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SOCANEWS Free

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CONTENTS APRIL 2019 | ISSUE 129

REVIEWS 31. FEATURE

GRENADA, A SPICE BEYOND MAS

08. EVERYBODY LOVES A GOOD CHOCOLATE Chocolate Nation band launch

10. VIBES FROM VYBES Vybes Mas and Masanova

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band launch


FEATURES

REGULAR

16. MISS BARBADOS UK More than just a sash and

27. EVENTS

title

21. CARNIVAL Renaissance for Antigua 24. WHEN AND WHERE

Is your next carnival

When and where to fete

GET LISTED If you’re a carnival organiser, promoter, mas band, steelband, soca sound, community group or other participant who’s feeling left out because we didn’t mention your event, or if you’d like to advertise in the magazine or online, the remedy is in your hands. Get in touch! Give us a call on 0333 012 4643

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F

Editor’s Letter

ind a band play ah mas, its Notting Hill Carnival time again. The Notting Hill Carnival 2019 band launch season is well and truly upon us, as mas bands showcase their 2019 presentations left right and centre. From the look of our events page (socanews.com/events), this is set to continue right up until June. Here at Soca News we strongly believe that everyone should play mas at least once., so we hope you won’t just spectate, but also aim to participate in this year’s Notting Hill Carnival, on Sunday 25 and Monday 26 August. As an adult, you can choose to take part on either the Sunday, in dirty (‘dutty’) mas, which ranges from paint or powder to mud or chocolate, or on the Monday, and don a pretty costume. Or, if you’re up to it, participate on both days! We realise that some of the costumes on display might not be to your taste or cut, but there’s

PUBLISHER & EDITOR Joseph Charles jc@socanews.com CREATIVE Joseph Charles SUB EDITOR Katie Segal katie@socanews.com CONSULTING EDITOR Stephen Spark stephen@socanews.com

something out there for everyone if you look hard enough. They come in a rainbow of colours from a smorgasbord of mas bands; you can see our listing of the bands and their 2019 themes at socanews.com/masbands. Our mas band page is being updated all the time, so check it out or sign up to our newsletter for updates. One of the events we’re supporting and should be in your diary is the 2nd Annual CAMF Band Launch & Showcase on Sunday 12 May at Second Home, 68 Hanbury Street, London, E1 5JS. Here, several mas bands will showcase their costume presentations for 2019. We’re always happy to hear from our readers, so feel free to email news@socanews.com, and we’ll get back to you. YOURS IN SOCA. Joseph Charles EDITOR

SALES & ADVERTISING Rodney Wilson rodney@socanews.com sales@socanews.com WORDS Eva Jean Marie, Joseph Charles, Katie Segal, Sharon Buckley, Stephen Spark PICTURES Bampson, Jarek Duk, Longjoy Photography, Oji Thomas, Robin Mark, Rudolpho Louisy, Shutter

instagram.com/socanews

twitter.com/socanews

In Motion, Stephen Spark PUBLISHED BY Joseph Charles Publishing 86-90 Paul Street London, EC2A 4NE TELEPHONE + 44 (0) 333 012 4643 EMAIL info@socanews.com WEBSITE www.socanews.com

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The views expressed in Soca News are not necessarily the views of the editor or the publisher. All material contained within this publication is the copyright of Soca News. No material, written or photographic may be reproduced in any way without the written permission of the publisher. No liability will be accepted for any errors which may occur within the magazine. © 2019 Soca News. All rights reserved. 6 SN APRIL 2019


COVER PHOTO Our cover photo this month is from Bacchanalia Mas Band. Their 2019 Notting Hill Carnival cotume presentation is Alpha and the section is called ANKA. Model | Leslie Sidora Photographer | Jarek Duk Design Team | Kelly Rajpaulsingh and Douglas John Make up | Kitty Noofah

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review BAND LAUNCH

Everybody Loves A Good Chocolate CHOCOLATE NATION MAS BAND LAUNCH REVIEW WORDS | SHARON BUCKLEY IMAGES | LONGJOY PHOTOGRAPHY

