It’s not the first year that women were seen gyrating their bodies suggestively on other women, or men were photographed dry humping females in skimpy costumes in broad daylight but this year, for some reason, all authoritative eyes seemed to have been peeled to this aspect of the mas. Women wearing pasties and thongs, covering only their breasts and genitals while parading proudly through the capital city is a cause for concern says the Mayor of Port-of-Spain and so with that, we’re expecting some penalties to be discussed in the coming weeks or months. This all comes on the heels of soca artiste, Benjai’s lewd stage show at the Arima Velodrome during the semi final round of the International Soca Monarch competition. It was on that stage that the people’s champion as he’s often referred, used his penis as a prop, something that didn’t seem to go down too well with the judges since he failed to make it through to the finals.
A lot of questions are being raised on this topic and views differ no doubt. Some argue that wining is part and parcel of Trinidad and Tobago’s culture but on the other hand, some say the visuals seen on Carnival Monday and Tuesday represents the decay of the society.
What say you? We’re curious to know how you, the citizen, the visitor, the bystander- how you feel about scenes like the image we’ve included with this piece. Submit your comment and be a part of our dialogue in this our post carnival parlay.Note: There is a poll embedded within this post, please visit the site to participate in this post's poll.
Now, take a look at this YouTube video posted in 2010. The reality is, this has been going on for a long time!
There’s no confirmation of this but as we said, speculation is rife in several quarters, particularly so, among members of the local news media and entertainment media fraternity. In several social media posts by reputed media personalities in T&T on Friday night into Saturday morning as the show unravelled, there were sentiments of dismay and disappointment over numerous things seen on show night. Our ETCETERABUZZ.COM team was on the inside and we took things in from the crowd, looking on as perturbed attendees scoffed at several technical glitches experienced during the performances of artistes like Destra, Mr. Killa and even Farmer Nappy. This year, the Soca Monarch crowd also seemed to have dwindled a bit with the back of the venue- the Hasley Crawford Stadium, appearing bare even as the early hours of Saturday morning came. Toward the front of the stage, the usual big flag crews planted themselves, but there seemed to have been something amiss. The energy just wasn’t there. The Groovy leg of the competition which took place first was hosted by radio, television and entertainment personalities, Nikky Crosby and Paul Richards and although it appeared as though they were both mandated to make the show look completely different than it had in previous years, they failed in lifting the spirits of the people in a competition that has for years created an atmosphere of wild abandon and a true celebration of carnival.
The production issues, the order of appearance in the Groovy category and not to mention what seemed like a downplayed performance by Montano in the power category seemed a bit questionable. When the order of appearance had been announced prior to the event, many noted that the top seeds were placed consecutively toward the category’s end. Nevertheless, with the show now behind us and with Carnival Monday and Tuesday in sight, the three way tie in the Power category of Destra Garcia, Iwer George and Grenada’s Mr. Killa, will soon be a distant memory. Many now anticipate the road and with two songs vying for the Road March title- those being Montano’s ‘Ministry of Road and Bunji Garlin’s, ‘Truck on de Road,’ we turn our sights to the street parade of Carnival 2014!
On stage, Machel preached unity and love throughout the event and for those who were there to witness it first hand, it may have been an awe inspiring experience- especially when Montano introduced Destra Garcia- the lone female entertainer in the industry who many say is the female version of the soca heavyweight. Since their collaboration on the track, ‘It’s Carnival’ in 2003, Montano and Garcia had been rumored to have been at odds so the introduction of the self proclaimed Queen Of Bacchanal on Monday, was as much a surprise as it was a beautiful sight.
A number of great Caribbean acts graced the stage. From King David Rudder to pan extraordinaire, Len Boogsie Sharp, Queen Denyse Plummer, Kerwin Du Bois, Destra, Farmer Nappy, Patrice Roberts, Poser, Johnny King, M1- formerly Menace of the group 3 Suns, Skinny Fabulous out of St. Vincent, Ravi B, Drupatie and Lyrikal,the stars seemed to have aligned perfectly in the soca universe on Monday night.
Now, days away from the final two days of the season- Carnival Monday and Tuesday, MTV Iggy has again placed focus on Trinidad and Tobago’s culture, highlighting the island in a feature called, ‘Please Explain: Soca and Carnival in Trinidad and Tobago.’
Machel Monday is certainly one of the shows that makes the world interested in T&T, Soca and carnival. Much like the International Soca Monarch competition, the magnitude of the production is as such that the world can’t help but take notice.
Check out our photo gallery for a full album of photos from the event.]]>
Via media release issued, EBUZZ has learnt that Machel will launch five exclusive baseball caps to be sold this carnival season. There will only be 100 caps in each design available to the public and they’ll be sold exclusively at Montano’s M store at the Piarco International Airport. The collection features Montano’s signature M and Double M logos, as well as logos from his hit singles- ‘Happiest Man Alive’, ‘Fog Up the Place’, and ‘Epic’.
