SOCANEWS F REE
MAR 2022/141 ISSN 1464-7087
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NE W - T R O PI C AL P AL M TR E E SWI M S U I T
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NEW- TROP ICA L P A LM TREE P RIN T UNISEX T-SHIRT A ND ROP E N ECKLA CE
NE W - T R OPICAL PALM T R EE BIKINI SET
CA RIB B EA N ISLAND P END A N T N ECKL ACES: T he p er fect wa y to r em em b er home an d r ep r es ent your cu lture.
OUR SIGNAT UR E PALM T R EE PENDANT NECKLACES
CU L T U R E I S L I F E C O L L EC TION
NEW - P ERSONALISED CA RIB B EA N ISLAND SUITCA SES: Pick you r islan d a nd cr ea t e a b i t of airpo rt envy wit h our customised lug g a g e r a ng e. SN MAR 2022 3
CONTENTS MARCH 2022 | ISSUE 141
REGULAR 07 NEWS 20 MUSIC
New Soca Releases Albums/Riddims Radio Shows + Streams UK Soca
24 NOTTING HILL CARNIVAL
PLAY AH MAS ITS CARNIVAL TIME
It’s the question on everyone’s lips: is Notting Hill Carnival happening this year? We can’t say for sure, but at the time of going to press we understand it would.
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Your guide to whats happening when and where.
A Quick Ting on Afrobeats
Destination - Soca Holiday Packages
16. MELLY ROSE
14 OPEN ROAD PROJECT
Putting Her Love into Soca
0330 012 4643
32 LIFE BETWEEN ISLANDS 34 LONDON'S CALYPSO FUNDING ROW CONTINUES 38 NEW BEACON BOOKS
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! Email us at firstname.lastname@example.org or call on 0333 012 4643. SN MAR 2022 5
LETTER Hello Soca People
I COVER IMAGE -
MOONLIGHT CARIBBEAN SESSIONS MAS -
YOURS IN SOCA Joseph Charles EDITOR
PUBLISHER & EDITOR Joseph Charles email@example.com
SALES & MARKETING firstname.lastname@example.org
CREATIVE Arian Popal, Joseph Charles & Sidney Silburn SUB EDITOR Katie Segal email@example.com CONSULTING EDITOR Stephen Spark firstname.lastname@example.org
hope this issue finds you and your loved ones in good health and in good soca spirits. With the UK now being free of Covid restrictions, Notting Hill Carnival looks increasingly likely. There has been no definitive word from the organisers, but they have published an official list of dutty mas, Brazilian and pretty mas bands and also a list of steel bands - you can find them on page 26. Mas bands have also begun the process of setting out their themes for 2022. Some are choosing to have physical launches, whilst others are sticking to Covid-era virtual events. I don’t know about you, but I welcome these physical launches - life has been lived too much in the cloud over the past couple of years. We have, very sadly, recently lost some from our community Gloria Collins and Dawreen Charles, to name but two. Our condolences go out to their families and friends. They are gone, but they are in our hearts and we will continue to keep them alive in our memories.. Until the next time.... and if you would like to put pen to paper and write for us, please email email@example.com.
WORDS Dunstan Creavalle, Pelena Cosme, Radeya Dikumwini Osman, Stephen Spark & Tia Grazette. PICTURES Albert St Clair, Calvin M Jones, Peter Hogan, Raymond Lyttle, Rudolpho Louisy, Stephen Spark & Trinis In London.
PUBLISHED BY Soca News Ltd 86-90 Paul Street London, EC2A 4ND TELEPHONE + 44 (0) 333 012 4643 EMAIL firstname.lastname@example.org WEBSITE www.socanews.com
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. © 2022 Soca News. All rights reserved.
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SAINT LUCIA CARNIVAL 2022 WILL BE A VAXXED MAS
aint Lucia Carnival is on! A government statement revealed that Carnival will be held on Monday 18 and Tuesday 19 July 2022 under the theme ‘The Vaxxed Mas’. Everyone participating in the carnival - including masqueraders, vendors and revellers - must be fully vaccinated. Adhering to all Covid-19 protocols will ensure there’s a safe space in which the public can enjoy the festivities. It has become imperative to bring the carnival back, said the Hon Dr Ernest Hilaire, Minister for Tourism, Investment, Creative Industries, Culture and Information. He explained, "As a carnival enthusiast who has been a part of Carnival for the past 15-plus years, it is critical that we continue to build on the hard work that was started by persons who have brought Carnival to where it is now. We must also ensure that we preserve the public health of Saint Lucia while creating economic activity for our people to benefit from. "Carnival is also a major part of our tourism product, which sees thousands of visitors coming to our shores to enjoy our island and its wonderful experiences. Those in the creative industries use the Carnival season as one of their avenues to showcase their talents, so we must continue to provide that platform to do so. It is even more important now after the almost two-year hiatus." The Saint Lucian government will announce detailed safety guidelines in due course, after consulting with the Ministry of Health and other stakeholders. SN MAR 2022 7
• SPECIAL EDITION GOLD LABEL GRACE JERK BBQ SAUCE AND DUNN'S RIVER JERK SEASONING
GRACE FOODS UK CELEBRATES 100 YEARS
race Foods UK celebrated its 100th year as the leading Caribbean foods supplier by partnering with British soul music radio station Mi-Soul. The anniversary was also marked by the unveiling of a music sponsorship deal for the company’s Encona sauce brand, which now comes in nine flavours. Grace Foods UK’s campaign was aired on Mi-Soul throughout the anniversary week, which began on 7 February. Four Encona-sponsored music mixes were played daily on primetime shows hosted by DJs George Kay and Ronnie Herel. Lovers of Grace Foods’ drinks, sauces and groceries had chances to win food hampers on each day of the campaign, while the grand prize was a seven-day all-inclusive holiday to Jamaica. Marketing manager Vandu Patel said:,“Our campaign with Mi-Soul Radio is the perfect partnership and a great way to mark the 100th anniversary of Grace Kennedy, as well as promoting their iconic sauce brand, Encona.” Founded by Grace Kennedy, the brand has been in business since 14 February 1922. Its products are available in most UK supermarket chains, including Sainsbury’s, ASDA and Tesco. 8 SN MAR 2022
MACHEL MONTANO THRILLS CROWD AT MAHA SHIV RATRI 2022
rinbagonian Machel Montano joined yogi, mystic and visionary Sadhguru at the Isha Yoga Centre in India on Tuesday 1 March to celebrate Maha Shiv Ratri 2022. The festival welcomed millions to a spiritual experience aimed at helping them to bond with their inner self and connect with Shiva. After spending seven months participating in a yoga programme at the centre under the tutelage of Sadhguru, Montana serenaded the renowned yogi to Dance With You, and performed his newest single with Marge Blackman, Touch The Ground. The latter is from the Save Soil Riddim, produced by Monk Music Group and DJ Private Ryan, and is part of the Conscious Planet campaign to save our soil from extinction.