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es, Chocolate! Another year, another launch – and this was one that proved that, 10 years on, this band remains one of the kings of the road at Notting Hill Carnival (NHC). On Saturday 16 March, DJ Mike Forbes and his team revealed that for NHC 2019 there will be seven costumed sections on the road with Chocolate Nation Mas. This year’s theme is X-Treme, which gives an idea about where they hope to take masqueraders as they celebrate this special milestone. What drives Chocolate is, in the words of its motto, ‘Our Love of Soca and Carnival’. It’s a love shared by the masqueraders who, as Mike Forbes 8 SN APRIL 2019

and one of the designers warmly announced, keep them going year after year. For Carnival Sunday there’s the popular signature T-shirt package, of white T-shirt with pink or brown writing. This year there’s also a VIP T-shirt section, which is a red leotard or T-shirt with black writing. The packages include two trucks, mobile toilet, band security, the usual container for chocolate and refreshments, and extra goodies in the bag. Carnival Monday will see masqueraders dazzled by bling, as all seven sections are heavy on beads, diamanté and glitter - the diamond sky is definitely the limit this year. We now look at each section in


turn (in no particular order). Wassiville has been designed by Sophia, who has been in the business for more than 10 years, she told me backstage. The theme of this all-female section is Warrior. The ‘Ahosi’ women are beautiful, strong and fight with their hearts. They are the fiercest female warriors ever to roam the earth, a symbol of victory and power. Sophia has opted for a beautiful blend of golds, pinks and greens denoting that soft yet fierce and earthy character. Caribbean Sessions is portraying Passion, with white writing on a pink T-shirt. The section’s costumes are vibrant pink, yellow and feathered with bling galore - very bright and beautiful. Infinite Mas is promoting love with Mi Amour. In this their fifth year on the road they believe “only true masqueraders understand the love of Carnival that runs through our veins; it’s pure and neverending”. Designers Jules and Desire have four sections for women and one for men with a back-line section called Passion. Desire told me backstage that “as we’re not sure if it’s gonna be sunny or not for Carnival, I’ve chosen pink and yellow to keep us bright on the road”. The predominately pink look is absolutely striking and speaks volumes. Kyoto, the capital of peace and tranquillity, is the chosen theme of Mas With a Difference. The

garden is a theme of pure beauty, so prepare to be captivated by leaves, flowers and soil. Designer Flora has intricately combined fuchsia, rich orange, electric and regal greens and gold to create the most stunning feathered wings and back-piece, not forgetting that all-important bling to finish off the amazing look. Trinity Design Collective, which is also celebrating 10 years of mas, present Mantra, expressing “love for soca, love for our culture”. This costume has an amazing peacock-like feathered headpiece with a striking layout. The colour mix of browns, turquoise and yellow bling and feathers is mesmerising. Lovena, who has been designing for four years, presents Calypso, the rhythm of Carnival, the expression of freedom. There will be a back-, midand front-line and men’s section. Turquoise, pink and yellow feathers dominate the costume with clusters of bling here and there; it’s an exquisite and captivating look. To say the DJs had the crowd charged up is an understatement. With so many fresh from Trinidad Carnival, they came ready to party hard. All sorts of stage paraphernalia were used as wining props. It was pure vibes all night thanks to Danny D and DJ C Jay, not forgetting hosts Giselle and Mike Forbes. SN APRIL 2019 9


review BAND LAUNCH

Vibes from Vybz

VYBZ MAS AND MASANOVA BAND LAUNCH REVIEW WORDS | SHARON BUCKLEY IMAGES | ROBIN MARK

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ne mas camp, five sections for NHC 2019. Vybz Mas’ much-anticipated 2019 band launch was held by bandleader Lloyd Bedeau on 23 March this year, and this will be the first time on the road for one of their sections: Masanova is the inspired name of this new band on the block. I had a chat with their manager and bandleader Wayne, who can’t wait to get the whole show on the actual road. Wayne has been involved in carnival since 1987, and has a wealth of experience with sound systems; he played with the popular Dynamic Sounds for around ten years in the ‘90s. He currently has his own system, West Indian Connections, which has been around for a few years playing for different mas camps, clubs and events. 10 SN APRIL 2019

