Three years ago, the Caribbean’s wining queen, Trinidad and Tobago’s, Denise ‘Saucy Wow’ Belfon, took up residence in the United States. She boarded a plane, prepared to work hard, to better herself in the music industry. She had not foreseen a pandemic.
In an EXCLUSIVE interview with Ebuzztt, Denise admitted to the tumultuous experience she’s had in the past three years, but in the same breath, says she’s grateful for it all. “Being out here taught me how to get my life in order,” she told us, further highlighting, among other things, the shortcomings of the Copyright Organisation of Trinidad and Tobago.
WHO IS DENISE SAUCY WOW BELFON
Denise started a career in the soca music industry 26 years ago. Her first solo recording was the soca single “Ka Ka Lay Lay”, this after having been discovered by the bandleader of the Roy Cape band in 1990. She has record countless hits, among them, “Hard Wuk”, “De Jammette”, “Saucy Baby”, and “Indian Man.” She’s even delivered alongside fellow female Caribbean artistes, Destra Garcia and Alison Hinds on the track, “Obsessive Winers,” a song and stage performance loved the world over. song and stage performance loved the world over.
Known for her incredible, and some would say, truly unrivalled wining skills and blatantly unapologetic stage shows, Saucy’s name has been branded solidly among the female greats in Caribbean culture. Three years ago, she turned to the United States, ready to pursue more, even committing to a 500 city tour across the US, Europe, parts of Africa and Canada, just prior to the pandemic. “It was so sad to see how the world was impacted overnight. One minute everybody was living their lives as normal and the next minute we were locked down and we didn’t know what the hell to do,” she said.
Thankful for the support of good friends in the US- people like King Royal, Big Skipp, Patch, DJ Princess Young Chow, DJ Spice, DJ Young Chow, Askel Redsquare and her children, Denise admits it’s been no easy ride, but she has assumed a position of assertive power and proudly attests to some major accomplishments in recent time. “I must say thank you to the people who stood in my corner when things were going haywire in my life,” she said as we kicked off the interview. Gratitude in her heart, she quickly checked herself and said, “I can’t forget Iwer George. He has stood in my corner for as long as I can remember and always has my back, fighting the battles that I sometimes don’t see when people try to tear me down.”
Her relationship with Big Skipp – a mainstream DJ who works at New York’s urban radio station HOT97, has led to interactions with young Hip Hop artistes like Capella Grey who has been signed to Capitol Records, Young Devyn, Mr. Chicken and others, and for Denise, the ‘newness’ of the energy, as she calls it, is exhilarating. “It’s a good vibe rubbing shoulders at this time with these young greats. They do Hip Hop and me being a Soca artiste, it’s a good feeling to be around newness. I’m getting a lot of inspiration hanging around them and doing a lot of things with them. We are not working together per say but we have the mutual person with us, which is Big Skipp.“
The new energy Denise describes transcends mere interactions and networks. Outside of Trinidad and Tobago and the Caribbean, Saucy’s eyes have opened to the business of her worth. “America is a place that can open your eyes quickly. I’ve had to learn fast. Music royalties I had been missing out on internationally, I have been able to collect and sustain myself during this period. Not knocking COTT, but the type of money you would make out here where your royalties are concerned, I have no idea what COTT has been doing over the years,” she said.
The former model and best village dancer has certainly seen the light and is doing all that is necessary to secure the bag as she moves forward. “I had money pending worldwide for the past 15 years. I have like 47 songs pending at the moment,” she explained, encouraging her fellow artistes to do what is necessary to secure their music royalties.
DJ Lila Gives Miami Carnival Experience A Perfect 10!
The next generation’s being groomed to take over. Trinidad and Tobago’s DJ Lila is one of the prospects who’s been making a name for herself in the entertainment industry in Trinidad and Tobago and the Caribbean but the young, female DJ and artist who is now a resident DJ at Next 99.1FM in Trinidad, isn’t being held back by geographic location.
Born in the US, Lila has always understood her mission. She’s under the guidance of her father, artist and multimedia specialist, Ziggy Rankin and they just completed the Miami Carnival circuit.
Grateful for the opportunity to represent and showcase her DJing skills in the carnival, Lila showed mad love for Giselle The Wassi One. “I wouldn’t have made it up there without Aunty Wassi. She organized the entire thing. I really want to thank her,” said the teen. The Miami opportunity brought her into the eyes of major promoters and artistes no doubt, and will essentially prove to be a springboard for her budding career.