TRINIDAD SOCA LEGEND BARON IS HONOURED WITH A STREET NAME
oca legend Baron, aka Timothy Watkins, has received recognition for promoting the culture with his music. The Penal / Debe Regional Corporation has renamed Bay Road in Bamboo Village, La Romaine, Trinidad to Timothy Watkins Street. This recognition was accompanied by a citation from Palmiste / Hermitage Councillor Roland Hall and councillor for La Fortune, Sheldon Lal. Commenting on the initiative, Hall said, "Someone in the area stated that as a country we keep naming things after noteworthy citizens after they have passed on. Thus, the individual recommended that we should name a street after Baron, who was born in La Romaine and grew up in Bamboo Village." Baron, the 2016 recipient of the national award the Hummingbird Medal Gold, will be celebrating his 74th birthday on 26 March 2022 and marks 51 years in the entertainment industry. The ‘Sweet Soca Man’ has a back catalogue of songs including Sweet Soca Man (1999), Don't Go (2009), Pom Pom Shorts (2013) and Sweet Man (2018).
GRENADA'S SPICEMAS MAKES A COMEBACK
he Hon Yolande Bain-Horsford, Grenada’s Minister of Culture, made the welcome announcement on 22 February that Carnival will take place this year. Bain-Horsford declared that the return of Spicemas will mark the preservation of Grenadian culture whilst also mitigating the risk of spreading the Covid-19 virus. Revellers are expected to be vaccinated well before they attend Spicemas 2022. It will take the form of a blended carnival, with in-house and virtual audiences, and will be held from Monday 8 to Tuesday 9 August. For more updates and information visit www.spicemasgrenada.com.
FOR MORE VISIT SOCANEWS.COM/NEWS SN MAR 2022 9
GREEN LIGHT GIVEN FOR VINCY MAS 2022
aint Vincent and the Grenadines (SVG) Prime Minister Hon. Dr Ralph Gonsalves indicated on 26 January 2022 that the government is willing to go ahead with plans for Vincy Mas 2022, after suffering a two year Covid-19 imposed hiatus. Gonsalves appeared to be using the prospect of the reintroduction of the carnival as an incentive for the population to get vaccinated, saying that this is one way to ensure it happens. They aim to vaccinate 70% of the island's 80,000 over 12’s, and will be launching a vaccination campaign over the next two months. Hon. Gonsalves added, “And people are doing it with churches on Saturdays and Sundays, but healthy carnival activity is perfectly normal. And if the priests could play mas, who is we?" The Carnival Development Committee held a press conference on 1 February, announcing that they were giving a platform to artists and performers, and would facilitate the safety of all patrons as well as a successful carnival. They stated further that the mas will be held in Covid-19 safe zones scattered across SVG. Mas bands have received a green light to design 10 SN MAR 2022
• VINCY MAS
PHOTOGRAPHER | CALVIN M JONES
costumes and prepare for the carnival. If everything goes as planned, artists and revellers will once again take centre stage to entertain patrons with music, dance and art performance, as well as some delicious cuisine. Vincy Mas is expected to take place on 4 and 5 July, with the carnival size determined by the rate of vaccination by that time.
NEW SAINT LUCIA HIGH COMMISIONER FOR LONDON
.E. Mr Anthony B. Severin, is the new High Commissioner for Saint Lucia to the United Kingdom. Mr Severin takes over from H.E. Mr Guy Mayers.
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KES PUSHING SOCA’S SONIC LIMITS IN GRAMMYS GLOBAL SPIN
es has become the first soca act, and the first from Trinidad & Tobago, to come on board the newest digital performance series for artists around the globe: Recording Academy’s Global Spin. Commenting on Recording Academy’s choice of a musical act from Trinidad & Tobago, Shawn Thwaites, genre manager for global music, said that Kes is “the most innovative band coming out of Trinidad and Tobago", and went on to say, "Kes is pushing the sonic limits of soca and calypso.” Every fortnight, Global Spin features a performance from a notable artist or group, showcasing the creator and their home country. The episodes can be accessed via Recording Academy’s official YouTube channel, Facebook, Instagram and Twitter pages. With their new single, Jolene, Kes enjoyed what became the final performance with long-time keyboardist and musical director Ricky Bobby (Ricardo Rameshwar), who tragically passed away on Tuesday 1 February. Global Spin is the new home for global music on www.grammy.com, the official website of the GRAMMYs and the Recording Academy. 12 SN MAR 2022
MARTINIQUE CARNIVAL TAKES A NEW ROUTE IN 2022
artinique Carnival in Fort-de-France officially got underway on Sunday 27 February this year, and concluded on Ash Wednesday, 2 March. Although it was in the same city as last year’s event, the festival was moved outside the city centre; the six kilometre route had finally been agreed upon on 19 February 2022. The new route began in Sainte-Thérèse, paraded along the wide Maurice Bishop Boulevard, passed through the port and returned to the starting line at Dillon Stadium via the RN9 main road. Now-familiar Covid safety protocols were strictly enforced during the celebration.
