INSIDE Culture I Fashion I Health I Music I Spotlight NOV 2022 ISSUE1
Hello to you all my IS (Inside Soca) family. It has been a while since we last connected. Like the rest of the world, we were affected by Covid, but due to our resilience and commitment to our extraordinary culture, we are back. I would first like to thank all of you for your continuous support during our period of absence. From simple “checking in” messages to content ideas to a telling-off because of our inactivity, we appreciate you. You all have shown us how important our role is within our culture and the need for us to ensure our music is heard and recognised globally. Moving forward, Inside Soca is more committed to showcasing ALL elements of our culture, people, food and the unforgettable experience that encapsulates the beautiful festival we love so much - Carnival. We hope you enjoy this edition of Inside Soca and please continue to share your thoughts and ideas with us.
The Inside Soca team would like to express a SPECIAL THANK YOU to the following, who played an integral part in making this issue.
CAMA Team - Caribbean Afro Music Awards
DJ QT 2Hype - Soca Charts
Release D Riddim / D Riddim Tribe - D Riddim Tribe showcase
KamKing - The Spotlighta and images
Nicha B - Tribute to Blaxx
The Pinup Journalist - Images Trini Jungle Juice - Images
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NOVEMBER 2022 WWW.INSIDESOCA.COM 4 Table of Contents 6 A Healthy Lifestyle 10 Inside the Closet Colour and pattern prints 12 Main Feature D Riddim Tribe An inside look at one of Notting Hill’s most exciting Carnival band 26 I am King An interview with KamKing Media 32 The Soca charts by Dj QT 2Hype CULTURE MUSIC SPOTLIGHT FASHION HEALTH
MUSIC AND BEYOND www.spaceradio.net
Written by Kerlon Winchester
So the world has reopened for business and Carnivals around the world are in full swing after a two-year pause. Some of us succumbed to inactivity and gained a few pounds ( not the sterling one), whilst others had the willpower and mindset to keep their fitness levels in check. Wherever you are on the fitness ladder, everywhere is open now and like the Trinis would say “ is fete after fete after fete”. It is therefore important that we indulge ( in food/ drink or partying) diligently, to ensure we maintain some form of good health. Good health? What is that exactly?
Scientists and Doctors describe good health as a combination of sufficient rest, balanced nutrition and frequent exercises. When we speak about good health, we are
referring to a state of complete mental, physical and social well-being and not merely the absence of disease. Being in good health, allows the body to adapt to new threats ( especially stress) and be in a better position to cope with them. With regard to the human body, there are different types of health, namely, physical, spiritual, mental and emotional, with mental and physical health being the two most frequently debated.
Medical experts have even linked our financial state to our overall health, with studies showing that people who are in a better financial state, tend to worry less.
Let’s have a closer look at the different types of health as we prepare to get back on the road for global carnivals.
Persons who are in good physical health are most likely to have their bodily functions operating at their peak, all due to regular exercises, balanced nutrition and adequate amounts of rest.
Maintaining a degree of physical fitness protects and helps develops the endurance of a person’s heart functions, muscular strength, flexibility and body composition, all of which are key for a seasoned masquerade.
Mental health encompasses a person’s emotional, social, and psychological well-being, and is just as important as one’s physical health. It is harder to define mental health than physical health because many psychological diagnoses depend on an individual’s perception of their experience.
Having good mental health is not only categorized by the absence of depression, anxiety, or another disorder but also depends on a person’s ability to: - balance a variety of elements of life, such as family and finances
- enjoy life - bounce back after difficult experiences and adapt to adversity - feel safe and secure
- achieve their full potential. It is important to approach “health” as a whole, rather than as a series of separate factors. All types of health are linked, and we should aim for overall well-being and balance as the keys to good health. It is also essential to be able to maintain good health to continuously strengthen our defence system. It may not be possible to avoid disease altogether. However, we should do as much as we can to develop resilience and prepare the body and mind to deal with illnesses as they arise. The best way to maintain health is to preserve it through a healthful lifestyle rather than waiting until sickness or infirmity to address health problems.
