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Even After Death, Devon Matthews’ Memory Lives. Love Flows in Celebration of Fallen Soca Artiste’s Birthday.

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Devon Matthews and Ella Andall during their Soca Monarch performance in 2017.

His larger than life personality may be solely responsible for the unexplainable sorrow that remains for many around the world, when thoughts of Devon Matthews float around. In that moment of sorrow though, those who truly know him, would know he wouldn’t have had it. His slogan, ‘No Kill Joy’ remains an ever-constant reminder that he was vibes personified and there was no room for sadness or negativity around him. Today, Trinidad and Tobago and those who knew Devon around the world, celebrated his birthday. He would have been 37- years-old.

On the radio station he’d called home for many years, RED 96.7FM, his voice was heard, introducing a segment from 12 noon, that marked the start of a tribute in his honor. The radio hosts at the frequency had given the public notice that all attention and respect would be paid to the young man who had brought so many people, so much hope, upliftment and joy. Personality, JJ, a close friend of Matthews, delivered Matthews’ popular radio segment, “Classic Gold”- a retro music experience which included music from Lord Nelson, the Black Stalin and of course, the King of Pop, Michael Jackson- Devon’s favourite entertainer of all time. It was during the delivery of that on air program today that Matthews’ mother, fondly referred to as Aunty Gloria, was telephoned. She expressed pride in her child, appreciation to the personalities and management at RED 96.7FM and even admitted that she still struggles with the loss of her only child.

 

Devon with his mother Gloria.

Devon died on Sunday, July 16th at hospital. He had complained of feeling unwell moments prior to mounting the stage at Tribe’s 2018 band launch event. He subsequently slumped to the ground while seated near the DJ, and was rushed to hospital, where he died. He had suffered a heart attack. Devon’s memory lives on. His popular hit, ‘De Journey’ sung with Ella Andell sends ripples when heard and his larger than life personality is often remembered on air. Today, as tribute was paid by many who had the opportunity to be apart of his life, there was no question that Devon Matthews flies high among his friends, family and all of Trinidad and Tobago- a country he loved so much.

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Fay Ann Takes Charge of The International Soca Monarch Competition. ‘Power’ Segment Will Return. Blaxx, Patrice, Swappi Praise Decision.

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Things just got interesting. “Power is back”- the words of 38-year-old Fay Ann Lyons-Alvarez, in the wake of news that she’d been appointed to head the International Soca Monarch Competition. Her new portfolio will afford her the opportunity to make strategic changes, to better the show, as seen fit.

The announcement, made by National Carnival Commission Chairman, Winston ‘Gypsy’ Peters, Lyons-Alvarez’s uncle, has since gone viral. Peters has also disclosed that while finances to be allocated to the competition, have not yet been decided, the event’s semi finals will return to the Arima Velodrome, while the finals will take place at the Queen’s Park Savannah.

Lyons-Alvarez last took part in the competition in 2011. To this day, she remains the only female to have ever won the Power leg of the competition. Both she and her husband, Bunji Garlin, removed themselves from the competition, citing unfavorable contractual stipulations in the ISM contract at the time.

Blaxx Praises ViQueen’s Appointment

Blaxx

In an immediate response on the appointment, fellow soca artiste, Dexter ‘Blaxx’ Stewart said a better person could not have been chosen for the post. “Personally I had no intentions of going back into the Soca Monarch but, I think having senior artistes in the competition is very beneficial to the culture. I will say this, I will be entering this year! Just the mere fact that Fay Ann is running it, I can vouch, she is one of the most astute, straight up persons in this business,” said Blaxx. He said while many criticized her, he felt that Fay Ann would do the best job at handling the competition.

“She is a no grin, no smile person. I don’t care how the other artists feel but brother, what a choice! That girl will be one hell of an administrator. I am one of the oldest artistes in the industry and I will say this : they could not have made a better choice.”- Blaxx

Separately, Blaxx said he was certain that Gypsy too, would do a great job at the helm of the NCC. He spoke of Grenada’s Soca Monarch competition, saying that the Spice Isle has made their competition a part of the island’s tourism product and it has been tremendously successful. “A lot of our things that we have taken for granted, they have made it amazing,” he said.