Speaking on the partnership, Marketing Manager of New Era Canada, Rennie Gajadhar said, ”Machel has been a longtime, avid supporter of the New Era brand. Naturally, we are honored to be aligned with such a globally recognized talent. “
It is likely that Montano will make mention of this when he hits the stage at his Machel Monday concert this week. The artiste who released a new track with R&B group Boys II Men last week, is getting ready to deliver to fans, what is likely to be another impressive cast of entertainers and a show to remember this carnival. Boys II Men will be a featured act along with Nigerian artiste, Timaya with whom Montano collaborated this season.]]>
Du Bois appeared on a stage that featured top billing acts of the season, Bunji Garlin, Fay-Ann Lyons, Destra Garcia, Cassi, Lyrikal, Blaxx, Mr Killa, Skinny Fabulous and others, however his appeal seemed to have been way higher than any entertainer who graced the Army Fete stage last night- in fact, some may say, Kerwin killed it.
Humble and simple are possibly the two words that could easily define Du Bois and walking onto the stage at the QPS to the instrumental of his hit ‘Too Real’, Du Bois showed fetters that it really doesn’t take too much to put on a good show. Cool as a cucumber and real with his emotions, Du Bois spoke to his fans, telling them that he couldn’t believe how many people had gathered at the spacious venue, and when he erred on stage, with humility he said, “ah look bad dey boy.” But realistically, this season, Kerwin Du Bois can do no wrong in the eyes of carnival lovers.
Less talk and more action seemingly his slogan, the super producer and vocalist brought an incredibly high level of energy to the fete when he was introduced during the set of Blaxx and the Roy Cape all stars. Hands were almost immediately flung into the air crowd-side as Du Bois delivered songs like, ‘Too Real’, ‘Press A Button’ and ‘Monster Wine’ among others. For approximately 12 minutes he gave the fete lovers just what they wanted- just what they had come out to experience.
Army Fete, a staple on the carnival events calendar enjoyed another great turn out in 2014. Crowd capacity was in excess of 5,000 and the fete went on into the wee hours of the morning with no major incidents reported. Touting its slogan, ‘The safest fete in carnival,’ organisers delivered no doubt and now we look forward with bated breath to Army Fete 2015.
Now, take a look at Kerwin’s performance at Army Fete 2014, courtesy Triniscene.com- just in case you couldn’t be there to experience it yourself.
Via media release, Benjai said while the sex symbol title he’s been given by women across the country was not intended when he performed on semi finals night, he isn’t mad. “If the ladies like my swank then I will give it to them,” he said. The video of his live performance at the event has amassed some 90,000 views on YouTube and upon news that he did not make the cut for the finals, there seemed to have been quite a bit of chatter, especially among the female sex, that this in itself was a disappointment. Benjai’s stage show was meted out to his single, ‘Come Out To Play’, and that he certainly did.
Last year Benjai made it to the finals of the competition and secured the 3rd place position in the Power category.
In case you haven’t seen it yet, take a look at Benjai live at the Arima Velodrome on February 9th, 2014.
The London based University graduate is a burgeoning DJ on the UK Soca Scene representing the Caribbean. He’s determined to make an impact. Vallo was born and raised in Santa Cruz, Trinidad by his mom, however when he was 10-years-old he migrated to the UK and took up residence with his father. “I’ve always loved music,” he told us in a recent chat, emphasizing his appreciation for all genres of music, but explaining that he specializes in Soca, Reggae, Dancehall, Hip-Hop and commercial music. During his University years, Vallo’s passion for music and his desire to stay true to his Caribbean roots manifested deeper as he began meeting with folks of influence in the industry while DJing in and around London. His education would not be sidelined however, and he would prove true to his ambitions, securing his degree in Events and Marketing Management.
Triple M has made quite a name for himself as a DJ for Nottinghill Carnival. He was given the opportunity by his good friend DJ D Tee who plays on the M2K mas band’s truck. Vallo had won himself several titles in individual costume with the band over a six year period and given this new opportunity to be a bigger part of the band, he immediately grabbed it. He says that opportunity has helped shape his career. The young DJ won the award for Best Soca DJ Newcomer in 2009 and is currently a resident DJ at Soca Frenzy – the biggest monthly soca fete in the UK and for Poison UK events. He is also the Official DJ for Soca artist TriniBoi Joocie (UK’s Power & Groovy Monarch Champion 2013) and is the touring DJ for Rampage Mas Band, which tours Europe performing at some 15 carnivals annually. Vallo’s DJ skills can also be heard on online radio at www.BakahnalRadio.com on Mondays from 7pm – 9pm where he hosts his ‘Triple M Takeover’ show.