CALYPSO IS BACK IN TOWN!
s Covid restrictions finally retreat from our lives, London’s calypso-lovers have reason to celebrate: ACASA’s fabled London Calypso Tent is ready to rise, Phoenix-like, out of the ashes of the past two seasons. For two evenings this month, Thursday 24 and Saturday 26 March, fans of 'the first music of the Caribbean' can head to The Tabernacle in Powis Square, W11 2AY, to enjoy the best in UK calypso and soca. Be there by 7.30pm. Artists include current UK Groovy Soca Monarch Ms Desire, reigning UK Calypso Monarch G-String, Tobago Crusoe (of Paddington Bear fame), Alexander D Great, Batch, Brown Sugar, De Admiral, DeeVine, Helena B, Lord Cloak, Muffinman, Musicman, Rev B, Soca Kidd and SunDivas. MCs will be the inimitable Martin Jay on Thursday and DJ Supertrini Vibes on Saturday. Advance tickets cost £10 for one night, £18 for both; on the door they're £15 for one night, £18 for both. Senior citizens can pay the advance price on the door; under-16s go free.
FOR MORE VISIT SOCANEWS.COM/NEWS
ATLANTA DEKALB CARNIVAL 2022
fter a postponement last year due to the Covid-19 pandemic and its attendant issues, the Atlanta Dekalb Carnival, organised by the Atlanta Carnival Bandleaders Council and Atlanta Carnival Entertainment, will return in 2022. The festival promises to be ‘The Hottest Carnival in North America’, and is described as a familyfriendly event filled with international and local artists, food, drinks and other side attractions. This year's carnival will take place on 28 May 2022, Memorial Day Weekend, at Stonecrest, Georgia. For tickets and more information visit www.atlantadekalbcarnival.com. SN MAR 2022 13
OPEN ROAD PROJECT
THROUGH COLLABORATION AND CO-OPERATION
pen Road is an Arts Council England National Activities project, led by the New Carnival Company (NCC) from the Isle of Wight. NCC works with other national carnival organisations and universities that run event management courses to try to identify and remove barriers to participation in Carnival for deaf and disabled people. Open Road uses the social model of disability, which describes people as being disabled by barriers in society, not by their impairment or difference. Those barriers can be physical, such as buildings that lack accessible toilets, or they can be caused by people’s attitudes to difference – for example, assumptions that disabled people can’t do certain things. The NCC, Artshape, Callalloo Carnival Arts, EMCCAN and City Arts Nottingham have been working with disabled artists and carnival practitioners to identify some of the barriers that 14 SN MAR 2022
are commonly found within the carnival sector. Through collaboration and co-operation, the project partners have developed and tested new work and are ready to share progress, make suggestions and offer practical tips to enable wider access and inclusion. The one-day Open Road carnival conferences in Southampton (8 March), Huddersfield (12 March) and Nottingham (26 March) are hosted by each partner on its home turf to enable the work to be shared with a wider audience. The three conferences have a common structure and goal, but will incorporate appropriate regional programming. Each will include a range of guest presenters, visiting artists and a live showcase of disability-led carnival arts. Regional keynote speakers include Arthur France MBE, Paul Davies MBE (Rio Carnival) and Sarah Pickthall Cusp Inc. Bookings are open for tickets both live and online; email: email@example.com.
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Melly putting her love into soca SONGSTRESS MELLY ROSE IS ON A MISSION TO MAKE A DIFFERENCE WITH HER MUSIC, AS SHE INSPIRES, COMFORTS AND EMPOWERS ALL THOSE WHO LISTEN TO HER SOCA-INFUSED TRACKS, AROUND THE WORLD FROM THE CARIBBEAN TO AFRICA - VIA DUBAI. WORDS | TIA GRAZETTE
elly could not wait to return to her home in Trinidad after university. “Every time I came home, I just wanted more. I love everything about Caribbean life,” she says excitedly. She recounts all the things she loves to do on the island, from enjoying carnival with her friends, to going to the market to buy pawpaw, to picking peas with her aunt in her garden and sitting by the river writing music. “It’s the best move I’ve ever made in my life. It puts me at such peace. If I’m stressed I can take a sea bath or go to the river and just relax - it’s right in front of my family’s house. Work doesn’t feel like work here.” Melly is describing perfectly that for which the Caribbean is renowned: the slower pace of life and stress-free living that most people can only dream of. It has been an incredible source of comfort for Melly during the pandemic and lockdowns. She’s grateful for the simple things in life that have taken front and centre stage in daily activities, whilst focusing on her music and herself.
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Having been a successful singer-songwriter for a number of international artistes, Melly decided to pluck up the courage to become a recording artist herself. And having been inspired by Machel and Fay-Ann and with a love of soca from an early age, it was natural that she should return to the island to become the soca artist she had always dreamed of. “Every time I heard soca it would make me smile and I’d feel so warm and happy. It’s that good vibration - that energy - I just love soca.” And Melly’s music blends soca with “different musical influences”. Kit Israel is her official Trini mentor, and she produces tracks with and learns from him at the same time. It’s her mission to share soca with the whole world through her digital marketing company, which is helping other Caribbean artists to promote themselves and their music across the world.