Patrice Roberts, Swappi, Give The Thumbs Up to Fay Ann’s Appointment.

Patrice Roberts

Meanwhile, fellow female soca heavyweight, Patrice Roberts in a quick chat with EBUZZTT while working out at the gym, said she was happy to see a female now standing at the helm of such a major carnival competition.

“I think she has what it takes to take Soca Monarch where it could possibly be. She has been in the industry and in Soca monarch for a while and I am honestly happy for her and even more happy to see a female being the chairman of the ISM.” – Patrice Roberts.

Patrice, who has unleashed a slew of hits for Carnival 2019, said she could not confirm whether she would be taking part in the competition. She said her head had not been on that, when we spoke with her.

Swappi

Likewise, Swappi, who has been having a pretty incredible pre-carnival 2019 season, said he is very happy and confident that Fay Ann Lyons will do a great job. ” There is no ifs, ands or maybes. I know she will do a great job. She always strikes gold at everything she does. She is a warrior. She has a warrior’s spirit in her. I can afford to say Power Soca is back and the whole energy of the competition is back!” He said he is still unsure as to whether he would re-enter, having been emotionally affected by previous years of inclusion in the competition.

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Tribe Ice Sets Things In Motion. De T’ing Start.

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We’re not gonna review any fetes. That’s honestly for you the patron to do, all on your own. The reality is, every person experiences a fete in his own way. Three people may attend the same fete and have completely different perspectives. Now, direct from EBUZZTT’s lens, here are a few things we peeped at Tribe Ice, which was held at the Queen’s Park Savannah this past Saturday night.

Shal Marshal at Tribe Ice.

Fetters Do Not Want Long Winded Performances.


The days of telling crowds to do this and do that, are long gone. Soca artistes we are here to tell you that your job has gotten a hell of a lot easier! We know you want to see crowds get wild- jump, wave and misbehave, but the truth is, there are no WASA, Fire or Licensing fetes that once encouraged that vibe, anymore. The last of the mohicans is Army Fete, so save all the long-winded stage antics for Army Fete on Friday, February 22nd. It was awesome to see acts like Shal Marshall, Vaughn and Nailah Blackman execute with consideration to this reality on Saturday night at Tribe Ice.

The Women of Soca Are All Showing off The Goods.


Nadia Batson’s already having a phenomenal season. Her hit, “So Long” has possibly guaranteed her a place at every fete this season, and beyond. Added to that, the sultry beauty is claiming her space among the Soca hotties, reveling in the saucy sexual splendor of her physical structure and showing fans, she’s just as hot as the rest, if not hotter! On Saturday night at Tribe Ice, Nadia boldly took the stage in a white outfit that left very little to the imagination. She was in charge and she feared nothing. A veteran in the game, Batson, who was once a part of Kes The Band, has been at the fore of the soca industry for many years, and knows just how to make crowds shake. She proved it this past weekend!

Machel Montano’s Often in The Mix, Chillin.

Machel Montano may not have graced the stage at Tribe Ice on Sunday morning, like Erphaan Alves, Teddyson John, Vaughn, Nadia and Nailah, but he certainly was at the event. The artiste was photographed in the Committee area with fashion designer, Neil Young. Machel’s presence continues to be a thrilling sight for many at carnival time and while he may not be on the cast at all carnival fetes, it’s highly likely that the ‘Toco Loco’ singer will be seen mingling and having fun, when stage isn’t on his agenda.

Now, all this said, there are some rumblings in various circles that Tribe Ice 2019 still lacked the kind of feting spirit once synonymous with T&T carnival. Truth be told, it’s been missing for some time. Sadly, Fay Ann Lyons’ ‘Feel Good’ on the Foli Riddim wasn’t on the DJs list of “must plays” for the night, obviously diminishing any hope of reminding folks to put away their phones and just FETE! Now, onto the next!

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