Unless there’s a miracle in the coming months, Trinidad and Tobago’s Carnival 2021 season will be non existent. This was the expression by the country’s Prime Minister, Dr. Keith Rowley, on Monday.
In response, many have praised the forward thinking approach of the country’s leader, while others have questioned the way forward for the fraternity of entertainers and other Carnival stakeholders whose professional lives have been halted since March. Ebuzztt.com spoke with female soca heavyweight, Destra Garcia on the topic. She said the matter at hand is one that has left many considering whether even releasing new music makes sense. “This whole thing has been an ordeal for all of us, as entertainers in general. Now, with the no carnival announcement, it throws a curve ball to the distributors of carnival on all counts, so the question now is, what do we do?” she said.
On Tuesday, announcers at one urban frequency in Trinidad and Tobago harshly criticised soca artistes who may have been contemplating whether new music should be released. Hans Devignes, an often outspoken personality said he felt this should not even be a thought since soca artistes should be releasing music year round. He argued that other artistes, attached to another popular genre of music in Trinidad and Tobago, dubbed TriniBad music, had been progressing well, even before their music made it onto the nation’s airwaves. DesVignes opined that todays entertainers must do what is necessary to capture digital markets, rather than questioning the feasibility of releasing music, outside of a particular season.
In our chat on Tuesday, Destra said Carnival for some people is a springboard into the following season of touring. She said that despite undeniable feelings of despondence about the overall situation, the wheels of motion must turn. “I think it’s important to not just exist, but to live. We can’t let this pandemic rob us of everything that we love,” she continued. Garcia, whose annual calendar of events often takes her across the Caribbean and internationally to countries like Canada, the US and London, said, “So many things have been taken away from us. We have to find ways to make things feel as normal as possible for our own sanity and that is where the challenge is.”
Destra said she’s heard the utterances of some of her cohorts who’ve lamented that there’s simply no vibes to record new music. “I could tell you that from my own experience that I would much prefer sitting on the couch watching TV or just doing something else – no vibes... and that stems from not being able to get vibes from the people, connect with the people, perform at an event, leave an event feeling so hyped up that you go home with an idea or you feel the beat in a certain way, yuh in touch with the musical trends – so many things have been robbed from us as artistes not being able to perform,” she sad.
Destra then expressed her view on the way forward. Here’s what she said:
The Carnival ambassador went on to explain that Trinidad and Tobago always starts the festival excitement and as such, the tone that’s set here, based on what is done, is what will dictate the atmosphere for many other carnivals down the road. “These last three months is where carnival resets anyway so everything that happened in February all the way to present is usually erased and unfortanately as artists, we always have to start over anyway,” she said, adding, “it’s a challenge for us now to figure out now how do we engage this market of people that love carnival, how do we still represent as the Mecca of carnival and soca, how do we the artistes bring carnival to the people in a non traditional sense… it is our responsibility.”
Zess Producer, DNyce Nation Unleashes the Unthinkable. Could Others Follow?
Known for his involvement in the Zess music fraternity in Trinidad and Tobago, producer DNyce of DNyce Nation has made us look, unleashing something far from the norm, and proving his ability to masterfully go beyond the typical. He sings on the single, collaborated on with none other than multiple title holder, Shurwayne Winchester- something he says, is a first for him. What’s funny is, his first vocal effort, is pretty extraordinary.
Speaking with Ebuzztt following the release of “Ring De Bell”, DNyce, who’s real name is Dike David Pererria, said the song came from a place of gratitude. He explained that his single with Shurwanyne sits on the Colours Riddim and features several other artistes, among them, Potential Kid, Ace Boss and Vice, Bass, Skem and Melick. “It’s an honour to be able to sing alongside such a great artist like Shurwayne himself and it’s an honour to be able to produce a song like this,” said the young producer. He noted that the track was meant for Shurwayne and he had no intention of singing on it however, upon realising a need for a second voice, he offered to give it a try. “The song really came about due to me being so grateful and so happy about life itself and knowing that I am blessed with the opportunity to still have something to do, knowing that there are other people who aren’t as fortunate,” he said. DNyce acknowledged the support given by Shurwayne over time, saying, “Shurwayne being a person who has taught me so many things in terms of the music industry and how to go forward with my business, I couldn’t think of anybody else to sing something like this.”