From a Grenadian background, Wayne says that carnival and soca are his ultimate passions, hence his dream of one day having his own mas band. And here we are, this dream now a reality; Wayne greatly thanks Vybz Mas for giving him the opportunity. On Sunday, the band will have T-shirts on the road, and on Monday there will be T-shirts, fun mas and three different full mas sections, with the theme of Delirium. The fun mas section, entitled Spice, has the men in a red, gold and green diamanté decorated black T-shirt with the Delirium logo across the chest, and matching decorated shades. Women will wear a black leotard with the same coloured diamanté theme as the men, but with a tiara and leg and arm pieces. For the T-shirt section, shirts are either white or yellow, with the


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Delirium, Masanova and Vybz Mas logo’s in black, red and white writing. Wayne relayed to me that he’s chosen famous icons to represent the theme in the costume sections. We have Demeanor section by designer Diamontee-Made, with an extremely colourful costume, crazy and funky with psychedelic colours, representing rap artist Missy Elliott. This is sure to be a hit on the road. Designer Jodie of Confident Curves presents the Gaga section, inspired by Lady Gaga. It’s all about wildness and wackiness reflected through print. Costumes for both men and women carry a background of zebra print with vibrant orange, purple and gold complimentary colours, as well as matching feathers and plenty of gold sequins giving life to the whole Delirium theme. Ashanti Creole brings the section Grace, consisting of three different lines including a bling option. The colours are mainly a rich aquamarine blue and black with matching feathers, tiaras and other body pieces; a very powerful look. 12 SN APRIL 2019

Vybz Mas’ main theme is Enchanted Gardens, designed by Atalya James with sections Starlight, Pixie Dust, Fairies and Elves. Pixie Dust is an array of beautiful pinks, aquamarine on a sequinned leotard or bikini with tiara and feathers. Fairies is a similar design, although created with beautiful shades of eye-catching greens. I managed to have a brief chat with Jodie (of the Gaga section) and Atalya (Enchanted Gardens). It’s Atalya’s first time designing for the road, and I’m sure it won’t be her last. She says she’s very excited, and has loved not being restricted with her designs. Playing mas for the first time last year inspired her to bring her designing talents to life. Jodie is a little more experienced; she’s been designing for five years and has won competitions with her costumes. Vybz Mas is a big project for her, and she says that everyone is like one big family, which has made it all the more fantastic for her. This band launch featured unique, colourful, retro costumes and hit soca tunes all night; the perfect recipe for what should, in turn, mean a perfect time on the road this year.


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feature

MISS BARBADOS UK MORE THAN JUST A SASH AND TITLE

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WORDS | JOSEPH CHARLES

he fifth annual Miss Barbados UK competition is scheduled to take place at The Classic Banqueting Suite on Sunday 5 May. The first event was held in April 2015, but a rebranding exercise in 2018 saw the franchise changed ownership from Cinco Amor to Intimate Kreations. In a world where body image is looked upon more than ever, Soca News was interested to know if a competition like Miss Barbados UK is still relevant. To gain insight, we spoke to Shakira Hamblin, Managing Director of Intimate Kreations: What was the incentive to create the Miss Barbados UK competition? Miss Barbados UK was rebirthed as a university

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under the Directorship of Telita Alleyne and myself. During our final year in our degree of Production for Live Events and Television, my chosen dissertation topic was ‘The effects media’s influence has on the public’s perception of beauty pageants; a study on how a pageant director can change these perceptions using Miss Humanity International as a case study.’ To expand on this study, we decided to produce Miss Barbados UK with a difference in giving back to the island dearest to our hearts, as we both are of Barbadian heritage from our maternal side. Do you think beauty competitions are outdated, and does Miss Barbados UK do more than just crown a queen and title? Out-dated may not be the correct word to use here, however, there is a very board platform which beauty pageants can make use of. Miss Barbados UK is not your typical ‘Beauty Pageant’. Our delegates go through an intense amount of training inclusive of workshops such as public speaking, etiquette, drama therapy and fitness just


