Caleb Hart remembers the first time he saw snow.
The temperature hovered around zero and Hart was bundled up in four layers of warm clothing, plus a winter jacket.
For the musician, who grew up on the twin island nation of Trinidad and Tobago, it was the first time he had ever seen snow.
Prior to that, he had only seen pictures and said he didn’t realize the intricate designs people drew were representations of how a snowflake really looked.
“This snowflake landed on my arm and I watched it fade away,” said Hart. “I couldn’t believed the shape and intricacy of the design.”
His experience in the snow sparked the creation of his Christmas song, White Diamonds. The song is featured on his solo Christmas EP, which bears the same name.
A Christmas album is a departure for the singer-songwriter best know for his solo career and performing in the roots reggae band Tasman Jude.
Hart, who said Christmas music didn’t appeal to him because he feels it’s a bit cheesy, had told his producer no multiple times when asked to create a Christmas album.
He finally decided to take the leap, but do it in a manner that was true to his art form.
“It starts off with a song and I’m beatboxing everything you hear from my mouth,” said Hart.
The first song is Angels We Have Heard on High.
“The whole song is without any instruments, nothing but my vocals,” he said.
The other songs on the four-song EP are Hark the Herald Angels Sing and O Holy Night.
Hart said he always wanted to have his own reggae band.
“Reggae music isn’t about competition, it’s about unity,” said Hart.
One of the reasons reggae music appealed to Hart is because the music usually carries a message within it.
“I am a conscious guy. I believe in love, unity and joy,” said Hart.
Hart said he won’t create a song solely for commercial sales that will get people dancing. He won’t compromise his message.
“I want to leave a legacy of love,” he said.
Initially, when he arrived in Canada Hart performed as a hip hop artist under the name BraveHart. He toured schools, First Nations reserves and through small towns during an anti-bullying and suicide awareness campaign.
Hart, who now lives in Grande Prairie, Alta. He is performing at the Nanaimo Bar on Thursday (Dec. 22) at 9 p.m. Admission is $6 at the door.
The show is part of his Vancouver Island tour, which includes a performance in Victoria at Logan’s Pub Dec. 31.
Hart said he intends to bring a message of hope to listeners.
“If I can bring a little bit of healing into your life that night, that’s a honour,” said Hart.
For more information, please go to www.iamcalebhart.com.