The single encapsulates the concepts of spirituality and life; “It connects both life and God in one song,” said the writer and producer. Speaking on the Zess movement, he made it clear that it is not a new genre but rather, something created by Trinidad and Tobago, that he believes, once packaged properly, could have global impact. “A lot of the new acts coming up, I’m behind,” he admitted, noting that Zess is a new style of Caribbean music, that has originated from T&T. “It’s a taste of Soca with a branch of dancehall,” he clarified, adding, “I know where I can see this style going- I know what I see and what my passion when it comes to the production of the sound is, the whole happy side of the Zess thing. I can see that reaching very far as a new style of our music; I believe it can reach global markets but yet, we still have the negative side so while I can see it going global, I can only hope that the other artistes that support the style, turn their direction into a more commercial side of things.”
DNyce told EBUZZTT that this single is one of the most positive singles delivered out of the Zess style. “For the 90% of the time that T&T’s dancehall has been getting a hearing, the radio stations and the people in charge have only been promoting the negative side of the movement,” he said, going on to say, “This is one of the most positive crossovers ever to be created within the whole Zess forum. I’m not saying that there haven’t been positive songs before that have gotten a hearing but this is something that a lot of people have been trying to do, which is to make the whole cross between the Soca and the Zess. I feel this is one of the real openings that could affect these young people’s lives not just by telling them what’s the right thing to do, but by giving it to them in a way that they can enjoy.”
“This is one of the most connecting songs of the last three years. It has connected life and God in one message.”DNyce
A part of the music and production business for over 15 years, the DNyce Nation boss told us that he had to move his business from his home in St. Barbs, Laventille, to Belmont, noting that many artistes refused to enter Laventille, to work at his studio. “I had to use Belmont as my address for artistes to be attracted to come to the studio. For years it was a fight. I was unable to reach where I wanted to reach because nobody wasn’t coming to me so I really can’t forget Belmont,” he said. Confronting his truth, the young producer lamented that Laventille- his home, remains a crime hot spot, something that saddens him. “Being born and raised in a high risk, crime riddled community, I had to move my business to attract my clientele. I hope and pray for change one day.”
DNyce Nation is now located at SW Limited, Darceuil Lane, Arima.
‘Ring De Bell’ has been unleashed, complete with a video. Be sure to check it out below.
Nessa Preppy Brings Her Virtual Vibe Just Before Further Covid Restrictions Are Imposed.
As the entertainment fraternity continues to feel the pinch of the Covid-19 restrictions, artistes are doing whatever they can to keep the fire blazing. This week, government in Trinidad and Tobago announced the re-introduction of harsher restrictions as a result of increased Covid-19 cases and deaths. The implications for the arts and culture industry, are undoubtedly exacerbated as a result.
On Tuesday, Nessa Preppy – one of Trinidad and Tobago’s female trendsetters in music, delivered her first virtual event dubbed, ‘The Art of Flex.’ The event mimicked her recently released studio album of the same name. Friends invited to take the stage with the young, Trinbago native included Salty, Patrice Roberts, Preedy, Jahllano, Christo, Rheon Elbourne, Zerimar, Dev and Ricardo Drue.
The virtual bar already set some months ago by Nadia Batson when she delivered her ‘Artform 3″ virtual event, Nessa followed with a template that, while tweaked to suit her style, engaged online audiences pretty well. An element of authenticity that brought a different vibe to Nessa’s showcase was her one on one talk segments where she gave some insight into her views about her fellow artistes, much of the time, boosting their credibility in the music biz.
If you missed the showcase on Tuesday, here it is!
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