they wanted to bring people together. That's what that song was; it was just taking two completely different forms of art and making them one."

Coaker said singing the song was a challenge.

"It was a little off-putting from a vocal standpoint," he said. "It was like Frank Sinatra trying to sing Biggie Smalls."

Alternative Quartet of Trinidad teamed up with St. John's band Waterfront Fire for a new song. (Naniki Caribbean Jazz Safari)

But the band found a lot of connections with Alternative Quartet, coming from an island nation whose economy is built on oil and gas as well as tourism.

"It's the isolated mentality, I think," said O'Quinn.

You know when people come over here, we usually treat 'em to dinner, we take care of them? Same thing down there. You go down there, we were just taken care of."

With files from Here and Now