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The Iron Man Is Back 


For­mer Pow­er and Groovy So­ca Monarch Shur­wayne Win­ches­ter has turned up the tem­po with the re­lease of his pow­er so­ca Come Back. In­fused with the iron and brass rhythm, the song is about the el­e­ments which make up pow­er so­ca and Car­ni­val resur­fac­ing in 2019 so­ca. Not­ing that for some time there had been a lull in the pow­er so­ca, Win­ches­ter, in an in­ter­view, said mas­quer­aders were cry­ing out for its re­turn. But, it was af­ter see­ing Su­perblue per­form live on a tele­vi­sion show last De­cem­ber that the iron man was awak­ened. 
“When they gave him the mi­cro­phone every­thing trans­formed when I lis­tened to the melod­ic struc­ture of the song, you could feel that au­then­tic Su­perblue in it, he did not try to change it. He did not try to move away from who he was. “I said Shur­wayne, look how every­thing just came back,
the pow­er so­ca came back 2019, rags and flags came back, brass is back in the songs peo­ple jump­ing and wav­ing and get­ting all ex­cit­ed again.” Win­ches­ter re­called that just af­ter he (Win­ches­ter) left the me­dia house he came up­on a rhythm sec­tion. “I could hear it ring­ing out and right there it hit me, Shur­wayne why are you try­ing to change who you are,” he said. He ex­plained that while his fans adored his sweet melod­ic voice, he was al­so wide­ly known for his pow­er so­ca which gave birth to the iron man. “And I was fight­ing so hard to get away from that, than just be­ing brand­ed the iron man...but the truth is it is what made the brand Shur­wayne Win­ches­ter,” he said. Just as Su­perblue is about rags and flags and jump­ing up, he said, “Shur­wayne is the iron man and I will nev­er try to change who I am. I will en­hance it.” Win­ches­ter said he start­ed jot­ting down the lyrics while dri­ving. “The first line was to my­self, what you wait­ing for.” He then con­tact­ed Stadic, sang a verse to him and he im­me­di­ate­ly asked him to come to the stu­dio. We knew we need­ed that iron and for that tone and rhythm, we need­ed Neil Bernard who I worked with orig­i­nal­ly with Dead or Alive, Open the Gate and Can’t Wait. Neil said, yeah, and the chem­istry just start­ed build­ing from there.” 

So de­ter­mined was he to get the best out of it, he said, the fi­nal prod­uct was the 11th ver­sion of the song. 

“Our body and mas­quer­aders know when you hear the right song your heart start to race slight­ly, you start to get a cold sweat on your brow be­cause you are an­tic­i­pat­ing that some­thing is about to hap­pen and that is the feel­ing I got when I stood in front the mi­cro­phone to put down the song and I said God, thank you.” Say­ing he was done try­ing to change who he was and sec­ond-guess­ing his abil­i­ty, he said, “I can tell you this race­horse is on point, fo­cus and ready to go and the great­est part about it is that it is all for the mas­quer­aders, not for the ti­tle. “ On whether his pow­er­ful fast pace track will win him his third Road March ti­tle, he said, “That is left to the mas­quer­aders.” His song has been re­ceiv­ing tremen­dous pos­i­tive re­views. Win­ches­ter said his fo­cus over the last two years was not pow­er so­ca, but on tai­lor­ing his per­for­mances for fes­ti­vals abroad. He last per­formed in Switzer­land. “But, there is noth­ing like our so­ca, noth­ing like pow­er.” He re­mind­ed his fans about his Ad­dic­tion All In­clu­sive break­fast par­ty at his res­i­dence on Feb­ru­ary 24. Lat­er that night he will be join­ing Shall Mar­shall and oth­er artistes at Min­gle “one of the biggest boat rides out of Toron­to.” He is al­so host­ing his con­cert Shur­wayne The Xpe­ri­ence at Es­tate 101 in Mar­aval on Feb­ru­ary 20, and per­form­ing with him will be De­stra, Iw­er George and Swap­pi.

New generation of soca artistes go Brave with Road March contender 

The new generation of soca artistes are known for producing sweet, singable songs steeped in consciousness, social commentary, history and fun, enjoyable lyrics. But while that groovy music has flourished in Trinidad and Tobago, it finds itself marginalised in other islands and on other stages outside of the country where power soca still reigns. 

Tired of seeing T&T artists play second fiddle to artists from Grenada, St Lucia, US Virgin Islands, St Vincent and Dominica, three of those new generation artists have decided to continue the work their more established peers have done before them. 

