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Shenseea Signs International Endorsement Deal with Carib. Locals Question The Move.

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This past weekend, much of the consistent chatter across social media stemmed from news that emerged on Friday that Jamaican dancehall artist, Shenseea had been selected by Trinidad and Tobago’s Carib Beer, to be their newest international endorsee.

Ecstatic for having signed her ninth endorsement deal, even amid the pandemic slowdown, Shenseea shared the news with fans via social media. Despite her happiness though, many questioned why the company would choose a Jamaican artiste to be its international brand ambassador, over a Trinidad and Tobago entertainer. In response, one person took to a popular Instagram page saying, “The reason our local dancehall artistes don’t get sponsored from these companies like @caribbeer @stagamansbeer @digiceltrinbago etc is because of the type of music they promote, which is violence. Big name companies won’t endorse that.”

Shenseea signs international endorsement deal with Carib Beer.

Others chose to disown the Carib brand altogether, making it clear that their choice of beer would always be Carib’s brother brand, Stag. One person went on to suggest that Trinidad and Tobago’s artistes may not be considered ‘marketable.’ “Maybe you Trinis are not marketable and Shenseea is, and Carib tryna go global and not just local. You guys need to look at it as business and not because you from Trinidad you should get that.”

That comment sparked a firestorm of rage from locals, taking the conversation to the carnival culture, with a well known carnival photographer going as far as to say, “Jamaicans use our designers and brands for their carnival. In fact their uptown crowd may love soca as much as they love dancehall…”

Amid the tit for tat playing out across social media, the company has not made any counteractive remarks on the issue. A statement issued simply welcomes the dancehall superstar to the company, highlighting the good feedback received in the aftermath of the announcement.

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Caribbean Buzz

Jamaica’s Lila Ike Calls for More Caribbean Unity.

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Grenadian artiste, Jeverson.

Caribbean artistes, Sabrina Francis, Lila Iké, Patrice Roberts and Mr. Killa recently performed at the Grenada Caribbean Music Festival. The event was hosted at Port Louis Lawn, St. George’s on June 22nd. Grenadian artiste, Jeverson, was also a part of the experience. He said, “Our festival has thrived thanks to the incredible support from our community. It was key to spotlight Grenada – ensuring that the Vibes Stage entertainment exclusively featured Grenadian acts.”

Jeverson – a singer, songwriter and businessman, was the first as the first Grenadian to make an appearance on the popular television series ‘American Idol.’ “We’re really proud that our event started on-time – our production team did an amazing job ensuring that everything ran smoothly for our patrons to deliver world-class entertainment,” he said of the event’s production.

Afro Caribbean Pop, Reggae and Soca Hit Grenada

Sabrina Francis

On Saturday, Grenadian songbird, Sabrina Francis set the tone for the evening’s festivities. Her signature blend of Afro Caribbean Pop and RnB, was thoroughly enjoyed by the audience. Together with The Treehouse Band, she delivered songs like, “Cocoa Tea” and “Mama Say,’ among others. Jamaican reggae artiste, Lila Ike, who is herself, fast becoming an international sensation, also graced the event’s stage. She performed an hour- long set, which featured songs like “I Spy”, “Where I’m Coming From” and her latest, “He Loves Us Both” – a track done collaboratively with, H.E.R. Ike called for more unity among Caribbean people during her performance. She praised her Grenadian counterparts for welcoming her with open arms to their island.

The event would later be energized with Soca artistes, Patrice Roberts and Mr. Killa, delivering their high impact performances. Backed by the A-Team Band, Roberts gave those present her all, singing, ‘Anxiety,’ Old and Grey,’ and ‘ Mind My Business,’ among her countless other hits. Son of the soil, Mr. Killa, known for his memorable stage shows, did not fail to bring further excitement to the show, in the end closing the festival with just a sample of what’s to come for Spicemas 2024.

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Caribbean Buzz

Soca & Dancehall Week Wrapped. Hoppy – “It Was The Right Time to Pay Tribute.”

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Approx. 3 min read

Trinidad and Tobago has experienced the effects of Scorch Radio’s concept of a Soca and Dancehall week and by the looks of it, it may be the start of an annual staging. The series of events, which included several panel discussions, ended with a massive concert at the Queen’s Park Savannah on Saturday night.

Shenseea, Popcaan and several local entertainers, including Isasha and Sackie, thrilled the crowd of young partygoers on the final night, but even before that, the energy of the concept had been felt across the island. In the lead up to the weekend, Caribbean Musicon was held and focused on sharing ideas and discussing areas of concern in the promotion of Caribbean music, to global audiences. Free to enter and experience, the four day symposium featured several panel discussions and even offered students an opportunity to learn some of the career paths that are available to them in the business of entertainment.

Among those who spoke at the live panel discussions throughout the series, were globally known songwriter and singer, Angela Hunte, Soca artiste, Farmer Nappy, event promoter, Jules Sobion, National Carnival Commission CEO, Keiba Jacob Motley, cultural entrepreneur and producer, Lorraine O’Connor, UberSocaCruise publicist Jodi Covington, music producer Kasey Phillips and former Major Lazer member, DJ and Producer Jillionaire. Several members of the TriniBad genre’s advocates, inclusive of artistes and producers, along with Dime Media’s, Delicia Patterson, were also included in the mix.

Singer, Songwriter Angela Hunte

Supported by the Ministry of Culture, Tourism and the Arts as well as the Ministry of Sport and youth Development of Trinidad and Tobago, the cumulative event was deemed necessary by Scorch Radio boss, Kwesi Hopkinson. “We felt it was the right time to not only pay tribute to these artforms, which have shaped and colored our lives, but to also have those essential discussions about the industry and the way forward, and our respective roles and responsibilities in advancing and evolving our industry toward achieving more and more success,” he said.

On June 19th, Stink and Dutty was held at the Savannah, in the lead up to Stage Show on Saturday night. The well known event, which is a carnival staple, saw fete lovers emerge in all their glory. “This is the greatest party in the world,” said Aaron ‘Voice’ St. Louis, at the event last Wednesday. “I doh care what nobody say, this should be a staple for tourists when they visit the island. They should get a Bake and Shark, doubles, or whichever Trini food they prefer. They should visit Maracas Beach, Caroni Bird Sanctuary, but after all that… and before they leave… all fun-loving tourists should definitely attend Stink N Dutty,” he said. The Stink N Dutty event featured artistes like Angela Hunte, Mical Teja, Voice, Skinny Fabulous, Jamaica’s Jada Kingdom and Rajah Wild and T&T’s Yung Bredda Entertainment.

On Saturday night, even amid a 6.2 magnitude earthquake that shook the ground, patrons at the Stage Show took in the stageside excitement of Shenseea. She preceded Popcaan who generated tremendous fan love. The enthusiasm for dancehall music, as a Caribbean genre, was evident, particularly among the youth. On stage, Popcaan revealed that he is presently working on a new album and would be recording while in T&T.

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FROM THE CARIBBEAN

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