While the islands await word on when there’ll be another carnival in these parts, Caribbean people around the US are feting like there’s no tomorrow. This past weekend, Atlantic City was a whole vibe with several of the Caribbean’s best entertainers gathered for non stop enjoyment at the Beach Roadtrip weekend. Among the artistes promoted for the weekend were, Dexta Daps, Bunji Garlin, Alkaline, Problem Child and Grenada’s Mr. Killa.
Problem Child is one of those artistes who’ve seemingly started the madness that usually makes its way into T&T’s carnival, annually. He’s been mashing up fetes with a song called ‘Crocodile’ that’s gaining momentum and, with hopes that T&T’s government will ease up on Covid restrictions, maybe we’ll see just what that track can do in the months ahead.
Despite all that’s happening internationally however, there’s still apprehension over whether “normal” will return to T&T anytime soon. In case you haven’t heard- any non national wishing to enter Trinidad and Tobago’s borders, must be fully vaccinated with a PCR test in hand, to prove they’re free of the virus. Even nationals who wish to enter and haven’t been vaccinated, must present their negative PCR test and added to that, upon entry, they’ll be taken to an official state quarantine facility for a period of 7 days, which they’ll have to fork out the cash to pay for.
There’s still a lot of skepticism surrounding the vaccination, much in part to conspiracies, but there are also legitimate questions facing governments globally. One such question surrounds the fact that several major Western countries have exempted manufacturers from liability in the rare case where a person may suffer serious illness or injury as a result of the Covid vaccine. One may ask, why is this so, especially since up to this time, all COVID-19 vaccines operate under emergency use authorization. In the US specifically, as the Delta variant poses some threat to comfort, there is mounting pressure by some medical experts for the US Food and Drug administration to grant full approval as soon as possible as a way of encouraging those who are hesitant about taking the vaccine, to get with the programme.
Speaking with Politico, Abby Capobianco, a spokeswoman for the FDA, said the agency is moving as quickly as possible on the vaccine makers’ applications for full approval, but she would not tell Politico when that approval might happen.
Trinidad and Tobago’s government has announced plans to push their vaccination programme into high gear beginning this week, with some 800,000 doses of Chinese Sinopharm vaccines said to have been making its way to local shores by today.
Playboy’s First Creative Director In Residence, Cardi B to Dancer, Inhalemee : “I Love Her.”
Rapper, Cardi B last night shared a quick moment with well known Caribbean dancer, Denisha ‘Inhalemee’ Burton, who shares Trinidadian roots with her. In an IG stories post, the pair showed fans a quick glimpse of their respect for each other, Cardi saying, “I love herrrr.” In 2018, there was speculation that the pair would hook up for Cardi to learn to ‘wine like a Trini.’
This past weekend, the Bronx born entertainer stepped out at an event attended by the Trini-Jamaican dancer where Cardi’s brand new Spiked Whipped Creams were the focus. Also in attendance were the rapper’s hubby, Offset, producer Timbaland, Teyana Taylor and Karrueche Tran.
Cardi’s got a lot to celebrate these days. She’s now Playboy’s first creative director in residence and the founding creative director and founding member of an upcoming platform, Centerford. In a statement last week, the ‘Up’ singer said, “It is a dream come true to officially join the Playboy family. “I can’t believe this is real. For as long as I can remember, I’ve felt connected to Playboy. It’s truly the original platform for uncensored creativity and I’m inspired by its incredible legacy of fighting for personal freedoms. I have so many ideas already — I can’t wait!”
On the topic of the ‘Centerfold’ job, the rapper said, “I’m also excited to launch our creator-led platform, Centerfold. Creators today deserve to express themselves freely and unfiltered. They deserve to feel safe in their creativity and sexuality. And they deserve to own their future. This is what Centerfold is all about. For all those creators out there doing bold, revolutionary, truly culture-shifting things, come join me.”
Cardi B will oversee Playboy’s artistic direction on digital editorials, activations and upcoming co-branded apparel and sexual wellness products.