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HEALTH BENEFITS OF BEING SOCIAL
As human beings, we were born into social groups and live our entire lives as a part of society, so the social element can’t easily be removed from the evolution of an individual. But how does social contact affect our health?
The society that we’re born into and the societies that we navigate throughout our lives shape our identities, so we can dream, learn, grow, communicate and work as part of society. In fact, we are so keen to communicate with each other — even beyond geographical limitations — that we’ve developed a plethora of tools to help us achieve that, including pen and paper, telegraph, telephone, and the Internet. However, face-toface contact is like a vaccine.
Research has shown that direct person-to-person contact triggers parts of our nervous system that release a “cocktail” of neurotransmitters tasked with regulating our response to stress and anxiety. In other words, when we communicate with people face-to-face, it could help to make us more resilient to stress factors in the long run. Social motivation and social contact can help to improve memory formation and recall and protects the brain from neurodegenerative diseases. Finally, enjoying close social ties — with friends, partners, or family members — can make us happy and improve our overall life satisfaction in the long run.
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NOVEMBER 2022 Inside the
By: R. Okonfo
Riddim TRibe D
Written by: K. Winchester
One of the most exciting bands to hit the road for Notting Hill Carnival 2022 was D Riddim Tribe. This band is a subsidiary of one of the largest and most exciting entertainment brands in the UK - Release D Riddim.
It was ten years ago, in September of 2012, when a lightbulb moment became a reality for Steven Mensah and Mathew Card. They toyed with the idea of launching a band for Notting Hill Carnival and not long after brought it to fruition. What started as a mere three hundred (300) masqueraders has since replicated to the tune of well over one thousand masqueraders today.
The band was formed to create a sense of euphoria, with the focus solely on the masqueraders and their experiences. The vibe needed to be unparallel to any other band, which was consistently met. This however was not an easy task as D Riddim Tribe, like any other band, was faced with several challenges, mainly financial. This, however, did not deter Steven or Mathew. If anything it forced them to be innovative and imaginative.
D Riddim Tribe is known to be affiliated with some of the best designers in the industry. This was evident for NHC 2022 as they presented six in-house sections, plus a few private sections, which undoubtedly pushed the boundaries of creativity. For Notting Hill Carnival 2022, the theme was Reign. This symbolised their dominant presence on the road for the return of Notting Hill Carnival.
The six sections for 2022 included : NEFERTITI - designed by Carnivaldujar.
Nefertiti was a queen of the 18th Dynasty of Ancient Egypt, and the great Royal wife of Pharaoh Akhenaten. Nefertiti and her husband were known for a religious revolution, in which they worshipped solely the sun disc, Aten, as the only God.
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DYNASTY - designed by Envydesigns.
Wu, known in historiography as Eastern Wu or Sun Wu, was one of the three major states that competed for supremacy over China in the Three Kingdoms period.
Zenobia was a third-century queen of the Palmyrene Empire in Syria. Many legends surround her ancestry; she was probably not a commoner and she married the ruler of the city.
ZENOBIA - designed by Carnivaldujar.
Crown jewels represent all the beautiful things that Kings and Queens possess.
TheQueen of Sheba is a figure first mentioned in the Hebrew Bible. In the original story, she brings a caravan of valuable gifts for the Israelite King Solomon.
SHEBA’S GOLD - designed by Sawneystylez.
CROWN JEWEL - designed by Reigning Mas.
FUN MAS Riddim TRibe
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Blaxx: Our Soca Super Hero
Written by: Starlett Roberts
Dexter John Stewart the Artiste we all know as “Blaxx” left us on March 28th,2022. Blaxx , our Soca Super Hero who made us all “Feel Like Hulk” crossed over into Soca Heaven after a battle with Covid-19 in Trinidad. Sadly, Blaxx had been on a hugely successful run performing back to back nights in Trinidad at various shows during what would usually be their annual carnival season before lent. Revellers were placed in “Pods” far from the stage ironically as a precautionary measure to halt the spread of Covid-19 in Trinidad. Blaxx, although physically a little less active and with a noticeably larger stomach, he, made his rounds on stage exuberantly performing his classic hits and MASH UP which is unofficially 2022’s Soca
Blaxx was very influential to many Soca Artiste throughout his career, Aaron St. Louis the artiste known to us all as Voice, credits his success as Soca Artist to Blaxx. It was clear that he was moved to share the stage during Vibez With Voicey on Friday February 25th, 2022 with his mentor when Voice spoke to the sold-out crowd at The Queens Park Savannah in Trinidad.Just picture Blaxx dressed in all whiteentering the stage as Voice stood cheering him on.