to name a few. Last but certainly not least, we have a number of pre-judged segments like our famous Bajan Chef Queen where the delegates cook the national dish of Barbados for a panel of judges, our Heritage Quiz panel debate against the 1st and 2nd generations of Barbados and our philanthropy project, Through Their Eyes - Beauty with a Passion, which doesn’t even scratch the surface of our segments. Our queen goes on to building the platform of her choice as a brand ambassador for Barbados, taking part in the annual promotional winners trip to the island, sponsored by Barbados Marketing Inc and Intimate Kreations Ltd. You can also visit our website for more details. (www.missbarbadosuk. com) Do you struggle to get girls to compete or is it reasonably easy? We always receive a fair number of applications annually and even out of season. However, due to having a tight budget, we aim to have no more than 8 finalists each year.

When the time comes and you decide to stop doing Miss Barbados UK, what would you hope to have achieved? As challenging as producing a pageant of this magnitude maybe. I definitely wouldn’t be stopping anytime soon. Miss Barbados UK has way more to offer than what we have delivered so far and we aim to keep leaving a positive mark and impact on society on the inner beauty of pageantry. Plus my kids have stated their claim in taking it over when they are grown, as Miss Barbados UK will certainly have a legacy! I would like to say thanks to Shakira for taking time out to answer our questions and we wish the best of luck to all of the contestants in this year’s competition: Tyra Morgan-Archer, Michelle-May Grazette, Tierney Fauche, Cordelia Harrison & Karyna Greenidge.

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feature

Carnival Renaissance for Antigua WORDS | STEPHEN SPARK IMAGES | OJI THOMAS

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ith a packed programme this year, the 63rd Antigua Carnival looks like being something special. That’s certainly the hope of the Antigua and Barbuda Tourism Authority and the National Festivals Commission, which for several months have been busy in the UK and elsewhere promoting the festivities.

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“the caribbean’s greatest summer festival” In common with some islands’ Junkanoo festivities, Antigua’s annual celebration used to take place in the Christmas period. However, the coronation of Queen Elizabeth II provided an excuse for a day of parades and partying in the street on 3 June 1953. It was such a success that soon people were laying plans to make Carnival a regular fixture on the calendar. The pro-Carnival faction pointed to the benefits for the island’s tourism, but the Antigua Sugar Factory complained that it would lose a day’s production. The objections were overcome, however, and in August 1957 Antigua Carnival took to the road – and has never looked back since then. Boldly billing itself as “the Caribbean’s greatest summer festival”, Antigua Carnival 2019 gets going at 3pm on 25 July with an opening parade in St

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John’s. The parade ends at the Antigua Recreation Ground transformed into Carnival City – where at 7pm the Junior Calypso Monarch contest takes place. The following day is devoted to the Queen of Carnival Pageant (8pm) while on Saturday 26 July T-shirt bands take over streets in and around St John’s. Youngsters are in the spotlight on Sunday, both at Junior Carnival and in the Junior Soca Monarch contest. Over the next seven days there’s a different show each evening, starting with the Mr and Miss Teenage Pageant on Monday. Tuesday is Drue’s Day (three-time monarch Ricardo Drue is Antigua’s roving Carnival ambassador), and on Wednesday head over to Carnival City for Jaycees Caribbean Queen Show. Emancipation Day is celebrated on Thursday and on Friday calypso-lovers will flock to Carnival


