J’ouvert Continues To Evolve
Written by Rhoshenda Ellis
he start of J’ouvert is marked by the crowning of the Calypso Monarch champion of the Dimanche Gras in the Queen’s Park Savannah. This is when the floodgates would open and revelers would flood the streets of Port of Spain signaling the start of the bacchanalia that is Trinidad Carnival. Attillah Springer gives her account of J’ouvert saying, “The glorious morning has come, and I don’t know if to laugh or cry; because I’ll have to wait another 364 days to feel this way again. J’ouvert is what happens when someone opens the prison gates. J’ouvert is the moment of truth in lives of endless fiction. I am wearing my J’ouvert panty and a plastic bag. I am wearing nothing but disdain for decency.” While J’ouvert has always been an integral part of Trinidad Carnival, like all other aspects of our culture, J’ouvert has evolved. However, in order to justify the impact of the evolution we must examine the evolution itself. In a conversation with a longtime J’ouvert reveler and annual masquerader, he said, “J’ouvert means the break of dawn but really the essence of J’ouvert had to do with the poor man’s expression of satire against the
A reveler at this year's pre-
empted j'ouvert celebrtions establishment.” The roots of J’ouvert go back 200 years with the arrival of the French planters. In the 1800’s, the Canboulay festivals were nighttime celebrations where the landowners dressed up as ‘negres jardin’. Following emancipation, the newly freed slaves took over Canboulay and imitated the way their former masters imitated them. He said, “J’ouvert was a way for them to make fun of the people in authority so that their characters always had a double meaning…” The Canboulay revelers would carry lit cane touches, which were seen as hazardous to the authorities. As tension grew, the authorities tried to restrain the celebrations and this led to the Canboulay Riots and so the event was banned. A few years later, the celebration was re-established as J’ouvert.
Today, J’ouvert has changed drastically. No longer are the revelers aware of the meaning of J’ouvert but simply enjoy the experience. A reveler noted, “I think among the younger generation, J’ouvert has lost the essence of what it is supposed to be. If you ask a young reveler playing J’ouvert what are they really doing or their understanding of what they are doing they would simply reply that it is a street party early in the morning and its messy.” No longer is it an individualistic event but, with the establishment of J’ouvert bands, the festival is largely commercialized. Local J’ouvert bands are even moving away from the traditional J’ouvert elements of mud and oil and immersing their revelers in paint, water and even chocolate. Bands offer their all-inclusive J’ouvert experience with breakfast, drinks, a jersey, pants and huge music trucks, each band unique in its own right. Like the other aspects of culture, J’ouvert has evolved over the years. Whether its evolution has been for the better is up to the revelers. The true essence of J’ouvert is still alive but hidden in the canvas of the people. Tony Hall, local playwright and J’ouvert aficionado, describes the J’ouvert experience
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like this: “It is half-five, six in the morning, and the colour of dawn coming through and all these people all paint up in different colours, a riddim going and all of a sudden you feel this sense of suspension. You see all these people, all these people are your community and you realize, you feel a strong sense of love and you realize that what you are really doing is renewing a vow to love these people for the year coming.” This celebration of love is the start of the mas.
CHUTNEY SOCA MONARCH RECAP M
any disputes surrounded the Chutney Soca Monarch competition with one dispute resulting in the withdrawal of 2013’s defending Champion, Raymond Ramnarine. However, the show still took place at Skinner’s Park San Fernando on February 15th. Leading up to the finals there were several favourites vying for the grand prize of $2 million. This year’s installment of the Chutney Soca Monarch took a bit of spin on the trend of past competitions as more of the popular soca artistes opted to take a dip in the chutney water. Well known soca artistes such as: Blaxx, Shurwayne Winchester, Chucky, Olatunji, Crazy and Prophet Benjamin each tried their hand at the competition with many singers opting instead to feature popular artistes within their performance as a
Kris 'KI' Persad
means to boost access to the finals. Artistes such as Denise Belfon, Mr Killa, Swappi 4D and even Nigel Rojas, who sang with Rikki Jai, were used to increase the chance of winning. This year’s sponsors included: the Ministry of Arts and Multiculturalism, Carib Brewery Limited, Edoos Welding, Guardian Media Limited, FirePower Fireworks, National Lotteries Control Board, The National Carnival
Commission, KFC, AS Bryden, Bmobile and Blink Broadband. Chutney Soca Monarch saw 20 artistes competing for the title and the staggering prize of $2 million. Hosted by JW and Serala Ramlogan, the show got off to a highenergy pump thanks to the Viking and Viqueen (Bunji Garlin and Fay Ann) as they are now affectionately called. They commanded the huge crowd and had them singing half of their songs. The show commenced its 1st performance with Ravi B’s popular tune, ‘Bread”. This song proved to be quite a crowd favourite and compelled its lovers to chant the artiste’s name. His performance was well thought out with saga boy figurines, dancing bread slices and a disappearing act by Kes the illusionist. He even paid tribute to his mother who he
has often noted as the inspiration for his hit song. Other performances such as Olatunji and Reshma Ramlal also put on a show with skits to entertain the crowd, but it was Rikki Jai’s presentation that had the potential to place him within the top ranks. Jai’s performance included the support of a full choir, well-choreographed dancers, Moko Jumbies and Nigel Rojas even sang. However the night belonged to Kris’ KI’ Persad. KI’s performance of his very popular song entitled "Runaway" to a very enthusiastic crowd was enough to solidify him as the Lotto Plus Chutney Soca Monarch for Carnival 2014. He took home the first prize of $2 Million dollars and became the first winner of Carnival 2014 in Trinidad and Tobago.