“ ALLYUH MAKE SOME NOISE FOR THE LIVING LEGEND!!- VOICE No one could predict that this would be one of his last performances. Reflecting back, only he knew how he actually felt and due to his dynamic showmanship Blaxx never missed a beat reeling everyone in with his catchy lyrics:
THIS IS NOT THE TIME TO BE A LONER/ THIS IS THE TIME TO WHINE ON A
Like fine wine, Blaxx aged well and creating Soca Hits each year was just a natural occurrence.
Soca was in his soul from the age of 13 an inheritance from his Father Jerry Stewart who formed Jerry and New School. Learning the art of performance from such a young age is part of the reason why Blaxx has so much relevance in the Soca World. He has worked and guided the best of the best. Never stingy Blaxx has shaped many careers by indirect influence as an Ariste or directly as a mentor.He became a member of the band “Fucceccion,” for eleven years, evolving from Dexter John Stewart to “Blaxx”then eventually hitting the Soca Power Band circuit by joining bands like“Blue Ventures,” “Atlantic,” “Byron Lee and the Dragons,” and finally Roy Cape All Star in the late 1990’s. It was in Roy Cape where he started influencing and encouraging the new up and coming Artists like Destra Garcia, Akeem “Preedy” Chance, Fay-Ann Lyons, I don’t believe there is a Soca APerformer, Band or entity that has not been greatly influenced by Mr. Stewart, he shared his pearls to all who wanted to perfect their craft.Later on he would mentor Jesse “College
Boy” Stewart, Jevaughn “V’ghn” John hailing from Grenada and Nicha B hailing from St.Kitts and Nevis. V’ghn and Nicha B respectively worked closely with Blaxx almost as surrogate son’s eventually returning to their native islands, fortified with the tools needed to become award winning artists. I reached out to Nicha B via voice text after Blaxx’ untimely passing because I knew how much he regarded him and all that he had done for him and his passing would be difficult to process. Here is our brief dialogue on April 8th , 2022.
Blaxx was never short on words and never had a problem with speaking his mind because it came from his heart. Recently Blaxx and Macel Montano had a very public disagreement in which Blaxx bravely verbalized how he felt about Machel Montano’s remarks.
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Double M allegedly stated Jamaica Carnival was better than Triidad’s which prompted Blaxx to speak up during his Mawning Neighbour performance back in May 2018. In front of a live audience Blaxx exclaimed “ F*ck Machel! He is the Devil”. This caused quite a stir during the 2018 Borough Day Celebrations in South
Trinidad where both Blaxx and Machel Montano hailed. Blaxx eventually released a video that explained how Machel’s statements impacted him deeply .Blaxx did everything with fearless passion; watching his heartfelt apology and rationale for his outburst.
WILL LOSE A TOE FOR
Blaxx was a Soca Ambassador who paved the way for many Soca Artistes under harsh circumstances, even with a father as a performer in the industry he faced discrimination based on his complexion and even body type. I have a great deal of respect for Mr. Stewart; he faced many obstacles that may have put one’s musical career goals aside, permanently. During his professional journey as an all-around entertainer. It is as though he knew he wasn’t going to survive through 2022.