City for the 2019 Monarch contest. The pace quickens and the excitement builds as Panorama brings the sweet and powerful sound of steelpan to Carnival City on Saturday evening, followed on Sunday by the Party Monarch competition. That takes you to Jouvert in the early hours of Monday. This year, Carnival Monday has been rebranded Carnival Renaissance, to highlight a new emphasis on traditional Carnival characters and culture. It’s also hoped that people whose origins lie outside Antigua and Barbuda – such as Dominica, Guadeloupe, Cuba and Guyana will contribute to Carnival in their own style. And so the Carnival calendar finally reaches Tuesday 6 August, for that bacchanalian climax officially known as the Parade of the Bands, which of course ends with Las Lap. Antigua has an impres-

sive selection of mas bands to admire or play with; the largest are Beautiful People, Insane and Myst, but there are plenty of medium-sized and small bands to choose from. Antigua is not behindhand when it comes to party packages and several are available that take in the most popular events (email info@antiguacarnival.com for information about these or registering with a mas band). From the UK, inclusive deals are available, such as SN Travel’s eight- and 14-day packages including return flights and accommodation from £1,200 (www.sntravel.co.uk). Antigua Carnival has certainly come a long way since that ‘one-off’ coronation celebration in 1953!

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feature

When and Where Will Your Next Carnival Be?

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he month of May is the start of the UK carnival season, which this year will see more than 40 active events - some traditionally English, and some Caribbeaninfluenced.

Anyone who still associates carnival in the UK with solely the August Bank Holiday weekend clearly isn’t getting out of the capital enough. There’s also an international schedule of carnivals taking place throughout the year. We’ve saved you the trouble of having to go and look for them yourself, and pulled together a list on our website, at:

socanews.com/carnivals

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events

COLOUR ME RED SAINT LUCIA CARNIVAL 2018

Don’t know where to go, or what to do?

Our events listing is all you need to keep you in the know. We cover predominately London, but whenever or wherever we hear about a soca fete or caribbean related event, we’ll list it. If you’re a promoter, then to ensure you get listed please send us your event details and a print copy of your flyer to events@socanews.com. For full event listings, please visit socanews.com/events.

FRI 12 APR PSV

SOCA FRENZY - EASTER CARNIVAL JAM @ Scala, 275 Pentonville Road, Kings Cross, N1 9NL. Time 11pm–5am. Price £8 & £15.

SAT 13 APR INVADERS MAS

2019 BAND LAUNCH EMINENCE

@ Funky Brownz, 5 Tottenham Lane, N8 9DJ. Time 8.30pm– 2am. Price £5, £8 & £12. JUST VIBEZ

DANCEHALL SOCA IN THE LIBRARY

@ The Library Members Club, St Martins Lane, WC2N 4BD. Time 9pm–2am. Price £5, £7 & £8.80.

SAT 20 APR

SUN 14 APR

NOTTING HILL CARNIVAL 2019 LAUNCH OF THE BANDS

FLAGZ MAS BAND

2019 BAND LAUNCH

@ Boxpark Wembley, Olympic Way, Wembley Park, Wembley, HA9 0JT. Time 12pm–7pm. Price Free with ticket

THUR 18 APR KARNIVAL MANIA

2019 BAND LAUNCH KANDESCENT

@ The Lighthouse Bar and Club 62 Rivington Street, EC2A 3AY. Time 10pm. Price £5 & £10.

WE CARNIVAL

@ The Tabernacle, 34-35 Powis Square, W11 2AY. Time 4pm10.30pm. Price £5 16 & under, £5 OAP, £8, £10 & £17.

MON 22 APR WE CARNIVAL

SOCA RAMA

@ Festival Pier, Belvedere Road, SE1 8XZ. Time 2.30pm-6.30pm. Price £25. FOR MORE VISIT

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events FOR A FULL EVENT LISTING

SOCANEWS.COM/EVENTS FRI 26 APR

BUSSPEPPER

MON 06 MAY

HOTWAX

@ Electric Brixton, SW2 1RJ. Music By Travis World,DJ Markee & Shep Beats. Time 11pm-5am. Price £20.

COCOYEA LONDON

2019 BAND LAUNCH

@ Yaa Centre, 1 Chippenham Mews, W9 2AN. Time 6.30pm11pm. GET MAD ENT

BASHMENT AND CHILL

@ 229 The Venue, 229 Great Portland Street, W1W 5PN. DJs DJ Shakit, DJ Dee & Deep & Clarity. Time 10.30pm–3am. Price £5.