BRAVE is a new power soca written and sung by Nailah Blackman, Sekon Sta and Erphaan Alves. 

“It stands for Bold, Revolutionary Artists of the Vibesy Era,” explained Anson Soverall, co-producer of the song. 

“If you watch what is going on in the industry, we have the established, more experienced artistes but you have to watch the generation that will take the music forward. We need to support them because, if not, we will be dancing to other genres and we won’t have any representation in our own Carnival without established artistes to take it forward,” he said. 

Stating that they are stamping this era with the ‘bold’ generation, Soverall said they are not afraid to try their hands at Power. 

“We decided to sit down and really try to show that power is in good hands. Power needs to be in good hands. I was inspired by the fact that everyone has been travelling through the year and seeing what happening in the islands, they on it, power never dies,” he said. 

Soverall, who is one of Blackman’s managers, said he chose the three artistes for ‘Brave’ because they embody the very spirit of the song. 

“I was looking at the fact that Nailah, in her very first year, was brave to do Sokah Origins the concert. Many people thought it was very presumptuous of her but that was brave. Erphaan has been doing his show, Grateful and Sekon Sta has Sekon Sunday. These were brave steps they took that many of their predecessors never did. These were all indicators that they could make it. Nailah had a huge part to play in inspiring people. Her show did spark a sort of a movement to go big and brave. Three of them made the best fit and three is kind of a number that I like nah,” said Soverall. 

Brave’s thumping Jab Jab/J’ouvert Riddim produced by Prospect Entertainment and Anson Pro, has become a main contender for the Road March since its release a week ago. The song has been destroying fetes in Trinidad and in the sister isle and to date, the video, produced by Steven Taylor, has over 135,000 views.

Machel Montano rocks Caribbean Airlines’ ‘The Caribbean Identity’ launch in Guyana 

The afternoon began with colorful displays of costumes from the Guyana Carnival Committee which will be on the road come May 26, 2019. This new CAL campaign embraces and celebrates the authenticity of the Caribbean region and all the elements that make it unique.
The airline’s Chief Executive Officer, Garvin Medera said, “The Caribbean Identity is the culture and the spirit of the many diverse nations – united by a shared sea and our similar and powerful heritage.” Through ‘The Caribbean Identity’, CAL and the Caribbean culture will be showcased through branding, community activities, and a strong presence at festivals and major events throughout 2019.
CAL also revealed that it will be the official airline for Guyana’s 49th Republic Anniversary, the Guyana carnival in May, and a partnership with the Park Side Steel Orchestra which will be re-branded as the Caribbean Airlines Park Side Steel Orchestra. At Stabroek Market, Guyanese were entertained by local talents including the musical stylings of Tamika Marshall. But the most anticipated performance was the electrifying Machel Montano who left the crowd wanting more. The headliner opened with the airline’s new Jingle and introduced his 2019 Soca songs to the Guyanese fans. The airline held a similar event in Trinidad and will host another in Jamaica. The Caribbean Identity campaign will be rolled out in all 20 CAL destinations.

NEW Jamish Riddim Feat. Destra, Alison Hinds, Skinny Fabulous, Motto & More 

You give me di Jamish Feelin! and so it goes TeamfoxxMusic launches off its first riddim for the 2019 Carnival season called the #JamishRiddim. A hot and peppery riddim seasoned up with your favorite artist across the islands,call it a callaloo. Skinny Fabulous, Lavaman, Motto and for the first time ever, 2 of our Soca Queens featured on the same beat, Destra & Alison Hinds.  Its certain to raise your bacchanal fever. Jamish Riddim brings us way back, to the good ole groovy days, resonating some classic Zouk tones and drums along side some generic modern instruments – this riddim redefines classic soca! #BringBackClassicSoca2019 #JamishRiddim

Another French honour – and a date in London for Calypso Rose 

At the age of 78, prolific Tobago-born calypsonian Calypso Rose is having the best time of her career. Next month she will collect yet another honour for her contribution to music, the Grand Prix des musiques du monde, which will be presented at a special ceremony in Paris as part of the Sacem Grand Prix. 

SACEM is the French-based Society of Authors, Composers and Publishers of Music. Each year, the organisation’s directors choose those artistes they feel have made outstanding contributions in song writing, music publishing, humour and classical contemporary music. 

This is not the first time Calypso Rose (Linda McArtha Monica Sandy-Lewis) has been honoured in France. Her 2016 release, Far From Home, proved hugely popular there and last year it won the World Music Album category at Les Victoires de la Musique.