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For Melly, music is intensely personal; every song has a story behind it, something that she or someone close to her is going through and she feels others can relate to. Body Good, for instance, was made for her best friend who wasn’t feeling particularly positive about her body after giving birth. So Melly set out to create a song that anyone could sing along to in front of the mirror, that would make them feel good about themselves. The song rocked social media and was adopted by women around the world as a body-positive anthem. Melly was bombarded with messages thanking her for creating such an empowering track, accompanied by personal stories of how it made so many people feel good about their bodies again. Melly’s latest track, Amazing, with its Caribbean flavour and high-energy soca beats, was intended to remind people to be kind to each other and to walk in love again during these uncertain times. She recorded Shine Upon Me to lift everyone’s spirits during the pandemic. With each song created she generously shares her light and love with listeners, giving something back to the world that it desperately needs. As she herself “walks in love” and lives by the mantra “Blessed to bless others”, there’s no denying that Melly probably has one of the biggest hearts in the music industry. She has an innate understanding of human nature and an uncanny knack of making people feel good both in person and through her music. She knows exactly what people need to hear at just the right time - a voice of a generation. This is one artist set to take the world by storm, as she pushes the boundaries of creativity and tackles society’s issues, guiding and comforting all those that listen as music has always done for her. Melly's most recent release is Wine Up Yuh Waist on the Pretty Doll Riddim. MELLYROSEOFFICIAL
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MUSIC NEW SOCA RELEASES THERE ARE BOX LOADS OF TRACKS TO CHOOSE FROM OUT THERE, BUT HERE ARE JUST A FEW OF OUR FAVOURITES - IN NO PARTICULAR ORDER.
KERNAL ROBERTS FEAT. ZAN
2. MASH UP BLAXX
3. OUT AND BAD VOICE
TIMEKA MARSHALL, SKORCH BUN IT, COOLBLAZE & COLLEGE BOY JESSE
NAILAH BLACKMAN X MICAL TEJA
7. MASH UP
ERPHAAN ALVES X SHAL MARSHALL
8. LOOK TROUBLE AGAIN SHURWAYNE WINCHESTER
9. BLESS BODY ERPHAAN ALVES
10. SUNSHINE & WINE ZAN
11. FETE CYAH OVER LYRIKAL
12. DOWN DEY GBM
13. SOCA THERAPY PATRICE ROBERTS
14. HAPPY PAPI
15. FLING BAM BAM TERRI LYONS
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HERE IS A LIST OF RIDDIMS AND ALBUMS THAT HAVE BEEN RECENTLY RELEASED A| ARTISTS • P| PRODUCER • Y| YEAR
A| NADIA BATSON Y| 2022
A| DALE RYAN, ZAMAR P| ADVOKIT PRODUCTIONS Y| 2022
A| PREEDY, RAE & JADEL P| REBEL MUZIK & DARRYL GERVAIS Y| 2022
SUPER SAIYAN RIDDIM SEASON 2
RICE POT RIDDIM
AFRO BABY RIDDIM
AUDREY RIDDIM 2
A| NAILAH BLACKMAN, YUNG BREDDA, SIZWE, SAMMY JO, KESHAV, MX PRIME & RIKA TWINS P| KESHAV Y| 2022
A| BLAXX, JOJO P| DLL Y| 2022
A| LYRIKAL, ZAN, KERNAL ROBERTS & CHINGEE P| KERNAL ROBERTS Y| 2022
A| LINKY FIRST, BLAXX, GALLOWAY JR, TERRAH DAN & SHURWAYNE WINCHESTER P| WETTY BEATZ Y| 2022
BODY BANGING RIDDIM A| NADIA BATSON, ADAM O, SEKON STA & LYRIKAL P| TRAVIS WORLD Y| 2021
FOR MORE SOCA
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MUSIC RADIO SHOWS + STREAMS LISTENING TO THE RADIO IS NOT WHAT IT USED TO BE, ESPECIALLY WHEN IT COMES TO SOCA MUSIC. THERE ARE A MYRIAD OF STREAMS AVAILABLE, BUT WE’VE LISTED ONLY THE MORE PERMANENT SOCA SHOWS.
BIG HITZ AND CLASSICS BIG IRIE SOUNDS The Frontline Radio flrradio.com
WEDNESDAY 9-11PM GMT
THE RDR SHOW
CREDABLE Bakahnal Radio bakahnalradio.co.uk
THURSDAY 7-9PM GMT
THE BREAKAWAY SHOW
DJ DIGHGA D Bakahnal Radio bakahnalradio.co.uk 8-11PM GMT
SOCA 2D WORLD DJ ROCKSHUN I Chunes Radio tun.in/se22k
THE FRENCH SOCA CONNECTION
DJ DUTTY FREAK The Frontline Radio flrradio.com 8-11PM GMT
SOCA AND COCKTAILS DJ LOKDWN I Chunes Radio tun.in/se22k
FRIDAY NIGHT PARTY DJ CJAY Caribbean Sessions caribbeansessions.co.uk
SATURDAY 12PM-2PM GMT
THE SUPER SOCA SHOW
AAA BADBOY & DUB BOY, ATKI2 (AT KEY TWO) AND JONSEY WALES Ujima 98FM ujimaradio.com 12PM-2PM GMT
MOVE WITH DJ REE DJ REE The Frontline Radio flrradio.com
FOR MORE SOCA
SOCA IS WE
DJ PIPER Roots FM 95.4 ukrootsfm.com
SOCA IS WE DJ PIPER Flo Radio floradio.co.uk
THE MIGHTY HITMAN SHOW
DJ D’MIGHTY HITMAN The Frontline Radio flrradio.com
SUNDAY 12PM-2PM GMT
THE CARIBBEAN AFFAIR
DJ MARTIN JAY Bakahnal Radio bakahnalradio.co.uk 5PM-7PM GMT
LUSH SOCA SUNDAYS
CHÉINTHEMIXX Robbo Ranx Radio robboranx.com/listenlive 9PM GMT
THE KROOSHALL FACTOR KROOSHALL The Frontline Radio flrradio.com
THE SUNDAY LYME D'RANGER The Frontline Radio flrradio.com
NOT ON THIS LIST?