MARCH, 2014 • ET&T
Local News P
The Birdie sings Again
atriots and calypso enthusiasts across the country collectively cheered whether inwardly or outwardly when the legendary Slinger Francisco returned to Trinidad and Tobago on Monday 10th February 2014. The 78 year old bard, also known as the Mighty Sparrow returned to the twin island after having spent an extended period in New York where he battled illness. In fact, Sparrow even spent some of that time abroad in a comatose state due to his health issues leading to rumours insinuating that he had died. The rumours persisted for quite some time in late 2013 despite members of his family being adamant that he was alive. Francisco faced similar rumours in the past leading him to pen the cheeky calypso "Sparrow Dead." On his return to our shores, he playfully
sang the lyrics of that song to reporters at the Piarco International Airport in defiance to both the Grim Reaper and the rumour mongers. The Mighty Sparrow surprised many with his surprisingly strong voice considering the adversity he recently overcame and he was more than willing to sing his way through the questions many journalists threw at him upon his arrival. When
a journalist from the Trinidad Express enquired about how he felt Sparrow sang he was feeling "hot, hot, hot." Despite having just overcome the illness which only four months ago had people thinking the worst, Sparrow said he was back in Trinidad to "perform in two or three shows" and he stated that he would also be here for the duration of the carnival period. Sparrow has since performed
courageously at the Nu Pub in Woodbrook as part of a bill which also included the Mighty Chalkdust and the Black Stalin. He sat centre stage as he performed creditably for roughly 45 minutes. Among the songs he sang were his classics Saltfish, Congo Man, Phillip: My Dear and Lying Excuses. He even sang an emotional rendition of a favourite selection of his by Frank Sinatra entitled My Way.
Olatunji Loving Bakanal O
latunji Yearwood or ‘Tunji Montana’ as he is more popularly called had an extremely successful 2013 Carnival and this success has seamlessly flowed into a bumper season for him this year. We spoke with the artiste who has shown tremendous growth, while he was busy preparing for his virgin Chutney Soca Monarch Finals appearance with his hit tune ‘Fete Ram’ or ‘Macomere Man Ting’ as most tend to call it. According to Olatunji his dabbling in Chutney Soca has been an exciting experience which has given him the opportunity to showcase his versatility given that he has tended to focus more on dancehall and soca in the past. This year the artiste has released an impressive 10 songs all of which are enjoying successful rotation on the nation’s airwaves. Furthermore he is one of the recently added frontline members to Destra Garcia’s band Bakanal. Not a newcomer to band life, 2
given the 4 years which he spent with the acclaimed band Roy Cape and the All Stars, Tunji admits that the experience singing in Bakanal has been a wonderful one thus far, “I’m loving the vibes.. there is a nice energy.” He insists that it is extremely difficult to compare being a solo artiste to being a band member. For instance “solo artistes tend to perform to tracks while a band is all about live pumping music. On the other hand in a band there are more restraints because you have to share the spotlight.
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When you are a solo artiste you can just do you… they create different feelings though ... you just can’t compare them.” Carnival 2k14 has also seen Olatunji collaborating with other artistes including K.I Persad on a track called ‘Runaway’ as well as with Iwer George on a song called ‘Play Ah Mas’ on the Classic 60s Riddim. He says that his fans can look forward to him working with other artistes in the future especially Caribbean artistes from Jamaica and Barbados in particular. Tunji gave his own take on the plethora of groovy soca as opposed to the scant power soca offerings for this year’s Carnival, noting that most artistes may have gravitated toward the groovy side owing to the discouragement which they may have felt over an apparent competitive focus on only two artistes in the power category. Tunji Montana’s projection for the rest of the year includes
lots more gigs and a lone one week vacation after Carnival, following which he plans to immediately return to the studio. Before this article is even printed he would have participated at the Chutney Monarch Finals in position no. 3 … and by the time Carnival 2014 is over this young artiste would have successfully cemented himself through his delightful music into the minds and bodies of Carnival and soca lovers everywhere. Tadow!
Regional Artistes Rule
oughly twelve years ago, one of T&T's most beloved veteran soca artistes Neil Iwer George, proudly claimed that ownership of the soca artform was inherently Trinbagonian when he boldly declared "Is We Ting" on the iconic 'Let Me See Yuh Hand." Undoubtedly, the growing success of local music has rippled throughout the world with artistes from as far as Japan trying their hand at the genre. Regionally, the impact of the music has been so profound that any tourist could not be blamed for deeming calypso/soca the national music of countries such as Barbados, St. Vincent and Grenada. There was a time when artistes such as Allison Hinds and the band Krosfyah were arguably making consistently better soca tracks than Trinbagonians and these songs dominated our local airwaves and shows leading to what was known as The Bajan Invasion. However, the locals did not back down from the challenge and continued to set themselves apart from the rest of the world with their quality. Many would argue that the soca music this year has not been that strong. Of course, there are some great underground releases that have not seen the light of day, but that is for another article. As it stands, the soca selections supplied by foreigners have by and large dominated the airwaves. Music does a lot to buoy our beloved festival and indeed our regional counterparts have aided in keeping Carnival afloat. Grenada's Mr. Killa is a fine example of this. His ode to voluptuous women entitled Rolly Polly is by far the biggest hit for Carnival 2014. This is the first time a foreigner has produced a song that is classed not only as a contender, but a favourite for Soca Monarch. Because of the tune and the enigmatic star's antics while performing it, both the song and singer have become as famous in households around T&T as Ian Alleyne. Mr. Killa is not the only for-
eigner who has made waves in fetes and on air for C2K14. Gamal Doyle a.k.a. Skinny Fabulous is having another solid year. His tune Behaving The Worst has been holding its own and getting just as much airplay as Machel Montano's Happiest Man Alive which is featured on the same riddim. To further enforce the scope of the foreign influence here, the riddim which features both songs was produced by Vincentian Alex 'Kubiyashi' Barnwell. Barnwell also produced Machel Montano's highly anticipated, but underwhelming Power soca tune 'The Power' which was written by Skinny Fabulous. The Red Boyz out of Barbados have also left a big impact on local radio this Carnival having produced two Groovy Soca finals songs. They developed former Groovy Soca winner Biggie Irie's "Need A Riddim" and have also laid the epic production behind Farmer Nappy's Big People Party. This is proof that regionally, artistes and producers have garnered the respect of local singers, radio stations and the general public. Only time will tell how far the regional rule will last.
