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Maryland is Delivering A Wave of Soca Ecstasy, Led By Team ‘Holli.’ THIS IS WILD.

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Caribbean people all over the world are in tune to the sound and vibe of Soca music and all that comes along with it. While in Trinidad and Tobago, Soca still struggles to get first place status across the airwaves, a team of twenty-something year- olds in Maryland have found that there’s so much curiosity for the genre and its accompanying festivities among generation Z entertainment seekers in their neck of the woods, that they’ve launched an all-Soca radio station, online. 

Andre Noreiga and his diverse team that includes a few other 1st generation West Indians, including two of his friends from Queen’s Royal College in Trinidad, have been heavily involved in the promotion of J’ouvert in Maryland. The Holli J’ouvert brand is exclusively theirs and its now expanding to include Holli Radio- this of course, on the heels of their YouTube Channel that’s been pretty hands on in teaching those out there who’ve been seeking clarity on everything that’s part and parcel of the Carnival festival. “On YouTube, the aim is to create different series to explain the different aspects of our culture, so the first series was the ‘Carnival Ready’ series that pretty much answered a lot of the questions that second generation West Indians would have,” said Andre. 

He and his team have been very observant of the appreciation shown by many children of first-generation Caribbean people – those folks who would’ve migrated to the US, and started a family there. “We realized how interested many of them were after we hosted our first Holli J’ouvert, but they also had a lot of questions. They were unsure of how they should dress, they asked whether they should bring chairs and stuff like that so with the YouTube series, a lot of those kinds of questions were answered,” he explained. Andre said the team even offered a wining tutorial within the YouTube series and also catered to questions surrounding acceptable cultural behaviour.  

Photos from Maryland’s Holli J’ouvert

When it comes to Soca music, Andre admits that migrating to the US led to an increased appreciation for the music of his homeland.. “When I came here, my love for Soca grew, and I think that’s the case with a lot of people in the Diaspora,” he said, telling Ebuzztt that this was exactly why the team decided it was time for an all-soca radio station that everyone- no matter what city, state or country they’re in, could have access to. “Holli Radio is already live online. Soca music lovers can download our app from the App store or the Google Play store,” he confirmed. 

Essentially living, walking protectors of the culture, the Holli team has taken on the challenge of educating while entertaining. Their plan is multidimensional, with an overall aim of marketing Soca music and the carnival culture to folks who may never have even heard about it. Now, with the launch of their digital radio platform, the Holli team is one step closer to making this hope, a reality. 

For more on the Holli J’ouvert brand , check out them out on Instagram and don’t forget to download the Holli Radio app in the App store or Google Play store, today! For even more, visit the Holli Network and check out their YouTube channel.

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“We Are a Small, But Proud Country.” – TT Health Minister To Trevor Noah.

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Trinidad and Tobago’s Health Minister is today being hailed a hero for his professional execution of yesterday’s interview on The Daily Show with Trevor Noah.

During the virtual interview with the South Africa born host, Deyalsingh is heard repeating, “Trinidad is a small but proud country.”

The interview was seen as necessary by the team at The Daily Show, according to Noah, to debunk rapper, Nicki Minaj’s claim that someone in Trinidad had experienced testicular swelling after being vaccinated for COVID-19. Introducing the minister to his global audience with a bit of humor and some reference to Trinidad and Tobago’s carnival culture, Noah allowed the minister to deliver his Ministry’s statistics. Minister Deyalsingh noted that some 1 million vaccine doses have been administered in a population of 1.3 million. “We are confident that we have brought WHO approved vaccines to Trinidad and Tobago,” he said, before adding, “of those 1 million doses of vaccines we have administered, there have been only been 5 cases of adverse events, all reported to WHO.” Minister Deyalsingh further stated, “none of them includes testicular swelling.”

In the comments beneath the Daily Show video on YouTube, viewers congratulated the country’s minister on a job well done. One person, Constance Robertson said, “This Jamaican thanks the TT Minister of Health for repping the entire Caribbean.”

HERE’S THE INTERVIEW:

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Does Nicki Minaj Hate Trinidad? Artist “Vaccine and Testicles” Tweet Makes Viral Mess.

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Chinese Laundry (left) with Soca King, Machel Montano on stage at Machel Monday.

Tony Chow Lin On- better known as Chinese Laundry, the owner of urban radio station, 96.1WEFM in Trinidad, is baffled by the negative publicity surrounding recent remarks by Nicki Minaj on Twitter as it relates to why she declined this year’s Met Gala invitation. He calmly analyzed the situation on Facebook this afternoon.

Minaj, a St. James, Trinidad born rapper has left international media houses spinning, with even CNN covering her tweet. “My cousin in Trinidad won’t get the vaccine cuz his friend got it & became impotent. His testicles became swollen. His friend was weeks away from getting married, now the girl called off the wedding. So just pray on it & make sure you’re comfortable with ur decision, not bullied,” she wrote on the social media platform. Her comment came after explaining that she had not been vaccinated, which was a requirement for all guests attending Monday’s Met Gala.

On the heels of coverage by various media outlets, including Variety, and even a humorous highlight by comedian Trevor Noah, Chow Lin On said, “her words were harmful at a critical time.”


The well known Trinidad and Tobago entertainment industry executive wrote, “All major news agencies, CNN , Washington Post and others including Dr Fauci , all concluded that Nicki Minaj’s baseless claims were irresponsible at best and highlights the issue of when celebrity influence is terribly harmful. So after all the memes, fun and social media engagement, long after it’s not a trending topic , her words were harmful at a critical time , as the world is engaged in the mother of all battles , THE PANDEMIC!!!! and the unfortunate side show , it’s a Trini with missing brain cells , Jed I want us to be famous for our music , our culture, our sporting achievements, our contributions to protecting the environment, a model for multi ethnic societies etc etc . THIS MY FRIEND IS NOT IT.”

This latest less- than -well- thought -out expression by the 38-year-old “Anaconda” singer comes on the heels of the 2020 Tokyo Olympics scandal involving Trinidad and Tobago sprinter, Michelle Lee Ahye who called out Minaj on Twitter in July, after she congratulated Jamaica’s athletic team and failed to even mention the Trinidad and Tobago athletes who were also at the games.

Trinidad and Tobago’s health minister meanwhile has debunked the rapper’s statement untrue.

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