SUBMIT YOUR DETAILS TO INFO@SOCANEWS.COM
OTHER STREAMS | CARIBBEAN SESSIONS CARIBBEANSESSIONS.CO.UK/RADIO TEAM SOCA TEAMSOCA.COM | BAKAHNAL RADIO BAKAHNALRADIO.CO.UK THE FRONTLINE RADIO FLRRADIO.COM 22 SN MAR 2022
UK SOCA UK SOCA ARTISTS HAVE BEEN BUSY OVER THE PAST MONTHS. HERE IS A SELECTION OF SOME OF THEIR NEWLY-RELEASED TRACKS.
A| ARTISTS • P| PRODUCER • Y| YEAR
A| PAHJO, KEONE & K LEE P| SHAKER HD Y| 2022
A| SIMBAARLEY, KEONÉ, XONE, COLLEGE BOY JESSE P| SHAKER HD Y| 2022
TUN TUN RIDDIM
JUMBIE TWITCH RIDDIM
1. RISK IT ALL AYO RIDDIM PAHJO
2. SUSPICION SOCA JOHNNY
3. ONE MORE TIME SOCA JOHNNY
4. OOH LA LA AYO RIDDIM KEONE
6. HYPNOTIZE AYO RIDDIM K-LEE
SUPER SAIYAN PAHJO
SUBMIT YOUR MUSIC? MUSIC@SOCANEWS.COM
A| LADY LAVA, SHADE MISCHIF, PIERRE, BEENIE G, RICARDO RAWAL, JODIAN NATTY, CHENELLE ANDREW, STABBY, TERRAH DAN, LEX LION, SUPA NYTRO & KAL-I P| BATCH MUSIC Y| 2022
A| PAHJO, SIMBAARLEY, MERZY, BATCH, SHIREEN B, GUFF NUFF, K-LEE & ADRIAN DUTCHIN P| SHAKER HD Y| 2021
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Play Ah Mas,
It’s Carnival Time Again
t’s the question on everyone’s lips: is Notting Hill Carnival happening this year? We can’t say for sure, but at the time of going to press we understand it would. However, on Thursday 10 February NHCL posted an official list of all the registered dutty and pretty mas bands. This was followed by the Brazilian bands and steel bands. With carnival potentially just five months away, some bands have already started launching their themes, many of which may have rolled over from Carnival 2020 before it was placed on hold because of Covid-19. Here at Soca News we strongly believe that everyone should play mas at least once, so we hope you won’t just spectate but aim to participate in this year's Notting Hill Carnival, on Sunday 28 and Monday 29 August. As an adult, you can choose to take part on either the Sunday, in dirty (‘dutty’) mas – paint, powder, mud or chocolate – or on the Monday for ‘pretty mas’, as the more decorative costumes are termed. Best of all, if you’re up to it, participate on both days! For more about mas bands and their launch dates, visit socanews.com. SEE BAND LISTINGS ON NEXT PAGE
UNITED COLOURS OF MAS (UCOM) has launched a J'Ouvert band named Release the Bacchanal and added a section,, Xhosa to to its Africa theme. Sunday 6 March will see the costume launch of GMI & LIMIN MAS BAND - First People at Oval Space, E2. ISLAND MAS keeps it virtual with its launch on Sunday 13 March. TROPICAL FUSION MAS launches on Sunday 27 March; venue yet to be confirmed. Head to the Electric Brixton for the OMNIA band launch on 2 April. CARIBBEAN SESSIONS, whose theme for 2022 is Moonlight, will have a costume viewing for kids and adults on Sunday 3 April at The Tiger, Wick Road, London E9. VINCY MAS ALLIANCE will host a virtual launch on Sunday 3 April.
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• CARIBBEAN SESSIONS, NHC 2019 SN MAR 2022 25
OFFICIAL BANDS FOR NOTTING HILL CARNIVAL 2022 DUTTY MAS
ABIR Candy Mas Colours Carnival Chocolate Nation Island Mas UK Karnival Mania Lagniappe Omnia TT Mudders UCOM
ABIR Arawak Art A Light Bacchanalia Calabash Candy Mas Caribbean Sessions Chocolate Nation Clement James Cocoyea Colours Creed D Riddim Tribe Dragons DUKA Dynamic Mas Ebony Mas Elevate Elimu Elite Exotic Extreme UK Flagz Flamboyan Funatik Gemz Genesis GBA Heritage HotWax Hype Mas IDF Inspiration Mas Invaders Mas Island Mas Jamaica Twist
BRAZILIAN BANDS Baque De Axe Batala Dende Nation Kinetica Bloco London School of Samba Paraiso School of Samba Tribo
STEEL BANDS Ebony Steelband London All Stars Mangrove Steelband Metronomes Steel Orchestra Nostalgia Steelband Panectar Steelband Raspo Steel Orchestra Real Steel Band Southside Harmonics St Michaels & All Angels Stardust Steel Orchestra Steelpan in Motion UFO Steelband
Karnival Mania La Trinity Lagniappe Limitless Mas Mahogany Making Carnival Mangrove Mas Africa Masquerade 2K Omnia People Of Paradise Peoples World Reign Rumshop Raw Licquer Skaters of NHC '22 Smokey Joe Soca Massive Soca Saga Boys Stardust S.I.A Tears Tempo Tropical Fusion Tropical Islaes UCOM Urban Touch Utopia Vibrance Mas Vincy Alliance
YOU CAN FIND MORE INFORMATION ON NOTTING HILL CARNIVAL AND MAS BANDS AT SOCANEWS.COM 26 SN MAR 2022
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28 SN MAR 2022
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 copy of your flyer to firstname.lastname@example.org. FOR OUR FULL EVENT LISTINGS, VISIT SOCANEWS.COM/EVENTS
MAR 2022 SAT 05 MAR RELEASE D RIDDIM
CORKS MEETS EPIC – START THE SPRING BOAT PARTY
@ Westminister Pier, Westminister Pier, SW1. Music By Big Business (Cappachino & DJ Dukes)
Credable (Release D Riddim), DJ Bliss, Mr. Redz, Mr. Way Back When & Shaker HD. Time 1-6pm. Price £20-£30.