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Local News T
Chromatics Gets Angostura's Support And Signs Major Endorsement Deal, Set To Release Another Carnival Rap Up Single
hough controversial at times, well known Trinidad and Tobago rapper, Richard ‘Chromatics’ Raj-Kumar knows the importance of understanding the business of music. That understanding of business has led to a recent agreement made with Angostura Trinidad Limited and its LLB brand. The ‘Carnival Rap Up’ singer is sitting pretty these days, having recently sealed the deal to be the official brand ambassador for the beverage- something that many only dream of accomplishing. This is certainly a first for the local hiphop fraternity, as never before has a local hip-hop artiste been given such an opportunity. Chromatics is elated and says he takes the task very seriously. Admitting that he has been nurturing a relationship with Angostura since last year, Chromatics said he worked with the LLB brand during their ‘Lyrics Like A Boss’ campaign and with a tremendous response received from the public, and essentially noted by the Angostura team, the foundation
was laid for what would eventually happen. Last week, Angostura and the T&T hip hop heavyweight, along with his management team, shook hands, cementing the endorsement deal of the LLB brandsomething that will see Chromatics marketing the beverage to an urban, youthful market locally, across the Caribbean and even as far as Canada. “I’m really happy to be working with Angostura. They assisted with the promotion of my Science of Colours Volume 2 mixtape last year and to date, the mixtape has been downloaded some 2000 times,” explained ‘Matics, as he’s often referred to. He noted that Angostura is a company that promotes and markets several of its brands across the Caribbean and even internationally, something he and his team at Highway Records are strong believers in. Assuring that he will be living the LLB brand, Chromatics who is currently working on his Carnival Rap Up 2014 single, which is scheduled for release on March 9th, said he is thankful to Ango-
stura Trinidad Limited for having the confidence in him to be the LLB brand ambassador. “Folks can look forward to new jingles and other projects, and rest assured that I’ll be associated with everything LLB related from this point onward,” he said, adding that this endorsement opportunity with such a reputable local company shows a heightened level of appreciation for the Hip Hop fraternity and overall development within the industry. “It marks growth in the corporate sector as it shows that companies realize they don’t have to run down the carnival season and the soca artistes alone. It shows that they’re capable of also embracing the Hip- Hop culture and other local acts and music gen-
Film festival presents vintage pan, kaiso and Carnival treasures from Ray Funk F
or the second year in a row the Trinidad and Tobago film festival (TTFF) is pleased to feature Carnival historian and researcher Ray Funk presenting rare historic film clips on calypso, pan and Carnival, at two events. These free presentations, part of the film festival’s annual Carnival Film Series (CFS), take place at San Fernando Hill and the NALIS Amphitheatre at the National Library in Port of Spain, on Friday 21 and Sunday 23 February, respectively. Both events begin at 7pm. Ray Funk is a retired Alaskan judge and has been coming to Trinidad and Tobago Carnival for almost 20 years. He writes regularly for the local newspapers, and is passionate in researching a range 6
of traditional Carnival arts. His collection of early film clips is an important part of that research, and he has been doing free educational events showcasing these clips for years, as a way of giving back. Over two hundred people came to Funk’s presentation at the NALIS Amphitheatre during last year’s Carnival Film Series.
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“I had a great time last year and was thrilled to be able to show cuts that it took me years to find,” he said. “But the highlight of the evening was to have Bill Trotman show up—on his birthday, no less— and see an Italian film clip of a comedy limbo dance that he had performed back in 1961. “He had told me about it a decade ago and I have been searching
res,” he said. Brand Officer of International Sales & Marketing at Angostura, Lawn Davis, commenting on the deal struck with Chromatics, said the Angostura family is very excited to have the artiste on board, noting that the work they started with him last year led to this decision and now they look forward to building on the relationship. He said Chromatics was chosen to be the LLB brand ambassador because he fits well with the unique nature of the LLB product, being a unique Trinbagonian artiste himself. Meanwhile, as Chromatics prepares for the unveiling of his usually critically acclaimed and highly anticipated carnival post mortem, he says he’ll also be releasing his Science of Colours Volume 3 mixtape, which will be getting Angostura’s support much like last year. “It’ll be released on the same day as Carnival Rap Up 3- March 9th and it’ll be available for free download online, inclusive of Carnival Rap Up 2014,” he assured. ever since to find it. It was special to present it on the big screen with Bill present and give him a copy of the footage.” Another clip was of the Mighty Sparrow’s first feature-film performance from the same Italian film. “He couldn’t be there the night of the screening but I was able on Carnival Sunday to see him and show him and his wife Margaret and give them a copy.” With the success of last year’s presentation, the film festival is pleased this year to have presentations from Funk both in Port of Spain and San Fernando. “I am thrilled to have this opportunity to do a presentation in San Fernando, which I visit each year for Calypso Fiesta,” said Funk. “I also love going to panyards like Skiffle, Hatters and Southern Marine, and of course calypso limes sponsored by George Maharaj, who got me to start coming to Trinidad so many years ago.”
regional news energy" said Konshens. The Arsenio Hall show is aired live on WPIX.