SAT 27 APR LA TRINITY CARNIVAL CLUB

2019 BAND LAUNCH

@ Simmons Cocktail Bar, 105 Charterhouse Street, EC1M 6HW. Time 8pm-2am. Price Free Entry.

SUN 28 APR CROME ENTERPRISE

SOCA MAWWDDD BRIGHT COLOURS

@ SiNK Pong, 2 Paul Street, EC2A 4JH. Time 4pm-Midnight. Price £10.

SAT 04 MAY EBONY YOUTH BAND

HIDDEN TALENTS

@ The Tabernacle, 34-35 Powis Square, W11 2AY. Time 5pm. Price £5.

BUSSPEPPER PRESENTS OMNIA BAND LAUNCH

VINCY ALLIANCE MAS

2019 BAND LAUNCH SUPER NOVA

@ Yaa Centre, 1 Chippenham Mews, W9 2AN. Time 6pm11pm. Price £8.

SUN 05 MAY DJ LOKDWN

SOCA MEETS AFRO BEATS

@ The Golden Anchor, 16 Evelina Road, SE15 2DX. Time 8pm–1am. Price Free INTIMATE KREATIONS

MISS BARBADOS UK

@ The Classic Banqueting Suite 28 Upper Tooting Road, SW17 7PG. Time 6pm-1am. Price £15, £25 & £40. DUKA, 2SHADES & ULTRAVISION

DOMINICA FAMILY & FRIENDS FUN DAY

@ Ilford Sports Club, 3 Cricklefield Place, Ilford, IG1 1FY. Time 12pm-8pm. Price £3.50 & £5.50. DUCK & DRAKE PROMOTIONS

COME OUT TO PLAY TOCO LOCO

@ Tower Millennium Pier, EC3N 4DT. Time 2pm-6pm. Price £25 & £30.

TALK YUH TALK

SOCA MASSIVE FANCY SAILORS UK

@ The Tabernacle, 34-35 Powis Square, W11 2AY. Time 7pm. Price Free Entry.

@ Yaa Centre, 1 Chippenham Mews, W9 2AN. Time 5pm10pm Price Children under 15 Free, £5 adults.

KAISO LIME

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2019 BAND LAUNCH

2019 BAND LAUNCH

@ Yaa Centre, 1 Chippenham Mews, W9 2AN. Time 4pm10pm. Price Free Entry.

SUN 12 MAY CAMF

2ND ANNUAL BAND LAUNCH & SHOWCASE

@ Second Home, 68 Hanbury Street, E1 5JS. Time 6pm-10pm. Price £5 members, £7 non members.

SUN 19 MAY THESOCIALINA AND CIL

SUNDAY SORBET

@ The Piano Works, 113-117 Farringdon Road, EC1R 3BX. Time 2pm-9pm. Price £10, £15 & £30.

SAT 25 MAY GT PROMOTIONS & MR MARLON

GUYANA’S 53RD INDEPENDENCE

@ The Classic Banqueting Suite 28 Upper Tooting Road, SW17 7PG. Time 9pm-4am. Price £10

SUN 09 JUNE RNR PROMOTIONS

CARIBBEAN OPEN AIR FETE

@ Lee Valley Athletics Centre, N9 0AR. Time 12pm-8pm. Price £5, £7 & £10. Tel 07794 429 406 FOR MORE VISIT

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GRENADA A Spice BEYOND MAS WORDS | EVA JEAN MARIE

It’s time to take that well deserved getaway, in a place where you can forget about alarms and all the stresses associated with your everyday life. It’s time to take a deep breath and contemplate chillaxin’. Ahh there you go. Now that you’ve relaxed, let me tell you about one of the most idyllic islands in all the Caribbean. A place where turquoise ocean waters gently caress white sandy beaches creating the harmonious symphony of paradise’s tranquillity. Another deep breath, ahh, Grenada.

