Yes sirree! No doubt about it, Country and Western music is hugely popular in Saint Lucia, and has been for decades. Sure, reggae and even salsa music can be heard in bars, clubs and blasting from radios but Country and Western is the music that dominates the villages at the weekend, and the airwaves on Sundays.

Howdy Cowboy Sealy!

So what’s the story with this young man in the Stetson? Although Shervon Sealy grew up with the sound of Country and Western resonating through his home, he wasn’t that keen, believing it to be “music for old folk”. That all changed when he left school and started work. One of the older guys sang Country music all day and convinced Shervon that the youngster had the voice and talent to do well.

The first song that Shervon learned was Alan Jackson’s Livin’ on Love. He added more oldies to his repertoire — tunes by the likes of Buck Owen, George Jones and Conway Twitty — and soon he and his mentor, Theodore Serieux, were in demand to host karaoke Country nights at bars on the east coast.

A Lucian star is born

Shervon took his first steps to fame — in his cowboy boots and hat — when he took part in StarQuest, an islandwide competition. He came second but won the hearts of fans in Saint Lucia. A few years later he entered another competition, Rising Stars, which was broadcast across the Caribbean. Through this, he gained regional exposure and was invited to perform in other islands. “I was getting paid to have fun!” says Cowboy Sealy, as he came to be known.

Such was the recognition of Cowboy Sealy’s melodious voice and Nashville-style delivery that in December 2017 he was invited to share a stage here in Saint Lucia with John Hogan, an Irish-born Country music singer with an international following. Shervon was up there with the best!

The cowboy trail

Cowboy Sealy is now a full-time professional, appearing mainly at resorts around the island. There have been amusing moments: “Some guests can’t believe that I am actually singing and not miming; that a Lucian can sound like an American Country and Western singer.” There have also been some rewarding comments: “A girl came up to me and said she had never been into Country music but she liked my voice and the way I sang so she guessed that she had been converted.”