Wayne Marshall Announces U.S. Spring Tour with Stephen "Ragga" Marley and Jo Mersa
Sean Paul And Konshens Appear On Arsenio Hall Sean Paul who is currently promoting his upcoming album 'Full Frequency' on Atlantic label, made a guest appearance on the Arsenio Hall show in New York along with Konshens on February 13. Both artists performed their single featured on the 'Full Frequency' album entitled, 'Want Dem All' live. This track is one which both artistes agree generates lots of positive energy wherever they perform it. “We recently went to Costa Rica and performed 'Want Dem All' in front of over 10,000 screaming fans and trust me it was a great
Joel McHale to Emcee 100th White House Correspondents' Dinner
Jamaican dancehall singer Wayne Marshall announces U.S. Spring tour in support of his brand new album Tru Colors (Ghetto Youths International), which debuted at #4 on U.S. Billboard's Reggae Album chart. Throughout April and May, he will join Stephen "Ragga" Marley and Jo Mersa to rock the country's top venues in over 20 cities nationwide. Critics have already begun to sing their praises regarding Wayne Marshall's Tru Colors, his first album in over a decade on Ghetto Youths International and distributed through Thirty Tigers/Sony RED. Last week, Associated Press raved that the album is "a refreshing curve to the dancehall game." The review has been picked up by New York Times, ABC News, Washington Post, Yahoo!, Huffington Post and more. The 13-track collection by the multi-faceted
WHCA President Steven Thomma tweeted in announcing the news: “We’re thrilled that Joel will headline the dinner when we celebrate our centennial. He’s sharp, funny, and just the type of comic who can navigate the unique challenge of our dinner, making fun of Democrats, Republicans and especially the news media. Washington can use a little good-natured ribbing." Past hosts have included Jay Leno, Conan O'Brien and Stephen Colbert. “This is very cool & the website to apply to host it worked perfectly," McHale joked of the gig.
Joel McHale is graduating from Greendale and heading to the White House. The hilarious actor and host of The Soup has been selected as emcee of this year's White House Correspondents' Dinner, an annual event that skewers both the media and the politicians they cover. It takes place on May 3 and will be broadcast on CSPAN. 8 ET&T • MARCH, 2014 • www.etntweekly.com
sing-jay and songwriter is produced primarily by Damian Marley and written almost entirely by Marshall. Tessanne Chin, this season’s winner of NBC’s The Voice and Marshall’s sister-in-law, also contributes lyrics on the album’s closing track “On The End.” The album features an allstar cast of collaborations, including Ace Hood, Cham & Waka Flocka on "Go Harder," Aidonia, Assassin, I-Octane, Damian “Jr. Gong” Marley, Bounty Killer & Vybz Kartel on “Go Hard,” Assassin on "Stupid Money," Bounty Killer on "Be On The Alert," "Tarrus Riley" on "Nah Give Up" and Capleton on "Strike Dem." The album follows his 2013 digital-only EP Tru Colors (Ghetto Youths International) and his 2003 LP Marshall Law (VP Records).
Bruce Willis & Wife Emma Heming Expecting Second Child Together Congratulations to Bruce Willis and his wife Emma Heming who are expecting their second child together! The 35 year old model showed off a burgeoning baby bump at the farmer’s market in Los Angeles and sources confirmed that she is pregnant again. Willis, 58, married Heming in 2009 and the two have a 20-month old daughter, Mabel, together. Willis also has three daughters with his ex-wife, Demi Moore — Tallulah, 19, Scout, 22, and Rumer, 25.
Margot Robbie will play Jane in Tarzan reboot alongside Alexander Skarsgard Things continue to go gangbusters for rising Aussie star Margo Robbie, with confirmation that she’s set to star in the big screen reboot of Tarzan.
Indeed, the former Neighbours star is in high demand in Hollywood after making an impact as Leonardo DiCaprio’s wife in The Wolf of Wall Street. Tarzan, which will be released in 3-D, will also star True Blood’s Alexander Skarsgard in the title role, with Robbie playing his love interest Jane Porter. (The film will also co-star Samuel L. Jackson and Christoph Waltz).
GUY NAME: Justin Wang AGE: 20 HEIGHT: 6'1 WEIGHT: 185
CAREER: Visual Merchandiser BRIEFS OR BOXERS: Briefs FAVOURITE SCENT: Black by Paco Rabanne. FAVOURITE THING: As superficial as it may sound… Clothes. DESCRIBE YOUR DREAM GIRL: She must be tall, slim and exotic looking. YOU WERE HEARTBROKEN: Oh yeah. YOUR HERO: Nothing and nobody beats the Almighty Father. That is the ultimate hero.
FAVOURITE FOOD: I love good ole Trinbago Ground Provisions. THE WAY TO YOUR HEART IS: A Humble personality. YOU’D NEVER DO: Cocaine… Not in a million years. WHAT ABOUT PETS: Macaws. THE ONE THING HE WANTS TO DO BEFORE HE DIES: Bungee Jump FAVOURITE ARTIST: Michael Jackson
FAVOURITE MUSIC: R&B FAVOURITE PLACE FOR A MEAL: Creole Restaurants. HAVE YOU EVER CHEATED: No. THE FREAKIEST THING YOU HAVE EVER DONE: That is definitely not for print. WHERE’S YOUR WEAK SPOT: That would be my neck. WHAT'S YOUR MOTIVATION: Myself. THE KEY TO YOUR CARNIVAL BODY: Eating healthy and working out at the gym. Photos by Cecil Evans and Roger Jackson of Absolutpics
model mania Name: Ornella Thorpe Height: 5 feet 5 inches Age: 22 Hometown: San Juan Hobbies: Watching movies and
writing poetry. Ornella is not the average model. Yes, she does her fair share of shoots and promotional gigs, but she has a rough edge. She can flip the switch from girly girl to tough as nails in a jiffy and she is equally effective at both. This is something that has helped her modeling progress. She takes criticism in stride and in fact appreciates “straight forward people who could tell me things to my face.” She believes this is vital as trust is born out of
honesty and she has to trust the people she works with. While she admits to being a bit bold, she is not all that brave as her fear of creepy crawly insects would rule her out of any shoot with bugs in it. Ornella has been able to utilize her work in more than just runway and photography stills and promotions. Her edginess is a favourite of videographers and she has been cast in music videos for artistes such as Mr. Renzo and Busy Signal and Nessa Preppy.
