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Menswear Designer Ecliff Elie Isn’t All Fashion. He Shows Heart Too in Latest Move.

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Even fashion can play a pivotal role in the lives of Caribbean youth. Trinidad and Tobago menswear designer Ecliff Elie, concerned about the uphill battle faced by so many young men in Trinidad and Tobago, for yet another year opened his heart to do something he felt would uplift a few of them, shining the spotlight on them, if only for one special night in 2019. For a dozen teenage boys who were leaving the Secondary education system to continue their respective journeys, Elie and his team donated custom tailored suits for their graduation events.

Ecliff Elie never forgets his humble beginnings.

One student of Diego Martin Secondary was chosen by his teachers for the ultimate graduation gift from the contemporary menswear brand, Elie explaining that he had in fact given a speech at the school and engaged the teachers, asking them to choose a student they considered highly promising to be outfitted. Separately, one young man who attended CUC College was also outfitted. He had performed well academically, despite the challenges associated with his single parent background. Over in sister isle Tobago, Ecliff also teamed up with the Pink Diamond Society to deliver a suit to a special young man, chosen by the group.

Elie’s focus on fashion throughout his life catapulted him from his Arima, East Trinidad hometown, eventually opening him up to greater opportunities in the West of the island. His Rosalino Street, Woodbrook fashion house now caters to the needs of many professionals and men from all walks of life who desire the right fit, and look for various occasions. “I know how hard it can be to shoulder the many burdens that go hand in hand with adolescence. There’s a period of uncertainty faced by all youths and sometimes a little moral support can go a long way,” said Elie.

He has been a source of inspiration for many young people who’ve heard his story- his mother having been a single parent of 15 children and he being the last of the brood. Ecliff’s father passed away when he was just 5-years-old. “I know what it’s like to be in many of their shoes. My mother was forced to be the sole breadwinner after my father passed away. I know that’s not very easy for most mothers so because of my personal experience I will always try to help,” said Elie. He also called on society to think of the greater good. “I believe that if we each do what we can in our respective disciplines, to aid in at least one young person’s life journey, the Trinidad and Tobago we see now, can be uplifted and changed,” he said.

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‘I Am Legend’ Concert Postponed as COVID-19 Fears Increase.

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The COVID-19 virus, a matter of immeasurable concern, globally, at this time, ‘I Am Legend’ concert franchise owner Glenroy Watson has postponed this year’s highly anticipated reggae showcase in Trinidad and Tobago, to a date to be announced. “The world as we know it has the potential to change in light of this pandemic and this isn’t something to be taken lightly. We’ve been closely monitoring developments on this issue since February and now it’s time to act,” said the businessman.   

‘I Am Legend’ has hosted reggae sensation, Buju Banton over the years. The event reconnected fans in Trinidad and Tobago and Guyana with the Jamaican entertainer in 2019, 10 years after his last appearance in T&T when he appeared at ‘I Am Legend’, and just four months after his release from US prison. Reviews following both events last year, were very good. “We cannot afford to simply ignore this issue. People are losing their lives and our event is one that caters to a broad demographic of people, many of whom would be between the ages of 40 and 65. That’s the power of good, reggae music. It has the ability to bring out both the young and the young and heart,” said Watson. He says because of this reality, the risk factors surrounding hosting ‘I Am Legend’ on its usual Easter weekend calendar date, are high and certainly a risk he isn’t willing to take. 

The I Am Legend promotional franchise has maintained its appreciation for positive reggae music, Watson consistently advocating for the promotion of sound musical influences for the benefit of both the youth and the mature entertainment seekers. “Rest assured that when the I Am Legend’ concert date is announced and our lineup of artistes are revealed when all cause for concern is settled, the show will be nothing short of spectacular. For now, the safety and health of everyone out there, is our primary concern,” said Watson.   

For updates on the I Am Legend concert, patrons are reminded that they should follow High Frequency Entertainment on Instagram and Facebook. 

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No Playing. One Voice Keeps Pushing Post Carnival 2020 in T&T.

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Less than a week after Trinidad and Tobago’s Carnival had ended, one US based artiste began thinking and working on the prospects for 2021. One Voice, an entertainer with a heart of gold, says no matter the challenges faced in the business, his love for Soca music keeps him focused on the prize and he knows he will conquer what many may see as far-fetched.

One Voice remains committed to Soca.

It’s never been easy to break through in the Soca arena. For years, the prominent names attached to the genre have remained relatively intact, unchanging, despite the introduction of a few new contributors to the spirit of the sound. Many argue that this is the reason the new ‘Zesser’ movement has enthralled the youths in downtrodden communities in Trinidad and Tobago. It’s been said that many of the artistes who make up that movement were once knocking on the doors of the Soca industry, to no avail. Now, they’ve created an emulated dancehall sound that is breaking barriers, even in Jamaica.

One Voice says despite many years of knocking and little major penetration on the mainstream circuit, he remains committed to the Caribbean Soca vibe. “There’s nothing like Soca music and there’s nothing else I’d want to be a part of. I believe Soca music is growing every year, and reaching people in parts around the globe, more than it ever has. That’s something to celebrate,” he said, adding that he has no issue with the fusion of Soca with other genres, saying blending the sounds could only make it better. “There’s something to be said about sharing our gifts with the world. Soca music is our gift to be shared. I see what I contribute as a part of me that I’d like people from everywhere to enjoy. I don’t do any of this to compete with anyone. I basically see my efforts as a contributing factor towards the growth of the genre,” he said.

This past Carnival, One Voice who is based in Brooklyn New York, delivered two Soca tracks- ‘True Feter’ and ‘Trust’. He traveled to the country in early January, promoting his music across the urban airwaves and via other traditional media, and while his efforts may not have effectively positioned him at the top of the pack this season, he remains focused and patient. “When it’s my time to shine, I know I will. I’m dedicated to my craft and I will continue to push hard the only way I know how- by delivering good music consistently,” he said.

For more on OneVoice, and what he brings to the table, check out his Instagram profile @onevizzy.

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