TUE 08 MAR
SUN 06 MAR
@ John Hansard Gallery, 142-144 Above Bar Street, Southampton, SO14 7DU. Time 10am-5pm. Price £12 (live event) & £5 (virtual).
GMI & LIMIN MAS BAND
FIRST PEOPLES COSTUME LAUNCH
@ Oval Space, 32 The Oval, E2 9DT. Time 2-10pm. Price £10.
THE NEW CARNIVAL COMPANY
OPEN ROAD CARNIVAL CONFERENCE
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EVENTS FOR MORE EVENTS
SOCANEWS.COM/EVENTS FRI 11 MAR SOCA PARTY UK & SUPANYTRO.CO.UK
I LOVE SOCA MEETS BACK IT UP
@ Scala, 275 Pentonville Road, WC1X 8BE. Time 11pm-6am. Price £10.
SAT 12 MAR THE NEW CARNIVAL COMPANY
OPEN ROAD CARNIVAL CONFERENCE
@ Heritage Quay, Schwann Building, 9 Queensgate, Huddersfield, HD1 3DH. Time 10am-5pm. Price £12 (live event) & £5 (virtual). BIG PAPPY ENTS IN ASSOC. WITH TUDOR ROSE
COLOURS – SPRING FETE
@ Tudor Rose, 68 The Green, Southhall, Middlesex, UB2 4BG. Music By DJ Bajie, Hyper Spice, Martin Jay, QT 2Hype & Vinny Ranks. Time 10pm-4am. Price £12-£15.
SUN 13 MAR ISLAND MAS UK
NOTTING HILL CANIVAL 2022 BAND LAUNCH
@ Virtual Band Launch. Info see socanews.com/events.
FRI 18 MAR ONE PROMOTIONS
@ Fire, 39 Parry Street, SW8 1RT. Featuring Live Leadpipe & Saddis. Music By DJ Dre, DJ Keey, DJ Markee, DJ Paulie, DJ Triple M, Dr Roach, MC Stiffler & Shep Beats. Time 11pm-5am. Price £20. CARIBBEANS IN LONDON
ZOUK LOVE LONDON
@ Adulis Lounge, 44 Brixton Road, SW9 6BT. Music By DJ Gatress & DJ Shakit. Time 10pm3am. Price £8-£20.
BRAFF & ZESS
RELEASE D RIDDIM X SOCA PARTY
SOCA ON THE RIVER
@ Blackfriars Pier, White Lion Hill, EC4V 3QR. Time 2-6pm. Price £20-£30.
@ Zings Place, Unit 15, 278 Alma Road, EN3 7BB. Music By Miss Rio Jay, DJ Larnia, DJ Swivo. Deejay Dee & Majikal. Time 10pm-5am.
SUN 27 MAR
THUR 24 MAR
@ Country Club, Trent Park, Bramley Road, N14 4UW. Time 2-10pm. Price £11-£22.
ASSOCIATION OF CALYPSONIANS & SOCA ARTISTS UK(ACASA)
RETURN - TWO EVENINGS OF PULSATING LIVE CARIBBEAN MUSIC @ The Tabernacle, 34-35 Powis Square, W11 2AY. Time 7.30pm. Price £10.
FRI 25 MAR D.A CONNECTIONZ
PRE-MOTHERS' DAY SEWO JAM
@ Bojangles, 1 Old Church Road, Chingford Mount, E4 6SJ. Featuring Live Carlyn XP (Dominica). Music By DJ Redboy, DJ Cut, DJ Realboss & Dan Soul AAY. Time 10pm-4am. Price £22.
SAT 26 MAR THE NEW CARNIVAL COMPANY
OPEN ROAD CARNIVAL CONFERENCE
@ Squire Performing Arts Centre, 9 Arboretum Street, Nottingham, NG1 4JB. Time 10am-5pm. Price £12 (Live Event) & £5 (Virtual). ACASA
RETURN - TWO EVENINGS OF PULSATING LIVE CARIBBEAN MUSIC @ The Tabernacle, 34-35 Powis Square, W11 2AY. Time 7.30pm. Price £10.
SOCA LOCO - DAY PARTY THE RETURN
TROPICAL FUSION 2022 BAND LAUNCH
@ SEE SOCANEWS.COM/EVENTS ANSE-LA-RAYE
MOTHER'S DAY CELBRATION
@ Tollgate Gardens Community Centre, 15 Kilburn High Road, Kilburn, NW6 5SD. Music By DJ Cobra. Time 2-11pm. Price £7.
