He ain’t heavy, he’s my brother. Happy Birthday Clinton Fernandez.
I am not quite sure that how old he is, but all I know is this: he is a hell of a singer and great keyboard (synthesizer) player. That makes him ageless. In my calculation, all fantastic singers are ageless. I still sing S.P. Bala song to my son...and apparently the man is over three quarter of a century old and I refuse to believe it. You can check that with my psychiatrist. (My personal ambition is to sing the same songs I sing to my son to Clinton’s audience, but that is a tall...fictional tale unfilmed).
When courting my wife, Linda Marina Fernandez, I had the opportunity to get to know him. I don’t know how to regard him. He was three....maybe four times bigger than Linda, and therefore, do I say my big-big brother in-law? Oh well, I am twice as big as my wife, so I believe he won’t be offended...unless which he can throw his synthesiser at me (after which I can repair and make it my own).
I, then, during weekends, brought my fiancée (yes, we progressed) to watch his performance.
And Holy Ravioli, this man got the voice of something that most Malaysians have never heard of. A brilliant mix of bluesy gruff, rock’n’roll fun, rhythm and blues cheesiness, leaning slightly on Metal (he doesn’t like Metal/Heavy Metal as I understand), preening, crooning, doodling, looking at the audience while he fingers (not in naughty way, you naughty buggers you) his keyboard the only way Bill Gates probably did in the 70s pre-Windows days.
He da man. During my wedding reception way back then (Flinstone’s were already started screening, I believe), this man took on the task of accompanying his father, Mr. Herbert Fernandez, tackling the 50s era crooning (as a writer I am not supposed to use the same word “crooning” twice in the same article, we are supposed to be creative in coming up with synonyms...let me try again. Oh hell ___ with it).
Truth is, he he rocks and this is not current youth talk, we were already doing this in the 80s. During my wedding reception way back then, this man took on the task of accompanying his father, the amiable Mr.Herbert Fernandez in the task of supplementing musical background to the latter’s crooning (again, crooning, dey Rakesh can you stop using the same goddam word again and again).
But it was a memorable occasion. Where one grandson of Shankaran Nair, marrying a Catholic girl, is privileged to have both brother-in-law to play music and father-in-law singing beautiful song in his own Yodelling style (do Wikipedia, for those who are not in the know). What else can you ask for?
They made our day. Especially Clinton who shares the same name of my cinematic hero Clint Eastwood (Yeah, real name is Clinton Eastwood). My beloved brother-in-law. This is for you. Happy birthday from yours truly, Linda and one small bloke by the name of Nevin Shankaran Kumar who, thanks to the goddamn genes, going to become a singer. Have a healthy long life brother.