by Leigh-Ann Worrell
With linked hands, local and Trinidadian artistes ended the inaugural LIME Soca Xplosion on a unified high in the wee hours of Sunday.
Jamming to the sounds of Blaxx’s Leh Go, the entire cast of the show joined reigning Trinidadian Road March king Superblue, much to the delight of the scores gathered.
As much as the large audience at Kensington Oval enjoyed the Trinidadian’s sweet treats last weekend, are Barbadian soca stars still in demand over in the land of the hummingbird?
Denise Saucy Wow Belfon believed the Barbadian presence in the recently-held Trinidad carnival was still there, but not as strong as it was in years past.
“I think they have [Barbadian inclusion in carnival], but it is minute and I think it needs to be in a much bigger and better way. Years ago when I sang with Spectakular Promotions, they had the Bajan Invasion…and the unity was even stronger. It wasn’t a situation where people thought the Bajans were coming to take over things, but the cameraderie made us closer and more friendly with each other and now I don’t know what’s happening,” she told Barbados TODAY after her exciting and highly entertaining performance.
“I hope and I wish I could see that come back again so that everyone can make some money and do their thing so that the Caribbean, region and the world can know soca music…”.
Another act for the night, Neil Iwer George, was of the opinion that Barbadian artistes, namely Stedson RPB Wiltshire and his Ragga Ragga helped Trinidadian carnival to reach its boiling point. He also did not think there was a demise in the use of Bajan talent during the Trinidadian artistes, adding, “whenever they come they still get love.
Li’l Rick is big as usual, [and] he was my special guest at my concert during carnival.”
Ricky Lil’ Rick Reid and Michael Mikey Mercer competed in the semifinals of the International Power Soca Monarch, but did not make the February 8 finals.
Additionally, during the recent general elections, some artistes expressed in the media that they were pleased for the opportunity to perform as part of the three weeks of campaigning, since there was little chance for them to do so during Trinidad carnival which was held around the same time.
Rodney Benjai LeBlanc asserted that something should be done to ensure other Caribbean artistes could have a stronger presence in his country’s carnival, as the region should be more unified.
“All of the Caribbean is one and the world is watching us as the West Indies… When they see us they do not see a flag… I think we need to have more exchange, as we can see I am here, but we need to have more of it..,” the People’s Champion told the media. “Trinidad is the mecca of carnival, [but] we still had to give respect to Grenada as the mecca of j’ouvert. Every Caribbean country has the best of something that … we can get …”
All of the artistes planned to make their presence felt during this year’s Crop-Over by performing at shows on the season’s calendar. Belfon has also created songs specifically for the island’s sweetest summer festival, working with well-known local producers.