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feature GRENADA Unfamiliar to most, this beautiful country is actually made up of three islands: Grenada the mainland; Carriacou; and Petite Martinique. Grenada, affectionately known throughout the Caribbean and beyond as the ‘Spice Isle’ is renowned for producing nature’s finest nutmeg amongst many other spices. The islands welcomed more than half a million visitors last year, making it one of the most popular destinations throughout the Caribbean - yet it remains uncrowded. Speaking of popularity, in February, Carriacou hosts a vibrant and exciting annual carnival before the start of the Lenten season. In June, the Petite Martinique Whitsuntide Regatta brings alive the smallest of the sister islands: here you will see J’ouvert as well as onshore activities, round the island races, open boat races and more. The charm of these events exudes a deep mix of cultural authenticity and notable Caribbean traditions that leave indelible experiences on the memories of revellers. Carnival experience include ‘Kayak Mas’ and ‘Shakespeare Mas’ held on Carriacou where participants dress in colourful masks and challene each other with their best theatrical renditions of Shakespeare’s most popular lines recited to the backbeat of soca rhythms. A fascinating spectacle, for certain!. Monday’s Carriacou carnival offers its revellers the spectacle of Jab Jab, this is where revellers either masquerade entirely covered in bright exuberant colours or drench themselves in black oil. Tuesday, revellers can participate in Fancy Mas, a mix of upbeat island music and spice-infused cuisine enjoyed with the warmth and friendliness of the people. Let’s take a look at why Grenada should be in your travel plans. From award-winning restaurants and hotels to historic landmarks and night life that ranges from transcendental calm to wild raves, the Spice Isle does not run short on things to ensure a fulfilling holiday. Once you’ve adjusted to local time, you can get a feel for the land and its roots by visiting one of Grenada’s forts. The largest, Fort Matthew, offers a tour that highlights some of its intriguing features and explains how it went from being a battleground to an insane asylum. Alternatively, sample some of the island’s fine rum at River Antoine Distillery. Another way to discover more about Grenada’s culture, history and traditions is to take a scenic drive from the capital, St George’s, to cocoa and spice farm, Belmont Estate. When you’ve had a chance to appreciate the island’s history, you’ll probably feel ready to bask on a beautiful beach. Two miles of white, sandy shore explains why Grand Anse is one of the most Instagrammed spots. If you’re looking for a bit of seclusion, Levera, Bathway or La Sagesse beaches are ideal hideaways and all within easy reach of St George’s. Other natural beauty sites include waterfalls, eco sites and beautiful gardens – you’ll quickly understand why Pure Grenada is a 14-time Gold medal winner at the UK’s prestigious RHS Chelsea Flower Show. SPICEMAS 2017 32 SN APRIL 2019


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feature GRENADA

ZIPLINING

ADVENTURE

PARTY

After all that relaxation amid beautiful scenery, step up the pace and get your blood flowing by taking the Grenada High Wire Challenge and ziplining through one of the island’s mystical rainforests. If you prefer to have the ground closer to your feet, the Spice Isle has a range of hiking trails to suit gentle strollers and adventurous explorers alike. You can also explore the island without having to break a sweat by using a tour company to take you through rainforests, spice estates and much more. Off the land and into the sea, there are water sports and sport fishing to enjoy. With several dive operators to choose from, you have plenty of opportunities to plunge into the underwater world and explore Grenada’s Underwater Sculpture Park and dive wrecks.

When visiting clubs and bars, you’ll certainly be immersed in the local music. Be warned – once you hear it, you’ll find it almost impossible not to move your body! Lose yourself in rhythmically dancing to the sounds of soca, calypso, reggae and dancehall. But of course, the best time to experience the music, especially soca in its greatest form, is during Carnival.