APR 2022 SAT 2 APR BUSSPEPPER PROMOTIONS
BUSSPEPPER ANNIVERSARY + OMNIA BAND LAUNCH
@ Electric Brixton, Town Hall Parade, SW2 1RJ. Time 11pm5am. Price £18-£29.
SUN 3 APR CARIBBEAN SESSIONS
NOTTING HILL CARNIVAL 2022 COSTUME VIEWING MOONLIGHT @ The Tiger, Wick Road, E9 5AF. Time 3-9pm. Price free entry.
YOU ARE STRONGLY ADVISED TO CHECK WITH THE EVENT PROMOTER, AS DETAILS SOMETIMES CHANGE AND CANCELLATIONS MAY OCCUR. ALL INFORMATION WAS CORRECT AT THE TIME OF GOING TO PRESS.
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LIFE BETWEEN ISLANDS CELEBRATING CARIBBEAN-BRITISH ART
WORDS | PELENA COSME - IMAGE | TATE BRITAIN
urated by writer and photographer David A Bailey and Tate Britain director Alex Farquharson, Life Between Islands is a triumphant new exhibition at the Tate Britain on Millbank. The exhibition pays homage to Caribbean life and artists from the 1950s to the present - and it even takes a look into the future too. The catalogue describes it as "a social and cultural history that's more often told through literature or popular music", and as "a multi-generational story of a Caribbean community that settled in Britain and forged a new Black British identity and culture". Nearly 50 artists from across several disciplines are included in the show. Amongst them are Paul Dash, Isaac Julien, Hurvin Anderson, Chris Ofili, Steve McQueen, Peter Doig and Alberta Whittle. The curators have chosen pensive and melancholic pieces as well as breathtaking fine 32 SN MAR 2022
art that not only eschews the dark past of our Caribbean heritage but also puts our beautiful landscape and culture centre stage. The space is constructed to allow you to travel along the timeline of the past to the present, through vibrant pieces, exquisite sculptures and interactive installations. Audio and visual elements tie the exhibition together. Life Between Islands is an effective showcase for the talent and skill of a new generation of artists, writers, sculptors and fashion designers of Caribbean heritage. The exhibition speaks to a reimagined future of full expression and opportunity for the islands. A must visit. • Tate Britain, Millbank, London SW1P 4RG until 3 April 2022; price £16 (concs £15); catalogue: £40 (but considerably less from some retailers). Information and tickets: www.tate.org.uk/whats-on/tate-britain/ exhibition/life-between-islands
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• LONDON CALYPSO TENT 2021, DE ADMIRAL
LONDON'S CALYPSO FUNDING ROW CONTINUES CELEBRATING CARIBBEAN-BRITISH ART
WORDS + IMAGE | STEPHEN SPARK
he recent trials and tribulations of calypso in London have been as much to do with money as with viral devastation. Attempts to hold the full season last year were disrupted by an unseemly wrangle between Carnival Village Trust (CVT), which runs The Tabernacle in Powis Square, and UK calypso’s governing body, the Association of Calypsonians and Soca Artists (ACASA). In summary, CVT refused to release funding that had been allocated to ACASA. Although the funding – modest though it is – has now been released, allowing two shows to go ahead this month, the 34 SN MAR 2022
row simmers on. ACASA’s view, as presented to Soca News, is that some curious reasons have been given for not passing on the funders’ monies, such as the Association not being a registered charity. However, in order to receive funding, there is no requirement for an arts body to be a registered charity, only that the organisation be properly constituted and responsibly managed and that proper records are kept. This dispute has caused considerable damage to the music’s standing in the UK, as well as ruining fans’ enjoyment. Once again, Soca News calls on ACASA and CVT to resolve their differences swiftly.
• THE TABERNACLE, POWIS SQUARE
In particular, CVT needs to demonstrate through positive action that it will support ACASA in its work to preserve, protect, promote and present calypso for future generations. CARNIVAL VILLAGE TRUST According to its filing on the Charity Commission website, CVT was registered on 15 August 2008 and spends its money to: “Advance the arts for the benefit of the public by but not limited to providing arts and community venues to facilitate activities such as but not limited to dance, theatre, music and carnival arts - Managing two arts based venues - Production and promotion of a variety of arts and carnival arts not only at the Tabernacle and the Yaa Centre but in the wider public realm.” One of its registered charitable aims is to “Provide annual grants to support the work of the Association of Calypsonians and Soca Artists (ACASA)”. As at 31 March 2021, CVT’s total income was
£1,744,521 and expenditure £1,787,585, a difference of £43,064. The majority of its income (£1.2 million) came from “charitable activities”, plus £541,100 from “other”, a mere £134 from investments and nothing from donations, legacies or other trading activities. It spent £930,260 on raising funds, £857,320 on charitable activities and nothing on “other”. CVT has 40 employees – one of them is paid between £70,000 and £80,000 - and eight trustees. The trustees are all unpaid, although one, Ian Comfort, provided an interest-free loan to the Trust of £40,000, according to CVT’s 2020/21 annual report. Soca News welcomes readers’ views on CVT’s role as “London’s development agency for Carnival Arts”. • Full details of CVT’s activities, its financial arrangements and annual report can be found on the Charity Commission website, https://registerof-charities.charitycommission.gov.uk/charitydetails/?subid=0&regid=1125536. SN MAR 2022 35
BOOKS A QUICK TING ON AFROBEATS WORDS | DUNSTAN CREAVALLE
illed as the first-ever book on the Afrobeats genre, Christian Adofo’s A Quick Ting on Afrobeats is his debut book. The title is part of Magdalene Abrahas’s non-fiction Black British book series, which is dedicated to celebrating and chronicling black British culture and history and features some of the UK’s Black British trailblazers. Christian Adofo is a North-East Londoner of Ghanaian heritage, an established writer and cultural curator. He’s an experienced critic on the nuances of the Black experience and the ways it manifests itself creatively. His writing looks at the intersect of heritage and identity in music and culture across the cultural landscape. He’s known for his feature articles across print, online and broadcast media such as The Guardian, OkayAfrica and Straight No Chaser. He has made several appearances since 2010 as a guest speaker and host on BBC Radio, Worldwide FM and NTS Radio, discussing Black identity and its impact on culture in the UK and abroad. The book offers a unique insight into the music of the African Diaspora, first and subsequent generations, delving into the ways afrobeats and its sub-genres have provided new articulations of black identity and pride - from Beyoncé to Wizkid. The Afrobeats pioneers are given their due recognition and memorable cultural moments are celebrated. An engaging and vibrant commentator, Adofo acknowledges seminal figures and interviews burgeoning talents across the creative spectrum within the African diaspora. He also investigates the impact of African migration, travel and modernisation on the genre. The book provides an insightful look at how Afrobeats became the explosive music genre it is today.