Having really enjoyed the experience, Lila said as a TriniBad vocalist and representative for that sub-genre, she foresees more opportunity for the sometimes controversial music, which is prevalent in the Caribbean, to be included and collaborated in significant ways with Soca. “Everybody in Miami knew the music so I know we can continue to grow and become bigger,” she said.
On the matter of COVID-19 precautions and execution of the festival in Miami, Lila said she was impressed by the mask and testing rules, which had been implemented by the Miami Broward Festival committee, and the fact that the patrons followed those protocols. “Everything was well controlled,” said the young DJ, adding that in her view, experience was a perfect ten.
Lila, like many Caribbean youths, is eager to build her brand and represent her peers on global circuits. She says her goal was to get the experience this time around and for that, she is grateful.
This is Wild! TriniZuela Manager Turned Artist Morphs Into Kick A$$ Alter Ego, Gustavo.
A world without entertainment would be so dull. In the past two years, Trinidad and Tobago in particular, has experienced an entertainment drought as Covid-19 restrictions forced the abrupt and strongly enforced government shut down of an industry that fuels economic livelihood for countless people.
David Adams, the elder brother of entertainer, Mr. Renzo, says, much like everyone else, he too has been affected. He’s been an artist manager for some time, managing his brother’s career since 2000. Now, having embarked on a music career of his own a few years ago, the Venezuela born act, who’s created the perfect character alias in Gustavo, is bent on infiltrating the global entertainment scene in a way that others may not have thought of.
“This is music for the world,” said David on the release of his new single, ‘Straight Forward’. The track comes complete with a spanking new music video and is collaboratively sung with reggaeton artist, Jeico- a fellow Venezuelan. “He doesn’t speak English; this is pure reggaeton,” said Adams. This fact adds to the undiluted authenticity of the track. For Adams, the creation of a stage and digital character was necessary, since, off stage, in business mode, his personality is somewhat rigid. “This character, Gustavo, is full of himself,” admits Adams, as he speaks of the alter ego he shares his image with. Gustavo, according to the team behind Adams, is suave and chilled,but so sure of himself that he is undeterred by anything that may take place around him. “He’s truly something to see,” said Adams with a smirk.
Alter-egos aren’t uncommon in the entertainment industry, after all, right here in the Caribbean we’ve been met with Destra’s Lucy and Fay Ann Lyon’s Silver Surfer characters. In the United States, Sasha Fierce often makes her presence felt when Beyonce hits the stage. For David Adams, Gustavo is the stage personality he sometimes wishes he could be on a daily basis.
A national of Venezuela who migrated to Trinidad at a young age, Adams understands the tumultuous situation that Venezuelans continue to grapple with. He says there is no economy there and with that comes spiraling crime that has proven uncontrollable. Trinidad his home, he says he does not feel the same will take place in the twin island nation, explaining that once relations with the United States are maintained and there are no trade embargos placed on a country, it is highly unlikely that citizens of that country will see anything remotely close to what has been playing out in Venezuela. Adams is not ignorant to problems faced by people around the world and believes music is very important amid the current climate that everyone is now facing. “Music is part of our happiness and it’s very necessary. When you have stress, you have ailments and so music is really important. I pray for us to come out of this situation. In the US events are going on now, and I believe vaccination is a personal choice that we all, as individuals, have to decide upon,” he said.
The new single, ‘Straight Forward’, was produced by Prince Pronto of Tyrpp Records and written collaboratively by Pronto, RheoneElbourne, Jazeel Christopher, Gustavo and Jeico. Visuals for the track are now available on YouTube, with streaming accessible via all streaming platforms.
Press Release courtesy Etcetera The Company.
Ebuzz News3 weeks ago
Prayers, Vigils, Hope Still Alive for Missing Daughter of Trinidad’s DJ Eternal Vibes.
Caribbean Buzz1 month ago
Voice Breaks into Tears On Stage in NYC. “God Told Me to Go Fulfill My Purpose.”
Ebuzz News2 weeks ago
Tragic News. Miya Marcano is Found Dead. Miami Carnival Chair Issues statement.
Caribbean Buzz2 months ago
Gourmet Dining, Golf, Fetes and More! Mele is on! Soca Lovers Heading to Cancun.