Blaxx ensured that he had a platform to express his pain in an almost autobiographical account of his life experiences in Trinidad. Blaxx laments openly and very poignantly during this interview for” Life Lessons” with Mr. Ecliffe Elie. Mr. Stewart describes some of the challenges he faced because during this interview, 20 seconds in I was emotional. Watch Blaxx and Mr. Elie in this very special video:
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“I WAS TOLD I WAS TOO BLACK, MAKE-UP DON’T LIKE MEH, CAMERA DOH LIKE MEH, MY BELLY TOO BIG, I’M TOO FAT; NOT MARKETABLE ENOUGH”
“I WAS NEVER THE TYPE THE MEDIA WANTED”-BLAXX
Well Blaxx sure did show them! Blaxx participation as a serious contender for Soca Monarch spans two decades, each year he grew closer and closer to securing his place royal spot only reaching # 2 with my favourite Blaxx tune “ Hulk” in 2018 . His perseverance and courage fueled his ambitions to be one of Soca Monarchs longstanding contenders along with the likes of Iwer George. Giselle Gellineau-Penrose has been Blaxx Manager for years, stated in an interview with Loop TT News: “ He would support anything that involves soca. To him it was about to help push the culture by all means whatever it took.”
Read the full storyhttps://tt.loopnews.com/content/blaxx-socamonarchs-consistent-competitor-and-ardentsupporter
On April 6th, 2022 Dexter John Stewart was finally given all of the accolades he deserved by his Twin Island Country of Trinidad and Tobago , Fellow Musical Artists/ Colleagues and of course his faithful and adoring fans. Blaxx for the contributions he made to the industry and believe he should have been recognised for it while he was alive.”
Roy Cape, friend, mentor and former Bandleader of The All Stars speaks highly of his predecessor in an interview with TT Newsday :“Blaxx has been a very special vocalist. From singing the music of Lionel Richie to Bob Marley to Buju Banton to calypso and soca, he was an all-rounder and a singer for any occasion. If he sang a love song for the ladies, they really enjoyed it,”
Read the full storyhttps://newsday.co.tt/2022/04/03/keepingblaxxs-legacy-alive/
Blaxx was a dynamic and versatile entertainer who will always be at this tip of our tongues for years to come. His contributions to Feterans like myself are endless, if your DJ isn’t playing a 2-3 Blaxx tracks this year/party TRAMPLE DEM, TRAMPLE DEM, TRAMPLE DEM, TRAMPLE DEM, MANHANDLE DEM!! Watch his explosive performance in Trinidad at the 2018 International Soca Monarch Competition:
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Inside Soca Magazine joined with the millions of Soca fans around the world to send heartfelt condolences to the Stewart Family. We are grateful to have shared your spouse, father , son, uncle, nephew, cousin for the past 43 years. Blaxx is one of a kind and may never be replicated, but he has left us with awesome entertainers who owe him a great deal of gratitude for his priceless mentorship. Thank you to all of the songwriters, producers and musicians who have created a catalogue of hits for Blaxx and his fans world-wide.
Blaxx -Place In Life
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Outsiiiiiddde Outsiiiiiddde Outsiiiiiddde We
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Images provided by - TriniJungleJuice, Colours Carnival, Albert St Clair Photography, KamKing Media and The Pin Up Journalist.
for NHC 2022
I A M K I N G
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Acelebration of cultures, fashion and music, Carnival is one of the most anticipated events of the year. It is the perfect opportunity to showcase your skillset and creativity and most importantly have fun. What better way to caption these moments than the use of still images and video recordings. After all, the adage says, A picture is worth a thousand words. This adage has been a key component in Cameron Hall’s drive to showcase his extraordinary talent.
Cameron Hall, aka Kam King, grew up in the West London area between Ladbroke Grove and Shepherds Bush, known to many for being a quite shy and budding footballer. As a youngster, he was privileged to dabble in a few industries, with the music industry having a profound effect on his future. Cameron developed a love for music, which was evident in his new role as a DJ and his growing interest in many different genres. Although this was an exciting time for Cameron, as would be for any individual, there was still a void that needed to be addressed. There was a growing need to be more interactive, to keep up with the change in technology and the emergence of social media. As a result, Cameron moved to
the United States and spent six years working as a Business Consultant, assisting people in starting and marketing their new business ventures. It was only natural that his confidence grew, but more surprisingly his creativity went through several growth spurts, allowing several interesting opportunities to present themselves. One such opportunity was in the audiovisual industry. It was the love for Carnival and the Caribbean culture that fuelled Cameron’s inspiration to be involved in this industry. Now, after almost four years on the Carnival scene, there is a greater love for the culture and excitement surrounding his skillset. Cameron explained, “
Within the culture, there are so many angles to showcase the beauty of the culture and I wanted to be a medium to capture the true essence of our culture.”