Machel Montano to receive Honorary Doctorate  

Share to FacebookShare to TwitterShare to LinkedInShare to WhatsAppShare to MessengerShare to EmailShare to TelegramShare to More1.1K Soca king Machel Montano will receive an honorary doctorate from the University of Trinidad and Tobago (UTT). Montano will receive the Honorary Doctor of Arts from the University when it holds its graduation on November 14.and 15.Montano is among five special awardees. The others are: Pearl Eintou Springer (Honorary Doctor of Fine Arts), Alvin Corneal (Honorary Doctor of Humane Letters), Leo Martin (Honorary Doctor of Science) and Roy Augustus (Honorary Distinguished Fellow). UTT will be awarding 1700 students with Undergraduate and Postgraduate degrees when the graduation ceremony is held. Among those will be two Masters of Philosophy and seven Doctors of Philosophy degrees.

Trini Soca Star Rising 

Young Trinidad and Tobago soca star Nailah Blackman has been nominated for one of the 2018 Black Entertainment Television’s (BET) Awards — the Viewers’ Choice: Best New International Act. To have a good chance, she would need the help of all Trindad and Tobago by voting and hashtagging her picture #ipicknailahb18. The awards show comes off on June 24 at 8 pm.
On her Instagram account, Blackman expressed excitement at having being nominated, writing: “OMG OMG, I am so excited.” “I am the only Caribbean artiste representing in this category. Winning an award like this will get our music and our culture recognized. I’m doing this for Sokah / Soca Music! She will compete with other world artistes for the award, including MC Soffia (Brazil), Miniola (Nigeria) NOT3s, and Prince Waly (France) Blackman was born into music. Her grandfather, the late Ras Shorty I, was one of the founders of soca music and her mother calypsonian Abbi Blackman was part of the extended family in music.
Last year she shot into the limelight with “Work Out,” a collaboration with Kes Dieffenthalier, a track that has received more than one million views on YouTube.

Saint Lucia 2018 Groovy and Power Soca Monarch results 

King Arthur continues his reign as Groovy Soca Monarch and Ricky T adds another title to his ever-growing list of wins as he captures the Power Monarch title. Here are the results: Groovy Results 1st King Arthur Mama (415pts)...2nd Sedale Stick On You (398pts)...3rd Ezra D’Fun Machine Money Dance (372pts)...4th Kisha Vaval (362pts) Power Results 1st Ricky T Sha Leh Sho (402pts)...2nd Ezra D’Fun Machine X (382pts)...3rd Soca Psycho Jab Jab (Fork Up) (379pts)...4th Mantius Get Wild (366 pts)


Japanese Soca fans surprised Bunji Garlin on Thursday night when they presented him with a birthday cake after his performance at Club Cactus. Garlin, real name Antonio Alvarez and his wife Fay-Ann Lyons are in Japan for their first tour there. The soca couple performed at Club Cactus to the cheers of adoring fans dressed in Trinidad and Tobago colours and paraphernalia. Bunji's Big Bad Soca was a huge hit and the  Viking also delighted the crowd with songs such as Red Light District, Truck on de road, and Differentology. Lyons held her own, energising the crowd with Heavy T Bumper, Girls and Raze. Garlin told the crowd it was always his dream to visit Japan and he was happy to be able to visit for his 40th birthday with his lovely wife. Garlin will celebrate his 40th birthday in T&T with a party cruise on July 20.


The Edinburgh Festival Carnival will take place this year on July 15 as part of the Jazz and Blues Festival, two weeks before the deluge of international tourists and performers flood the city in August. The wee carnival procession suits a capital with only half a million people. Now in its seventh year, having replaced the well-established Cavalcade that traditionally marked the start of the festival season, the carnival will see a parade of bands from all over Scotland and the rest of the world. 

Although the Caribbean community resident in Edinburgh numbers less than a thousand, there’s normally a Caribbean presence or influence in some form or other. In 2014, there was a tassa band from Trinidad and a Junkanoo band from the Bahamas, who held a pop up mas camp and led some dance sessions to prepare participants. In 2016, Jonelle Cheri Caraballo, a finalist for Miss T&T UK 2016, brought a little flavour of Trinidad Carnival to Edinburgh in a costume designed by her mother, Gail Auguste. This year Edinburgh has its own mas camp (inspired by Brazil), and bands arriving from Trinidad (3Canal) and Martinique (Gwanaval). 

This year, participants can do it all over again by taking advantage of the special coach to take them across to Carnival in Glasgow on August 4. Glasgow’s parade route runs through the city centre and Merchant City, and this year enjoys a special exchange with carnivalists from Berlin.