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She also appeared on stage with acts such as RKG during performances in the Soca Monarch. J. Hamilton, League of Super Models, Renaldo Roberts and Gregory Reyes have contributed to her list of credits as they have all photographed her. At 22, she still has some potential considering the local model market. Finally, Miss Thorpe plans to fuse her looks with books as she hopes to earn a marketing degree with a shorter-term goal of becoming a flight attendant.
photos by J. Hamilton
Carnival Safety Tips
hen someone thinks about excessive fun and gay abandon, safety is not the first thing that tends to come to mind. Yet, it should be noted that while your mind is on the great Carnival atmosphere, there are predators among us whose distorted minds are focused on robbing, raping and sundry other negative things that can dampen the festivities for all involved. With that in mind, you should consider various safety measures before hitting the road or fetes.
At Parties/Fetes: The biggest problem about parties is the sensory overload. Loud music, thick crowds and a host of other distractions make it easy for you to get caught unawares. You can't tell ‘who is who’, so to be sure to wear minimal jewellery and do not keep wallets and purses visible. This would limit the opportunities for 'snatchers.' You should also try not to walk around with large sums of money to begin with. For added security, move in groups to and from activities. Predators prey on the weak and there is strength in numbers. With Children: Parents and guardians have a responsibility to their children. They should always keep them close and in sight and never trust strangers to look after them (even for a minute). When you take children out to events such as Kiddies carnival or any one of the popular kids parties it is wise to go the extra mile for your child. Never let your child or any child under your watch go into a public toilet without your supervision. Instill in children that they are not to accept food or drinks from strangers unless you advise them it is safe to do so. Identification cards should be worn by children bearing their address, phone number and the name of parent/guardian and the child. If a child is lost, they may be too young or traumatized to speak to someone who is trying to help them. In any event, they should not be speaking to strangers anyway. If you have to go to an adult show, please do not take your children with you. Find suitable
alternatives or make the sacrifice to stay home and miss the event. Above all, never leave your children at home unsupervised. Home Security: Now that you and your children are safe, don't think that your home is as well. Your premises won't adjust to Carnival and automatically get more secure in your absence. Therefore, it is your duty to secure your premises. Lock everything that can and should be locked (windows, gates and doors). Don't leave ladders and tools lying around your yard. Secure them as well as thieves may easily use them to infiltrate your home. You may think nobody knows about the keys you left in your mailbox or under the mat, but someone would have to be stupid not to consider it. Have a neighbour you trust keep an eye out for you and assist them by leaving the premises well illuminated. Thieves and vandals thrive in the dark. Don't think that because your home is safe, that the job is done. Some bandits will monitor your movements and wait till you get home to use you to force entry into your home. Be alert and
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vigilant when leaving and entering your home. Road Safety: This is an article all on its own, but road safety has to be mentioned here (even if briefly). First and foremost... Don't Drink and Drive. Also, be sure that the vehicles you travel to and from carnival events in are road worthy. Also, make sure than you do not overload your vehicle with passengers or products such as oversized coolers. Placing carnival costumes and other material in places to obstruct your driving view is a no-no. Obey the speed limit and all traffic signs. Note: No parking signs also apply at carnival time. In fact, that is when the wreckers make the most money. Instead of getting your car towed or stolen, utilize paid car parks wherever possible. Never leave valuable items exposed in your car and do not leave your car open while running. Be vigilant when driving and parking. Observe people loitering around cars and be extremely wary of them. Once, parked, make sure your car is properly locked and
keep your keys in hand when approaching your vehicle. Do not enter or exit your vehicle without taking a good look at the surroundings. You can wine behind the big truck, but never travel in the tray of one. Finally, don't break traffic lights even at night. If you are sleepy, pull into the nearest police station and take a snooze instead of hitting the road and dozing off behind the wheel. If you are traveling, be wary of those entering the maxi or taxi with you and be careful of entering vehicles with presumably shady characters in them. Above all, make sure the vehicle you are entering is a registered taxi. PH cars may seem like the right option when you are tired and just want to get home. However, it is better to get home in one piece than go through a very avoidable horror story. These are just a few Carnival safety tips to observe. You can use your common sense or check any number of online resources for more. Have a safe carnival.
