Story by Jason Elbogen
Neville Lawrence ("Star") has had a presence on late-night television commercial in the Omaha, Nebraska area for a while, but he originally started performing right around here in New York City back in the late 1980's--when he says he played at places like The Arc and the Samy Hotel (where he shared a stage with Snoop Dogg in 1988). He had emigrated from Trinidad in the early 80's, and his unlikely path to from there to Omaha, Nebraska started on a New York City subway when he approached Ann, a tourist originally from South Dakota. Apparently, he'd caught her eye because he was wearing one of his many 'costumes' (all of which he makes himself--see videos). Neville asked her out right there, and Ann, apparently willing to go on a date with a costumed man in a early 1980's New York City subway station, agreed to meet him. Lo and behold, more than twenty years later they live in Omaha, and have a daughter together. One has to assume the costume was fantastic.
Anyway, what do Superstar and Star sound like? Well, the Nebraska-area late night television commercial hawking Superstar's CDs describes the music as "a blend of pop and soul with Caribbean flavor and a message: Life is Worth Living. Superstar's music affirms his belief in discipline tolerance respect and peace. Be mesmerized by the hypnotic sounds of Superstar -- positive music for life."
I'd say 'hypnotic' is about right--although not very 'poppy' at all to these ears. Neville digs repetition; all his songs have him croon-moaning two or three lines of lyrics over an pretty much unchanging looped beat and pretty much unchanging looped synths effects, over and over and over for five to ten minutes (a bit like early rap songs, actually). A friend of mine recently told me he thought Superstar was primarily a video phenomena (and yeah, the videos are, ummm... rather striking), but I just spent the last ten minutes of my life listening to 'I am the Lover Man', a song off their "Superstar & Star In Sexy Girl" cd--and I don't regret it a bit. Neither should you. Incidentally, if you buy CD's from Neville, you should know that even though he has recorded more than 20 "Superstar & Star" albums, they are ALL self titled!
More Star and Superstar music videos below the fold...