Admiral Nelson Tells His Side of the Holla Bak Debacle on The Boiler Room
Let me preface this by saying Bajan Fari and Adrian Green’s “The Boiler Room” is one of the best interview programs on the island. The duo’s Good cop, Bad cop style – Green’s soothing questioning blends while with Fari’s more bellicose directness – with the featured guest, makes every episode, enticing and engaging. This week, Admiral Nelson took to the hot seat, fresh off of his infamous Festival Stage interview that went viral thanks to Holla Bak’s post on Facebook.
“Holla Bak’s attitude before the program is something that confused me, that puzzled me,” he said, alleging that the artist was accusing favoritism in the soca arena because of “big names”. “And i’m saying to the young man that that’s unfair, though, because these men worked really hard to get where they are.”
He continued, clearing up Holla Bak’s grievance of being made to wait, and the accusation that is was his fault:
“The guy comes on, and he adopts the attitude of I should’ve been here ever since, that type of thing. I think, in his favor, and I want to say this, it is unfortunate that he came to CBC and waited so long to get on the program. He doesn’t understand. He thinks that I am the person who schedules the program. No I don’t. I did not invite him either. I doesn’t matter. I work with a production team, and whoever they invite, I look over and I go with…So holla bak comes on, he’s incensed, he’s angry, having waited for over three and a half hours to get on the show. He says, wunna int even gimme nuh water, or wunna int even gimme nuh food. Mindset, already
After going on a tangent about expectation when it comes to artistes, and reinforced his point about hits, and Barbadian artistes stealing/covering music (“We did thiefing fuh years!”), he touched back on the interview, first being remorseful, then strangely taking an extremely acerbic tone:
I don’t want to slight the young man, though. I want to say this: The interview went in a direction, that was unbecoming of the position it should’ve gone in. I really do not want to take this further, to destroy any chance that he may have to do good things. He, though. He took it and he put on social media, and he get all of whatever pluses and thing for it. And if that is what he enjoyed…that is it. But I don’t care about Holla Bak. I really don’t care. Holla Bak could live or dead; it don’t matter to me. My life is not going to be circled around Holla Bak. Holla Bak is just another one, life continues. I wish him well. So I really int care about Holla Bak at that level.
When Fari asked about him about his condescending tone towards Holla Bak with regards to writing for Machel Montano (“Don’t Tell Me”), Admiral alleged “But you know what he was trying to say? Do you know what he was trying to say?…I am better than anybody else in Barbados because Machel never tek nuh song from nuhbody else in Barbados. Wunna int hear that?” He continued:
I said, okay, so this is the story. This guy is a star. He has written for Machel Montano. I go back and I check Machel performances and its history, Machel don’t perform the song. Machel don’t sing the song. I [talked] to Liz Montano [Machel’s mother and manager]. Liz, tell me ‘bout this Holla Bak thing. [She say], Admiral, you know, man, that Machel does get songs from all types of people, and he record the song. I say Ya’ll does pay the fella royalties and all types of thing? And he’s gotten, apparently, a few royalties off the song because the song has in fact been recorded. But Machel don’t sing that song.
Admiral also says that he knew Holla Bak wrote the song beforehand, and only played provocateur to prompt the artiste to talk about it himself.
He also says that now that he has the leverage of the interview, and the public’s backing, he now has to prove himself:
He’s in a better position today because he’s performing with Machel Montano at the ‘Love Show.’ Yeah. I’m happy for that. But here’s the problem now: Now that you’ve been given all the attention, ya gotta live up to it…They’re more people watching him. They’re more people who now know who Holla Bak is because of that infamous interview. So now, Holla Bak has to prove to them that he’s the thing, this is the big man in the business. So when you get on that stage, you now get a platform that you never had before in your life. I don’t care what ya tell me. I don’t care how much songs you write for Machel. That interview did you bigger than any song you’ve ever written for Machel Montano.
Watch the full interview below (and I encourage you to because this is PURE GOLD). If you just want to hear his comments on Holla Bak, skip to Parts 3 & 4.