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Trinidad and Tobago Makes African Link with Sweet AfroSoca Sound. Cherry Bum Bum Takes Flight.

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Approx. 3 min read

There’s no better time than the present to build strong connections within the black community. The Caribbean and the African continent have a wealth of similarities and this has again been proven in what can only be described as an unexpected but timely musical connection. 

Africa’s Burkina Faso meets Trinidad and Tobago, via two relatively unknown but soon to blow up musicians. For the artiste known simply as Calypso Don- a four time Calypso Monarch champion in the UK, the opportunity to work with 21-year-old producer, Namuli Idriss, who’s best known as Esby One by his peers in Burkina Faso, has been an honour. “I was very surprised when he reached out to me. I asked myself if God had sent this young man to me,” said Calypso Don. The link was made after a challenge he’d posted to Instagram for his single, “Call on Jah”, had somehow made it to parts of the motherland.” The challenge went viral and he heard the music. He reached out to me and asked whether he could send me some music to listen to. I agreed and I was blown away by how good the music was. I couldn’t believe he had chosen me. I thought to myself, he could’ve chosen Kees, Machel, anybody…why me?” said the T&T born artist. 

Calypso Don responded to that initial correspondence, indicating which of the music received, he particularly liked. “When he responded to me, I received his vocals on the track and a message indicating that I could then add my vocals and lyrics, as I wished. I was so surprised,” he said. A calypso writer himself, Calyspo Don penned his English lyrics, later adding his vocals to what had already been created by his Burkina Faso counterpart in his native French tongue. The end result was a song that was called, ‘Cherry Bum Bum.’ “I was told that it’s a slang in Burkina Faso and what’s funny is that he doesn’t know of Lord Kitchener from Trinidad and Tobago who once sang a song that similarly entitled, ‘Sugar Bum Bum,” said Calypso Don with a chuckle. 

The musical connection has fostered a relationship that Calypso Don is tremendously excited about. “This is Afro-soca and I’m very proud to be a part of this sound. This young producer out of Burkina Faso is very talented and he’s an upcoming producer in that part of the world. A lot of eyes are on him,” said the entertainer. The connection has also created a professional opportunity for Calypso Don as he has been cited by the African producer as a new go-to songwriter for artistes attached to his production house. “They seem to like my writing and Namuli has extended the opportunity to me, which I’m happy to accept,” he said. 

‘Cherry Bum Bum’ speaks of a Caribbean woman who leaves the islands, traveling to the African continent where she is seen dancing in her Caribbean style. She is an instant hit there and becomes the woman referred to as ‘Cherry Bum Bum.’ The Afro-beats sound becoming increasingly popular globally, Calypso Don anticipates that at home in T&T, DJs and radio personalities would give it the rotation it needs to propel it to the next level. “We must see the beauty in connections like these. This is truly am honor for me and likewise, for him. He doesn’t know much about Soca music, he told me, but he knows and appreciates Calypso music,” said Calypso Don. 

The song is now available for purchase on all popular streaming platforms. To keep up with the moves being made by Calypso Don, follow him on Instagram @doncalypso and check out his YouTube channel by searching for Calypso Don. 

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Tarrus Riley Turns The Heat Up A Notch, Releases “Like That.”

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Known for his evolutionary sound, Tarrus Riley is set to kick off the summer with his new single “ Like That”, produced by DJ Frass Records. The single, which was released April 2nd, garnered solid streaming numbers via Apple music and on Apple US itunes charts, has been receiving airplay on various mainstream stations in the US and UK. 


Riley, known for his impressive catalogue of hits which includes, “Good Girl Gone Bad’, “Lion Paw”, “Memory”, a soca track done with Soca music maven, Machel Montano and the unforgettable, “She’s Royal”, is no stranger to creating hits, nor is he far removed from innovation. According to a media release issued by Destine Media, “Like That’, ifuses dancehall and R&B flavours and delivers a groove geared at getting women around the world, dancing and feeling perfect within themselves.


The media release highlights that over the past few years, reggae and dancehall music have been scrutinised for its evolution of, but Tarrus believes this evolution should be enjoyed and embraced, rather than negatively labeled.


In an interview with Pat Meschino for Daily Beast, Riley said “don’t watch the tempo because I like doing new things. People are concerned with names, labels, trap, rap, hip-hop, dancehall, I can’t bother with dem things. I have always been doing different kinds of sounds and I will continue. Music is going through a change right now, people are blending and fusing, everybody wants to call it a name, but I just call it good music.”

Like That” is another song that highlights the Jamaican artist’s ability to blend sounds while maintaining his authenticity and entertaining his fan base. Currently set to headline Best of the Best Miami Music Fest 2021, Tarrus plans on releasing a few more sings this year.

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The World Needs More People Like Her. See Who, and Why.

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Approx. 3 min read

There’s often one person whose ambitions, as herculean as they may seem to the naked eye, is necessary and humbling to those looking on from a distance. In Trinidad and Tobago, a female Primary school teacher is proving that service goes beyond the portfolio that comes when one chooses a particular career path; she’s proving that true service is heartfelt and never dispassionate. 

Michelle George Bermudez wears many hats. PHOTO: Peter Merrique

Michelle George Bermudez wears many hats. These days, the school teacher with 21-years professional service is teaching young women between the ages of 11 and 15, the art of photography via a free digital course. The course, provided via her company, Octomedia Studios offers these young women basic photography steps inclusive of lighting, angels and composition. “My aim with this free online tutorial is to simply give back and to empower these young women,” she explained. Prior to the Covid-19 pandemic, a very active Bermudez could be spotted competing on stage as the Queen of the Band at T&T’s Dimanche Gras for bands like Kalicharan Carnival in South, Trinidad, or acting in local productions, or even shooting photographs at major festivals, concerts, sporting events and fashion shows. Her resume is as dynamic as it is strategic. “I’ve always been involved in the arts. I’ve always loved culture,” she said, explaining that both her parents are artists who’ve been intimately involved in the creative sector and more specifically, Carnival. When it comes to giving back and mentoring the young and impressionable, Michelle’s resume also boasts strong involvement in the Girl Guides Association of Trinidad and Tobago where she has served as caption and district commissioner during her 19 years within the organization. 

Michelle says she will soon be embarking on a career change and plans on adopting the titles of Director of Photography in addition to film director and producer. Her artistic background, shared by her parents and mastered by her along the way, has afforded her the tools needed to deliver workshops and special classes to those who desire such. “My goal is to teach others – especially young men and women so that they can empower themselves and enrich their lives,” she said, noting that her personal cache of resources includes models that have been crafted for film and photography sets. 

Michelle has photographed many celebrities over the years, among them, Jah Cure.

Eternally grateful for the guidance afforded through mentorship by Ian Pantin- an entertainment industry stalwart, Michelle says her business model at Octomedia Studios will continue to incorporate passion and love. She understands the importance of truly enjoying a profession, and says there’s never a dull moment in her life. “I enjoy learning and it gives me even greater pleasure to pass on what I learn, to others,” she said. 

With numerous years of experience as a Carnival Queen on stage at the Dimanche Gras competition in T&T, in addition to her involvement in Best Village Competitions, playing the steelpan for Panorama and of course, her photography and filmmaking experience, this school teacher is proving that service goes beyond the confines of career and can only be truly shared with the world, from a place of love. 

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