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Bubba FM interested in the Bashment Soca competition 

The third edition of King Bubba Illuminate was nothing but vibes and the man behind the show and brand is feeling the love. Adam 'King Bubba FM' Elias has been travelling here, there and over yonder flying the Bajan flag high and asking fans across the world 'Who drinking rum?' Chatting with Loop Entertainment after another successful Illuminate, held at Copacabana in Bridgetown, he said that many thanks to his cast of entertainers and musicians who buy into his vision and his dream. He also awarded his mother as is becoming his Illuminate tradition and he delivered a glitch-free show that continues to grow. With two tracks out including a 'bashy' tune, Bubba says if you can find a loophole in a contract or get some wiggle room, he may be in that competition this year.

Trinbagonian Calypso Rose still doing it 

Last year Beyonce was named the first African-American female to headline the Coachella Valley Music and Arts Festival in California, boasting sold-out crowds of more than 70,000 it is arguably the biggest music festival in America. 

This year, another first registered in the music discography when Tobago’s own Calypso Rose was inscribed as the oldest performer to ever challenge the great west coast stage. 

At age 78, she took to the stage two weekends in a row and in her inimitable style, gyrated to the sounds of her twin-island calypso and soca beats to win approval from a diverse crowd of mostly-millennial music fans — many of whom admittedly conceded they had never heard of the Caribbean queen but will now add her to their playlist. 

Reportedly social media found her “adorable.” 

Patrons to the pop fest described her as a “treasure.” 

And after two weekend appearances, the overwhelming consensus is that the veteran Trinbagonian might be a brand, new discovery and even an “overnight success.” 

Not so, Calypso Rose has been singing from age 15. She has composed more than 800 songs and has fiercely broadened her repertoire singing gospel, and other genres of music. 

As a matter of fact Caribbean music lovers have known the endearing singer for decades. 

“Now I am the queen of Coachella and the queen is from Trinidad and Tobago,” she declared to her newly-conquered kingdom. 

Crowned by an intergenerational mostly millennial crowd for her stellar performance of “Tempo,” “Leave Me Alone,” “Fire, Fire,” “Abatina” and was joined onstage by Nailah Blackman and Machel Montano. 

Her sounds and actions along with a legacy that began 60 years ago now dubs Linda McArtha Sandy-Lewis AKA Calypso Rose — the oldest performer to grace the California Coachella stage......

T&T’s Reggae Artist Ziggy Rankin to open for Buju Banton 

As the people of Trinidad and Tobago experience a whirlwind of emotion ahead of the return of reggae’s long lost hero, Buju Banton, to the shores of the twin island, there is also a great deal of excitement surrounding the appearance of ORDER- the band led by Trinidad and Tobago reggae artist, Ziggy Rankin. In 2009, Ziggy opened the show for Buju Banton at the Queen’s Park Savannah in Trinidad. Now, just about a decade later, the stage once again awaits Ziggy’s entry on Sunday, April 21st.
Together with the members of his band, ORDER, Ziggy has delivered songs to audiences near and far. The band’s last major appearance in 2018 saw them open for Beres Hammond and Richie Spice at the Reggae on the Beach event in Tobago. Proudly, Ziggy asserts the inclusion of fellow T&T reggae hit makers, Ataklan, Isasha, Mr. King and Jamelody who round up the ‘Order’ for the Easter Sunday opening performance at the I Am Legend Festival. Additionally, 15-year-old female DJ on the rise, DJ Lila, who just happens to be Rankin’s daughter, is a part of the musical outfit that’s set to start things at the Queen’s Park Savannah on Easter Sunday.
The I Am Legend Festival is certainly the biggest event to hit the Caribbean country, in years.

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.