“Cardi B is a creative genius and we are absolutely thrilled and honored to bring her immense talent and creative vision to Playboy,” said , in a statement. “Through her unapologetic commitment to free expression, her dedication to lifting up artistic voices and her celebration of sex and body positivity, Cardi is the embodiment of the Playboy brand. I can’t wait to see what Cardi and our team develop together with our merchandise design, development and distribution capabilities and our best-in-class content production. I also can’t think of a better creative visionary to partner with us on the launch of Centerfold. Centerfold will revolutionize the creator economy just as Playboy magazine shook up the publishing industry nearly 70 years ago — and Cardi is the perfect shepherd into this new era.”
According to Ben Kohn, chief executive officer of Plby Group, Centerfold will ACenterfold will give creators an opportunity to “interact directly with their fans, expand their communities and build their own personal content and commerce businesses across music, fashion, art, activism and adult entertainment,.”
The platform is expected to launch this month.
Sistaron’s Trailblazing. Artist’s New Hit Single, ‘Fwd’, Is All That!
Rhonda Knights is the undisputed female HipHop queen of Trinidad and Tobago and this incontestable fact facilitated her rise to acclaim in the 90’s in Trinidad and Tobago, but she’s far from done. As fierce as she’s ever been, Sistaron, as she’s popularly known, now delivers another hit single, this time with melody that’s intrinsically Soca.
Even amid pandemic restrictions, Sistaron remained focused, bent on delivering her unique sound, and that she has. She’s made a point of blending her country’s sweet, Soca melody with a few lines that bring home the head- bopping fire she’s well known for. ‘Fwd’ is a lyrically sound piece of work that’s uplifted with the production skill of none other than producer, LL Cool Blaze, with mastering by Keron ‘Sherrif’ Thompson. Peter ‘Wildfire’ Noel is credited with vocal co-production, building on their relationship from her previous release, ‘Waiting for You.’
When she re-emerged onto the Caribbean music circuit two years ago, Sistaron received a warm welcome. Her single, ‘Look Ting Now’ was enough to prove that she was prepared to leave a lasting impression. Now, with a thirst to deliver music that fans and people from all walks of life can relate to, dance and sing along to, the former Keskidee Karavan hit maker, elevates with ‘Fwd.’
“It’s a track that anyone can relate to – men and women,” she explained, adding that this particular single isn’t being marketed specifically to the carnival season. “A lot of the artistes have changed that mindset of creating music with lyrics specific to carnival. The pandemic showed many of us what needed to change. We’re at a crossroads where we simply want to release music for consistency and we don’t want to be pressed for a certain time period,” she said. The Miami based artist highlighted the chaos often caused when music is released specifically for the Carnival season, with artistes all clamoring for radio airplay. “This situation may prove beneficial to the industry, since now we can all focus on delivering music anytime, irrespective of a festival per say.”
Still, the carnival lover maintains hope that Trinidad and Tobago will see brighter days ahead. “Many of us out here in the US are concerned because we know the strain the economy back home, is under. We know what our contribution annually, means to the economy,” she said, highlighting that no matter what, Trinidad and Tobago’s carnival is essential.
Equipped with her individual style and flair, Sistaron says it’s never easy to reinvent oneself and keep going, and for that, she’s immensely satisfied with her determination. “I’m shocking myself all the time,” she said, laughing at the moments she often finds herself pondering the fact that she wrote the music she just happens to be singing. “Someone once told me that I should keep adjusting my crown, because they’re watching, and that fueled me to keep going,” she admitted, adding, “reinventing myself and producing good stuff is giving me my own vibe right now.”
She tells up and coming creatives to avoid placing boundaries on themselves, saying that it’s good to broaden their perspective so they can see a wider spectrum of all that they can be. Her new single is testimony to that mindset- the artist explaining that it all came together as it needed to, after multiple random chats with friends and even a chance encounter with an Afro Beats mixtape she’d heard almost two years before. “This song is made up of a little of everything, meshed perfectly to deliver a huge something that’s not only relatable, but honest and real,” she said.
For the very latest on Sistaron, follow her on Instagram @sistaron.
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