He had a hunger to be the best and was determined to develop all aspects of his skillset. This of course did not come easy, as Cameron did not attend college / university or enrol in any professional courses. Cameron was all self-taught. He committed hundreds of hours learning the trade online. He read tonnes of material, watched
hundreds of YouTube videos, followed several social media platforms and most excitingly, was out in the field implementing all he had learnt online. Admittedly, a lot of mistakes were made. But instead of putting himself down, Cameron embraced and celebrated these mistakes. It’s almost like he wanted these mistakes to happen. He explained – “ Making mistakes are an important part of life lessons. It was important for me to get it wrong in order for me to learn from it
Written by: K. Winchester Acton Town Carnival - 2022
and be able to master my craft.” Being a Videographer, goes beyond just capturing raw footage and maintaining equipment. For Cameron, it’s about being creative and showcasing special memorable moments. Within the Carnival arena, there are so many elements to showcase and stories to be told and Cameron has managed, over the years, to master this unique talent, hence the name Kam King.
NOVEMBER 2022 WWW.INSIDESOCA.COM 33 CHARTS by QT 2hype 1. Bum Bum Wall - Deejay Asap 2. High - Jab King 3. Rel Mash Up (Remix) - Lavaman / Mr Killa / Donnell 4. In The Water - Suhraw / Chow Minister 5. Danger - Skinny Fabulous / Problem Child 6. She Ready - Adam O / Salty 7. Finally - V’ghn 8. Teknique ( Bum Bum Bum) - Nailah Blackman / Father Philis / Salty 9. Soca Start - DJ Cheem / IQ 10. G.P.S - Ricardo Drue Contact QT 2hype on: www.soundcloud.com/qt-2hype www.instagram.com/qt2hype www.snapchat.com/qt_2hype www.twitter.com/QT_2hype www.facebook.com/ QT.2hype
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Caribbean Afro Music Awards
The Caribbean Afro Music Award is a dedicated award ceremony designed to acknowledge and reward both British and International talent from the musical genres of Afrobeats, Dancehall, Gospel, Reggae, Reggaeton, Soca and Gospel.
They are committed to creating a platform that embraces and values the culture and music and to be recognised as a leading awarding body for Caribbean and Afro Music.
The Caribbean Afro Music Awards aka ‘CAMA’ is an opportunity for all those who love the music and culture and all of those who have supported us to come together and enjoy the rewards of our production. Nominees - Fik Fam - King Kanja
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- Wendy Shay - Silvastone - Princess Wonda - Adina Thembi Nominees - Perry Jack
Maximum Sound - Nuh Rush
NOVEMBER 2022 WWW.INSIDESOCA.COM 36 Nominees - Br!dge - Open Soul - Andon - Teshay Makeda - Silk Boss Nominees - Alkaline - Charly Black - Demarco - Intence - Jahvillani - Shaneil Muir Nominees - Still Shady - Chevelle Franklin - Rehmahz - Marizu - Limoblaze
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- Toledo - Chocquibtown - Dukus Nominees - Gramps Morgan - Lucy Calcines - Stonebwoy - Demarco - Lila Ike -Chocquibtown
- Gramps Morgan - Alkaline - Charly Black - Demarco - Jesse Royal
- Gappy Ranks - Doktor - Dukus - Rebecca Winter - Silvastone
- Linky First
- Freezy - Jadel - Sekon Sta
- Lila Ike
- Jesse Royal
- Gappy Ranks - Pressure Busspipe
Nominees - Gramps Morgan - King Kanja - Lucy Calcines - Masia One - Chocquibtown - Stonebwoy
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OUT NOW DEBUT ALBUM
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