It’s been a tough year- matter of fact, it’s been a tumultuous two years; but, there’s been a silver lining – a greater appreciation among Caribbean people for the culture of their native lands. For Trinbagonians around the world, Carnival’s elements have been missed. At home in Trinidad and Tobago where the Mecca festival was missed in 2021, and no word yet on whether there will be anything resembling carnival in 2022, culture stakeholders remain hopeful. In Miami however, fetters, pan lovers, Masqueraders, DJs and performers lead the way into the next season of possibilities, this coming weekend.
On Friday, the Miami Carnival Panorama kicks off at 5pm at the Miami- Dade County Fairgrounds, which will play host to all of this coming weekend’s events, including the anticipated Miami Carnival Parade of Bands on Sunday, October 10th. That starts at 12noon and follows the J’ouvert excitement which starts at 7am and goes until 3pm! Now that is vibes!
On Friday however, bands like Melo Groove, Metro Steel Orchestra, Phase III Pan Stars, Resurrection Steel and Sticks’ n’ Tones Steel band compete before what is expected to be an upbeat crowd of pan aficionados and those new to the sweet sound of steel. There will also be guest performances by the Trinidad All-Stars Steel Orchestra & Newtown Playboys Steel Symphony.
Soca artistes have taken up temporary residence in the US since the summer started. Artistes like Fay Ann Lyons, Bunji Garlin, Voice, Nadia Batson, Patrice Roberts and many others have been delivering to fans across the US for the past few months. Now, they’ll hit the Miami Carnival main stage in what’s dubbed the Miami Carnival Soca Concert on Sunday. Headlined by Bunji and Fay Ann, the event will see performances by Ravi B & Karma, Voice, Dil E Nadan, The A-Team Band, Iwer George, Destra Garcia, Skinny Banton, Motto, Nadia Batson, Teddyson John, Patrice Roberts, Julien Believe, Asa Bantan, Wendy & DJ Judgement, Jeran P, Jay Shephard, Annika Berry, DJ Spice and Mature Vibes among others.
Each year, Miami Broward carnival, which is produced by the Miami Broward One Carnival Host Committee and hosted by the Greater Miami Convention and Visitors Bureau, attracts thousands from around the US, with even carnival lovers from T&T ensuring they’re present annually. This year, amid the COVID-19 pandemic’s restrictions, attendees to all major Miami Carnival events on the weekend, must show a negative PCR test, taken no earlier than October 6th to be allowed access to the fun.
For more on the upcoming events, details on park and ride and even info on where you can get your PCR test, call the Miami Carnival team at 305.653.1877 or CLICK HERE. Also, follow Miami Carnival on social media- Twitter+IG @miabrocarnival and Facebook at Miami Broward One.
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.
CHECK OUT THE NEW MUSIC VIDEO
Bunji, Fay Ann Go Hard With New Soca Rave Sound.
As talk of Trinidad and Tobago’s carnival 2022 maintains some momentum with stakeholders weighing in on the practicality of a festival being hosted, soca artistes like Fay Ann Lyons and her husband, Bunji Garlin, are hard at work. The duo, still overseas, having spent most of the summer in the US, have unleashed a brand new track, collaboratively done and totally out of the box. This morning, Bunji declined to comment on the new single or anything else for that matter, telling us that he preferred to focus on releasing good music for the people at this present time.
The new single is a crossover into the mainstream ‘rave’ genre that is huge in places like Miami, Los Angeles, Chicago, Detroit and New York. Blending the traditional hyped sound of Soca music with the Rave element, breeds a flavour that they both deliver comfortably on. In 2015, Lyons-Alvarez experimented with the sound when she unleashed the powerful, ‘Raze’- a tune that proved to be a truly epic fetter’s anthem. Now, fast forward to 2021, as the world anticipates a revival of energy to life, she comes hard again, this time with her husband, in a song they’ve called, ‘What You See.’
The new single was collaboratively written by both artistes and produced by St. Lucia’s, Lashley ‘Motto’ Winter and Yannick Plante. The track sits on the Ibiza Riddim, which also features Motto and St. Vincent’s Skinny Fabulous.
HERE’S THE BRAND NEW TRACK:
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