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EAT AND DRINK After all those outdoor adventures, it’s the turn of the taste buds: you’ve seen and smelled the spices, now it’s time to taste them. The island’s well-reviewed restaurants offer formal or casual dining, and options for a quick bite to eat at a bar. Many restaurants are located close to the island’s attractions so you never have to go far to refuel. For those with a sweet tooth, do try some of Grenada’s fine chocolate at the House of Chocolate in St George’s - recently visited by Their Royal Highnesses The Prince of Wales and Duchess of Cornwall - which sells chocolate created by the five tree-to-bar producers on the island. The Umbrella Beach Bar in Grenada is an idyllic spot where you can eat, drink and lime; the bar was set up to promote Westerhall Rum which is 100% Grenadian and comes from Westerhall Estate in the south east corner of the island. The Dodgy Dock Restaurant & Lounge Bar is everyone’s favourite place to be from 6.30pm on a Wednesday, when they serve freshly cooked local street food. The flavourful food on offer includes Grenada’s national dish, Oil Down, a must-try for any visitor. Eat to your heart’s content before grooving to the infectious and dynamic sounds of local band Solid, featuring the smooth voice of Jefferson. BB’s Crabback originated in West Ealing, London, but has truly found its home on the waterfront of St George’s. Brian Benjamin, the largerthan-life chef and owner, makes sure that all guests are treated to a huge welcome. His family-run restaurant specialises in seafood with Caribbean twists and also serves irresistible curried goat. Dining and service is informal, and the walls are covered with graffiti messages from happy customers including some very well-known names! On Carriacou head to La Playa Beach Bar for beer and pizza and try Bogle’s Roundhouse for barefoot chic with breath taking ocean views. A lazy lunch is always on the menu! TRUE BLUE BAY BOUTIQUE RESORT STREET FOOD WEDNESDAY AT DODGY DOCK

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feature GRENADA

Spicemas MON 12 - TUE 13 AUG

Every August, Grenada has a chance to show off its culture and heritage through its carnival, Spicemas. It’s definitely a time to jump up and let loose but it’s also a time to embrace the history of the people. Spicemas has grown steadily over the years and today is one of those Caribbean carnivals you should definitely experience: it takes in traditional mas, in the form of Shortnee, where characters adorn themselves with face masks and brightly coloured clothing, along with more modern eye-catching mas such as bikinis, beads and feathers. This is all wrapped up by Jab Jab, something Grenada is known for and sees individuals covered in oil, chains and wearing horns. However, before you get fully into mas why not pop across to Carriacou for the Regatta Festival, which this year takes place the 2 – 5 August: it’s an ideal prelude to partying at Spicemas. Grenada’s music has long had a place on the international stage and especially so this year, when at least five Grenadian artistes reached the finals of the 2019 International Soca Monarch competition. The top prize of TT$1 million and the title of International Soca Monarch (Power) went to Mr Killa (Hollis Mapp) with Run With It. Mr Legz (Hector Thomas) placed third in the Power category with Wining Challenge while in the Groovy category V’ghn came in third with Trouble In The Morning. Congratulations Grenada! You’ve adventured, eaten, sippd and danced the night away: now it’s time to retreat to your room for a well-deserved rest. Naturally, there’s plenty of accommodation choice from home stays, small inns, spa resorts and boutique hotels to cottages and villas. You can also pick up day passes to resorts such as Laluna and Mount Edgecombe for a change of scene. If you really want to treat yourself, check in to the 2019 AAA Diamond Awardwinning hotel, Spice Island Beach Resort, or the new beachfront Silversands Grenada. Pure Grenada, the Spice of the Caribbean, is surely going to be your next stop, your next adventure, your chance to experience paradise.

SPICEMAS JAB JAB

For more information: Grenada Tourism Authority www.puregrenada.com, Tel. 020 8328 0644 Carriacou Regatta Festival www.carriacouregattafestival.com Spice Mas www.spicemasgrenada.com SHAKESPEARE MAS/CARRIACOU 38 SN APRIL 2019


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Carriacou Regatta Festival 2019 (August 2 - 5) and Spicemas Carnival 2019 (August 6 -13) For more information visit www.puregrenada.com & www.spicemasgrenada.com

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Profile for Soca News

Soca News Magazine - April 2019  

In the April issue of Soca News we take a look at Grenada, Spice Mas and other activities on the island. There are Notting Hill Carnival mas...

Soca News Magazine - April 2019  

In the April issue of Soca News we take a look at Grenada, Spice Mas and other activities on the island. There are Notting Hill Carnival mas...

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