A Quick Ting on Afrobeats is published by Jacaranda Books at £9.99 (ISBN 978 1 91309 051 7) 36 SN MAR 2022
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NEW BEACON BOOKS RECEIVES NEW LIFELINE
WORDS | RADEYA DIKUMWINI OSMAN
s previously reported, North London’s iconic black bookshop New Beacon Books was forced to close its doors in the face of the challenges from internet competition and the pandemic. The pioneering shop has championed African and Caribbean literature for 55 years. However, this cultural mainstay has received a new lease of life through a recent crowdfunding initiative spearheaded by Francesca Gilbert and Nyasha Fraser, which received generous contributions from a widespread community of well-wishers. When the fund closed on 8 January, New Beacon Books announced that it had surpassed the initial target and had generated a total of £81,122 38 SN MAR 2022
on behalf of the New Beacon Development Fund, created to help New Beacon Books make headway in this new chapter of its existence. The stated purposes of the crowdfund include payment of rent and utilities, hiring part-time staff, expanding the bookshop and restoring its publishing platform. This welcome news means there’s a chance that the physical footprint will remain, either at 76 Stroud Green Road, London N4 3EN or elsewhere. The shop's management is deliberating about the best way of steering the business into a sustainable future and ensuring these precious funds are used to best effect. In the meantime, New Beacon’s management has urged the community to continue to support its ventures by buying from its website at www.newbeaconbooks.com.
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SOCA HOLIDAY PACKAGES WORDS | RADEYA DIKUMWINI OSMAN
efore Covid-19 struck, locking down the entire world in the first quarter of 2020, travel and tourism was one of the most significant economic sectors around the globe, providing jobs and revenues for millions of people. The pandemic decimated the entire sector, forcing hotels to close their doors and countries to shut their borders. The economies of the tourism-dependent Caribbean islands - known for their turquoise-coloured waters, glowing sunsets, white sand beaches, lush greenery and addictive carnivals - suffered gravely. Whether tourism will be able to recover 40 SN MAR 2022
completely by the end of the year is still in the balance, particularly given the uncertainty created by the war in Ukraine. Still, we have to hope that this year we will once again be able to head to the islands and relax under a palm tree with a long, cool drink in one hand, as we watch the sun go down to the sweet sounds of steelpan and soca. It's beyond time to return and hug our nearest and dearest, let our hair down and feel the warm Caribbean sand between our toes without a care in the world. If that’s got you dreaming, here's a selection of soca holiday packages you can book right now.
• IBIZA SOCA FESTIVAL 2019
PHOTOGRAPHER | ALBERT ST CLAIR
MELÉ DESTINATIONS 28 APRIL - 2 MAY 2022
You are invited to get away for five days and four nights with soca star Machel Montano and other top artists at the Moon Palace Resort in Cancún, Mexico. Expect an overflow of a variety of food and drinks from bars and restaurants. The package includes accommodation, meals, minibars in rooms and non-motorised water sports. INFO | WWW.MELEDESTINATIONS.COM
IBIZA SOCA FESTIVAL 12 - 16 MAY 2022
From 12 to 16 May, partygoers will throng the Mediterranean island of Ibiza for the annual Ibiza Soca Festival, ready to enjoy a fun-filled long weekend in full Caribbean style. Artists billed to perform at the five-day festival include Nadia Batson, Problem Child and Mr Killa.
dam, Europe’s craziest soca holiday is making its way to the beautiful island of Gran Canaria for four days and nights of sunshine bliss and non-stop partying. You’ll enjoy soca music from selected artists and DJs including DJ Vibes, DJ Guff Nuff and DJ QT 2hype. Don’t miss out on the fun - book now. INFO | WWW.SOCAMAZZA.COM
SOCA WKNDR 2022-PORTUGAL 13 - 17 OCTOBER 2022
Europe's numero uno soca weekender will be hosted in Albufeira, Portugal, and it promises to brim with rum, your favourite soca hits, beautiful sunsets and a lot of partying. INFO | WWW.SOCAWKNDR.COM
SMALL ISLAND SOCA CRUISE 13-18 NOVEMBER 2022
16-20 JUNE 2022
Departing from Philipsburg, St Maarten, this organiser’s inaugural sail is a six-day cruise themed 'Celebrate the Colors of the Caribbean!' In true soca style, more than 50 artists will be getting holidaymakers wining and jumping to back-to-back soca hits.
After recording two sold-out events in Amster-
INFO | WWW.SMALLISLANDSOCACRUISE.COM
INFO | IBIZASOCA.COM
SOCA MAZZA 2022
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