FITNESS ON A BUDGET
he season is finally here and so are the extra pounds that we became close friends with over the Christmas season. The handy work we put in is beginning to show and you are now like me, rethinking having that extra slice of ham or chocolate dessert everyday twice a day. The merriment of last season has now brought on a harsh dose of reality. Carnival is weeks away. Yikes! It’s time to undo the damage. Of course the obvious solution is: gym like crazy, a health drink for breakfast and dinner and then some more gym. This can be costly with gym fees ranging from $300 - $500 dollars and even upwards depending on how much you’re willingly to invest in fitness. That fee does not include getting extra help from a personal trainer so you can only imagine how much the numbers just increased. For those of you that want to take the step to get fit for carnival or for life in general here are a few budget friendly tips to keep you trim while you tighten your savings belt. The earth is your first and foremost gym, use it. It is absolutely free to take a run on the beach, in the water for added resistance or around the savannah. As you jog take breaks in between to work your abs, do squats, step ups or any other exercise you can think of. The Botanical Gardens are also another place for a run. Take a jog through all of its winding roads and for that extra burn try running the hills a few times. You can even run through the gardens to get to Lady Chancellor hill and finish off with a bang. Outside of do it yourself fitness, companies have also started to offer carnival fitness programmes for FREE. Bmobile recently started a programme. Movietowne also offers a fitness programme and they are actually doing it for free and allowing you to win cool prizes while working out for free. Digicel has been supporting the fitness enthusiast for years and every year I make sure to get a taste of that. They offer you an hour of aerobics with some
serious vybes and pop ins from some of your favourite artistes. This year they are in Port of Spain at the Queens Park Savannah and in San Fernando on Monday and Wednesday. There is another great FREE work out put on by Island People on the Saturdays leading up to carnival. It starts at the bottom of Chancellor Hill and you basically do circuit work at intervals along the way. This is not for the faint of heart, for when you arrive at the top there is an aerobics session to crown it off and what is a free work out without giveaways and prizes to be won. If you still insist on gym time with a professional touch you can mix it up. Take a spin class once a week or take a day pass at the gym. During this time maximise the time as much as you can but do not overdo it; everything in moderation. There are many ways to get a good work out without overworking your wallet. Just keep your ears to the ground to find out where the free ones are or simply just go outside and get moving. The weight doesn’t move an inch by simply thinking of exercise, you need to put in the work. While you make steps to work out as much as possible remember to hydrate and eat healthy balanced meals. Have fun and get fit for FREE! www.etntweekly.com •
MARCH, 2014 • ET&T 15
is name is Cassiano ‘Cassie’ Sylvester and this Carnival he wants to be the man in your house! He’s enjoying an immense wave of popularity with the big tune ‘Man In Yuh House’ … He’s on every billboard and ultimately in almost every fete and has even grooved his way into the 2014 International Play Whe Soca Monarch Finals. We wanted to be in Cassie’s mind for a bit…
ET&T: Everyone says that Cassie has such a unique style. What are some of your musical influences? CASS: Old school music. The local part of it is steelpan and calypso. I made it my business to learn a lot of old calypsos. I recite them all the time ... I guess that’s what keeps me using the Trini twang in that kind of way… if you really listen to the way how I say the words it sounds like a calypsonian. I was also a pan man. I played with Malick Secondary, Solo Harmonites and also Casablanca because school used to borrow the pans from these big pan sides so my background is that kind of calypso into soca … that whole kind of ‘kang ka tang’ singing is from the pan days.. I have that whole pan vibration inside of me. I even love a lot of dancehall. I like Barrington Levy… there is a curl I use at the end of my songs ... it comes out like the air is bending... you heard it a lot in Town Ting. I developed this from Barrington Levy. Other than that I listen to a lot of rap and rapso. If you listen to the introduction of my songs there is something like hip hop there … so the influences came from all over to establish this one polished style. ET&T: How has this Carnival been for you thus far? CASS: My 2014 Carnival has been great. It’s a really nice feeling. It reminds me of 2011. It’s hitting me a déjà vu like that year when I
were at one time. The song simply brings back recollections of a place you might have been in life so to me that is why they like it so much. ET&T: Without giving away too many secrets, what can we expect from you for the 2014 Soca Monarch Finals? CASS: Well you saw what I did on Sunday... there is a part 2, so right now we are planning it.
sang ‘Town Ting’ and I was in all the parties … It was very hectic.. no time to do anything. ET&T: Do you think that there is a soca mafia? CASS: I don’t know of any such thing ET&T: We have not heard any collaborations from you. Do you plan to collaborate with anyone in the future? If so who would you like to work with? (National, regional or international) CASS: Well I don’t have any plans. There aren’t any options on the table right now because right now I could tell you that artistes who are doing collaborations, they have to want to do it with you. I would love to do a song with Bunji but it’s if Bunji wants to do a song with me. I would love to do a song with Machel but it’s if Machel wants to do a song with me. I wouldn’t really push myself up but I would love to do a song with Machel or Bunji, that’s all I can say… but God is the boss and
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I am actually growing and I mean one day I might actually get enough respect that they might actually approach me, you never know. ET&T: What do you think accounts for the popularity of ‘Man In Yuh House’? CASS: Our culture is picong. Nobody would admit that they are a horner man or the inside man or the outside man but everybody has been in that situation at some point in their life from high school to now… so the whole topic of a man wanting to be the man in the house and not the outside man is something that everybody went through. The man knows the woman has a man but he wants to be with her still because he loves her so much or whatever… vice versa with women too … like if a woman loves a man but he is a married man but she wants to be that woman in the house still. It’s a thing about feelings. It’s not like I am encouraging promiscuity but the fact is that this is life. People rate the song and love it because it makes them laugh and maybe it reminds them of a place they
ET&T: What’s next in general for Cassie CASS: More music. I never left the studio. I’m still working on stuff but for time to come down the road… Sorry eh! If you hearing some chewing it’s because I’m having my first meal for the day... breakfast! Yes breakfast (this was at 2:30 p.m.)... I am always doing music. I am an artiste who is always very focused and I am a very hard worker. I am not one of the artistes who just waits for it. I get up and get it for myself. I work very hard on my music, sometimes I pour one year on one song. I have one more song that I am working on and I believe that after the season is done I will have more releases ... either for immediately after Carnival or not too far in the year. ET&T: What would you like to say to your fans, your die hard supporters? CASS: I love them, my fans are the people on the street…, I might not have many fans in the business but you see the people on the streets! The population! They love Cassie and I love them and I appreciate the love that they show me and it is because of them that I am in still in soca music. I wanted to give up a long time ago and it’s my fans who say things like “Doh study dem eh! Make sure and sing ah next song next year!” It’s the people who keep me alive I should say.
