By Sara Bharrat
Not a man of many words is Mitchell Rogers, singer of the patriotic song “Orealla”, but a connoisseur of natural beauty and a poetic soul who sits and sees, then writes and sings.
“I’m not a talkative person,” was the first thing Mitchell told The Scene when asked to describe himself. “I like to sit and look,” he added with a smile.
It was Mitchell’s voice that greeted visitors at the Amerindian Reservation Orealla for the national celebration of Heritage Day. A song entitled “Orealla” sung in soft tones told visitors of the singer’s love for the hills, slopes and beaches of his native village.
The 32-year-old is the second-to-last child among seven sisters and two brothers. Mitchell is a father of one and the first in a family of musicians to make singing his career. He first sang “Orealla” at the tenth Caribbean Festival of Arts (CARIFESTA) last August.
“I’m the first one in my family to take on music full-time…business is slow though and I can barely scrape a living from it,” Mitchell said.
In addition to the song “Orealla”, he has recorded “Heritage Time” and two others. While Mitchell indicated that he does not mind travelling to perform he will never leave Orealla. He said that he has deep ties with his place of birth and a love for the beauty around him that cannot be shaken.
“I know that what I see when I wake up in the morning is something that many people wish for,” Mitchell said. “I know that Guyana is beautiful, the beautiful scene in Orealla calms me and inspires me and that’s why I choose to sing patriotic songs.”
Mitchell’s voice isn’t the regular groaning sound you hear mincing a local song to hell and back. It isn’t the voice of an angel either but there a certain something about the way he hits those notes that has everyone listening. The Scene is convinced that with a little voice coaching Mitchell can achieve great things.
Taking pictures isn’t one of Mitchell’s favourite things to do. It took The Scene five minutes of convincing to get our camera aimed at him and then the smile we were quite charmed by didn’t make it into our shots. Mitchell admits that should he “make it big” the publicity would be the most difficult part for him.
While talking to Mitchell lacks excitement because of his natural taciturn nature; observing him is simply fascinating. When he speaks about Orealla’s hills, beaches, greenery and beauty real passion is seen in his eyes. It’s that passion which reminds that Mitchell is a true child of the land; a child of Orealla and a child of Guyana.
Like the rest of Orealla Mitchell moves in an unhurried manner, observing and appreciating the beauty around him. The look of awe on his face as he stares at breathtaking scenes of sunset or the clear, narrow beaches of Orealla is just like the like the land; worth beholding.
A simple man who has not been given the golden opportunity he craves to advance his music career but nevertheless a man with a priceless gift is Mitchell. He wakes up to a sunrise that kisses the river; cool breeze and sparkling sometimes rippling water that beckons and he knows that he is lucky have to those things. Singing is Mitchell’s way of sharing that beauty. (firstname.lastname@example.org)