With Carnival in full swing at home in T&T, Triple M says Machel Montano’s ‘Happiest Man Alive’ is his favourite soca track, telling EBUZZ that the song speaks to his character, since he’s always happy and cheerful. Despite this being his personal favourite, Mr. Killa’s ‘Rolly Polly’ is killing it on the UK Soca circuit he told us, reminiscing on the Grenadian artiste’s performance in the UK back in December. “It was epic … total madness,” he said.
Triple M is currently working on his 2014 carnival tour and says he constantly creates and digitally distributes mixtapes. His most recent mixtape, “Find Me In Trinidad 2014” Soca Mix helps push Soca music, he says, something he lives for. DJ Triple M is a son of Trinidad and Tobago who, like others overseas, is doing what he can to share Soca music with the world. Check out his website at www.officialdjtriplem.com and connect with him on Facebook at djtriplem10, Twitter @triplemtweets and Instagram @djtriplem.
In the past couple weeks, Chromatics- real name, Richard Raj-Kumar, has been basking in the announcement that he will be the brand ambassador for Angostura’s LLB beverage. The deal was secured by his management and Chromatics says he is eager to represent Angostura in this capacity. “I’m really happy to be working with Angostura. They assisted with the promotion of my Science of Colours Volume 2 mixtape last year and to date, the mixtape has been downloaded some 2000 times,” explained ‘Matics. He said Angostura is a company that promotes and markets several of its brands across the Caribbean and even internationally, something he and his team at Highway Records are strong believers of.
Chromatics said he worked with the LLB brand during the ‘Lyrics Like A Boss’ campaign and because of the tremendous response received from the public, and essentially noted by the Angostura team, this particular opportunity arose. Now Chromatics will market LLB to an urban, youthful market locally, across the Caribbean and even as far as Canada. He assured that he will be living the LLB brand, this as he continues work on the much anticipated Carnival Rap Up 2014 single. “Folks can look forward to new jingles and other projects, and rest assured that I’ll be associated with everything LLB related from this point onward.”
Reflecting on the endorsement opportunity with a company he acknowledges is a reputed one in T&T, Chromatics said this deal shows that there is a heightened level of appreciation for the Hip Hop fraternity and overall development within the industry. “It marks growth in the corporate sector as it shows that companies realize they don’t have to run down the carnival season and the soca artistes alone. It shows that they’re capable of also embracing the Hip- Hop culture and other local acts and music genres,” he said.
We await the release of Carnival Rap Up 2014 and even with that, Hip Hop fans can also get ready the release of Chromatics’ Science of Colours Volume 3 mixtape, which will be getting Angostura’s support like it did last year. “It’ll be released on the same day as Carnival Rap Up 3- March 9th and it’ll be available for free download online, inclusive of Carnival Rap Up 2014,” he assured.]]>
Following great performances by King Rudder and Barbadian entertainer Rupee, Fay-Annn strutted on stage wearing some very hot dance leotards and a fitted denim jacket. Her body language spelt confidence and wearing some killer heels, the former Road March, Power Soca Monarch and Groovy Soca Monarch champion belted out her crossover single, ‘Catch Me’ to a very mature audience, who took it all in. One would think that a Las Vegas styled Carnival showcase in the heat of Carnival would be impossible to draw audiences to, but this wasn’t so. The auditorium was filled when we arrived and all eyes were glued to the stage and while it was quite a unique setting, the main element of carnival- Soca music, was the constant. Fay-Ann’s performance included male dancers who lifted her into the air and with her vocals on the ball, the Vi-Queen delivered.
The show kicks off at 6:30pm on each night and goes for two hours non stop at the Hyatt. The show also includes dancers in traditional carnival costumes and the like. Live At The Hyatt is undeniably a different taste of T&T’s carnival ecstasy- one that the mature and sophisticated carnival lover will certainly enjoy.
The frontline threesome of Virgil Williams, Akeem “Preedy” Chance, and Cherisse Guerra are ready for the season, and understanding that the market is a bit saturated, they’re promising an all round level of showmanship that will wow worldwide audiences. Complete with the professionalism that’s needed and the music to prove their worth, O.M.G The Band aims at showing promoters and corporate entities that they are worth investing in.
Four brand new releases can be expected from the band this season, and already one of the songs, released by Chance, best known by his sobriquet, ‘Preedy’, is making the rounds. ‘Wining Champion’ is the first of the four songs slated to be released by the band. The track is one of the singles on the popular, Sando riddim, which also features mega soca star, Machel Montano and others. It is with this particular single that Chance secured his spot in the Soca Monarch semis. Whether he will make it through to the finals is left to be seen.
For the team that comprises O.M.G The Band, 2014 is a new adventure, one they’re excited to begin. Look and listen out for them and of course, be sure to let us know if you’re feeling them when next you do.]]>