ET&T Kernal Guarantees
HOT 2015 Road March SEAT
miss and I can accept that. Once my studio is up and running I will do some work with her again to rebuild that chemistry.
ernal ‘Kitch’ Roberts is one of the most heralded songwriters and producers of our time. In fact, he is one of T&T’s all-time musical greats. ET&T caught up with the man with the magic pen who wrote and produced some of our favourite Road March and Soca Monarch winning jams. ET&T: What do you think about the music out this year? KITCH: The music is weak. The power Soca is especially weak. Nobody is really stepping up that is why I give kudos to writers like Jelani Shaw who wrote Ministry of Road. He is going to win this year and I am happy for him. That Superblue Yo-Yo is not winning. There is no competition in the power soca this year. In fact, I have the Road March for 2015 already before God. There is nothing that is going to beat this song. I could have released it this year, but the year was already weak so I put effort in helping other artistes. Just look out for the big Road March tune in 2015. It is like Palance on steroids. ET&T: You have five Road March titles. Ultimately, what is your goal? KITCH: To pass my father who had 10. At my age I am already halfway there. So things look promising. ET&T: You also produced winning songs abroad. Do the regional artistes like Tian Winter and Claudette Peters approach you or did you shop the songs around? KITCH: They approach me. I actually won four Soca Monarchs in Antigua... two with Tian and two with Claudette. That’s four Soca Monarchs abroad and four here. ET&T: Ever tried your hand at pan arrangement?
ET&T: What about your work with the HD team? KITCH: We have the happiest camp alive. It is really hectic, but we keep getting the results. We added a new backup from Barbados Nikkita Brown. In fact, our whole band is from Barbados except for me and I am the musical director so I’m still in charge. (laughs) We have the new dancers as well. Depending on the year we have it is nonstop work.
KITCH: Time is the issue. I would like to try it at some point, but between studio and touring etcetera I just can’t focus on that right now. ET&T: You were relatively quiet in recent times. How come? KITCH: A combination of things. When you are really successful and you peak, all you can do is maintain it. I remained involved, but on a less active level. I helped a lot of the young writers and producers coming up but I wanted to give them their chance to shine. It’s not about Kernal. Sometimes you have to help and allow other people to grow for the benefit of the culture. That’s why I am so happy for Jelani. I’ve been working with him and assisting and he has what looks like the runaway Road March. I felt indebted to him to an extent because his mother Barbara Shaw gave me my first big break in music. She accepted me in her pan side and she took me on my first trips abroad to play at the World Music Festival in Missouri. I was only about 15 back then so I like how things have come full circle. Also, after the whole Zen case I decided to take it down a bit. I still
maintain my innocence about that. I am only guilty of cursing and I wasn’t even charged for that. I never lifted a finger toward anyone, but people saw Kernal Roberts so they decided to call my name. ET&T: I know you have been devoting time to your studio as well. KITCH: When I reached my peak after all the success I decided that in order to keep growing I had to expand. There were certain limitations with my studio, but I am currently rebuilding Rama to be like nothing else in the country. It will have all the toys and tools I ever dreamed of. I’m building a large recording booth to fit an entire choir or even small pan side. 2015 is going to be a huge year for Rama. In the meantime I’ve still been working. I did a lot of work at Azikiwe Keller’s studio along with John Marc Gittens and Rooks. Out of that studio we managed to do Cassi’s Man of the House, Machel’s Haunted, Devon’s Level It, Pong It by Patrice, Jadel and Skinny Fabulous Static and Blaxx’ Fetin Away. I also worked with Destra for the first time in years on “Dutty D Road” but it didn’t take off like I thought it would. Sometimes you
ET&T: Between studio time and touring how do you maintain family life? KITCH: I am just really thankful I have a family who understands that daddy is always busy. Whenever I get the opportunity to spend time with my family I have to go all out. I’m bringing the kitchen sink. ET&T: With such a busy schedule how do you stay inspired? KITCH: I believe God tells me what to write. I hear a voice telling me what John Public wants and I follow that voice and create. I never have to force to write anything. It just comes to me via a spiritual connection with the music. When we are on tour we usually have to turn hotel rooms into makeshift studios and pull bed sheets to make temporary vocal booths just to record. We never stop creating. It’s always helpful that Machel has studios and homes abroad so we can always record. ET&T: What else do you want readers to know? KITCH: Just for all the young artistes and producers to keep humble. Humility is really important. Some people walk and puff up their chest after twothree years of small success. Also, I’m under new management. Mr. Jason Singh. Google it at socabookings.com.
MARCH, 2014 • ET&T 17
artying till the sun comes up is part and parcel of P what makes us Trini. Sundance is one event that promotes this pastime. It’s all about feting till the hot
sun blazes and the beaches in nearby Chaguramas calls for a cool down. This event at Bowen Marine attracted large number of patrons once again and the media definitely didn’t want to pass up on it. ET&T was there for the action.
Flag crews are forever
Loving the outrageous look
Working that bottle
Couples party too
Right back at ya!
That’s what we like to see
MARCH, 2014 • ET&T 19
ier 1 was the venue for the annual Ladies First fete. The ode to the fairer sex took place on Valentine’s P weekend and the love fest drew a solid crowd. This
fete was hosted by club Zen so you know it had to be premium. Drinks were at a premium and so were the females. The Ladies may have been put first with the concept, but the guys were in wonderland with all the eye candy around them.
They came in threes too
This dude played chaperone
They came by the two’s
Two downright beauties
KDB rocks out
A rose for Valentine’s
Bunji engages the crowd
The ViQueen in action
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Working the poses
A solo poser
Rocking her Valentine’s red
attracts thousands to Trinidad’s North Coast. 2014’s version was no different as it was ram-packed and full of vibes. Topped off with stellar performances by soca’s elite the night into day party was one to remember for all present. ET&T has pics.
The hottest dancers around
ave events presented one of the most anticipated Carnival parties this year in Sahara. The fete which developed from R the summer version of the beach party over the last few years
Doing her thing to stand out
Friends fete together
Tunji post performance
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Sachy getting his promo on
eteran comedienne Nikki Crosby loves children and as a V way to give back to those who bring so much joy to her life she began hosting the Carnival kid’s retreat NikkiLand.
2014 proved to be a successful one for her again as the show thrived due to its all-inclusive format and strong entertainment cast. ET&T was there.
Great fun awaits
FayAnn faces a large crowd
Relaxing for a photo
Amping her adrenaline
Kids love mascots
Giving the youths a bligh
Mr. Killa was present
She know d ting man
A proud parent and child
A variety of activities to try
Bunji makes a child’s day
The woman behind it all
Carrying all he can handle
MARCH, 2014 • ET&T 23
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r e c u d o r p E L OFI R P
Name: Kevon Curtis Lemessy Soubriquet: KevyBeatz Age: 25 Instruments Played: Acoustic guitar and keyboards. Favourite Genre: None. I’m a
multi-genre type of guy. Strengths: Making authentic sounding reggae and hip-hop. Programs/Tools used: Nuendo4, FlStudios11, Reason 5 Mentors: Robin Foster and
Yoichi Wantanabe Catalogue: Produced background music for B.Mobile, worked with local producers like Kasey Phillips and Klase Gonzales.
Recent Highlights: Played an integral role performing at the 3 Canal Show. What Next? Working on releasing Cynx mixtape and a music video on Ash Wednesday
Yuh know yuh see something nice when your face is like the officer's on the left. I thought he was the one who was supposed to be ketching people? Well yes Lerbs… We ketch yuh with lipstick on yuh cheek in Ladies First. Doh play yuh drawing attention from it with that cup.
MARCH, 2014 • ET&T 25
arnival is usually a time where being wotless is ok. However, people tend to C think it applies to fashion as well. Those people are sorely misled. Look at what some nincompoops chose to do.
If there are loops on it, then it was meant for a belt. This dude preferred sag swag with his trousers barely holding on to his body. Of course he was dealt with accordingly. Who say SLAMMER?
These two lovely ladies did nothing wrong, but somehow found themselves in the middle of bad company. Just look at the bare feet on the cold dirty tiles to the left. Hope there was no toe-licking after the party.
Having visible body powder all over your chest and neck is akin to bad makeup. Her fashion flaw cost her a stint in the yard.
Actress Penelope Spencer is chill at the NikkiLand event in Macoya
Patrice Roberts witches up the style at Sahara
The soulful star Ziggy Rankin is photographed at a recent event www.etntweekly.com â€˘
MARCH, 2014 â€˘ ET&T 27
Macklemore & Ryan Lewis
Name: Ben ‘Macklemore’ Haggerty & Ryan Lewis Age: 30 and 25 Profession: Musicians/ Rappers/ DJ Claim to fame: Macklemore & Ryan Lewis, a duo from Seattle, Washington, have emerged as a premier national hip-hop group known for their electrifying live shows, expertly crafted music, and innovative music videos and media. After years of building momentum with impassioned support from their devoted fan base,
2012 has been a banner year for the group, kicked off by Macklemore’s feature in XXL’s Freshman Class. Most recently, they have broken new ground by independently releasing their debut full-length album, The Heist, which shot into the #1 spot on iTunes and debuted at #2 on the Billboard charts without the support of a traditional record label. Their single “Thrift Shop” has hit top 40 on the Billboard Top 100 chart and is still climbing, with a wildly popu-
lar music video (20 million+ views on YouTube) on heavy rotation on BET and MTV2. “Same Love,” a song and video in support of marriage equality, galvanized young fans and voters and led to a live studio performance on The Ellen DeGeneres Show. While on their 70-city, completely sold-out world tour supporting The Heist, they have garnered attention in Rolling Stone, Billboard, NPR, TIME and GQ, with live performances on VH1 and an upcoming feature on
Late Night with Jimmy Fallon. Macklemore also received seven Grammy award nominations at the 56th Annual Grammy Awards, which included Best New Artist, Album of the Year, Song of the Year (Same Love), and Best Music Video (Can't Hold Us). On January 26, 2014, Macklemore & Ryan Lewis won four Grammy awards for Best New Artist, Best Rap Album (The Heist), Best Rap Song and Best Rap Performance (Thrift Shop)
What Will You Be Watching This Easter? T
he endless debauchery, ribaldry and ‘wotlessness’ enveloping the country at Carnival time is not uncommon. It is also not uncommon to see the same people who engage in these wanton acts filing into church pews Ash Wednesday as though nothing happened in the mere weeks and even hours before. That is because as hypocritical as it may seem, lent is a time for repentance which is devoid of many excesses. During this religious period even the movies reflect this. Religiously themed films or basic family fare rule the theatres. Check out
Son Of God This movie details the life story of Jesus from his humble birth through to his teachings, crucifixion and ultimate resurrection. Little known stars Diogo Morgado, Amber Rose Revah and Greg Hicks act in this movie. Noah Russell Crowe is lead actor in this film in which the Biblical Noah suffers visions of an apocalyptic deluge and takes measures to protect his family from the coming flood.
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ET&T Is Published By Abstract Media Group, Premium Commercial Complex, San Juan, Trinidad, W.I. • Tel: (868) 638 1156/9 • Fax: (868) 638 1160. PRINTED BY THE OFFICE AUTHORITY - PRINTING DiVISION and Distributed by AMG
Published on Feb 27, 2014