As Crop Over 2017 gains momentum, not even the rain over the weekend was enough to prevent party goers from having a grand time at the Valhalla: Kooler Experience fete.
Held at the Bellevue Plantation in Waterford, St Michael, the event sponsored by party promoters, One Light, and Foreday Morning band, Spektrum, brought together a mixed bag of performances for patrons to fete the night away.
The event featured local hip hop artiste, Rico Maserati, and the bashment soca energizers Stiffy, Mazville, and Stabby. Performing in Barbados for the first time, Trinidadian soca artiste Nailah Blackman who features in Work Out by Kes, also made an appearance.
Despite the inclement weather, the party went into full throttle with many patrons opting to stay in the occasional shower as a line-up of deejays including Sheldon Papp and Levell Vibes, Ras and Chasey kept the music pumping.
Initially, different pockets of the crowd were keeping the good energy of the party going, but when Stiffy Star Quality hit the stage, the stush behaviour was forgotten immediately. The reigning Bashment Soca King’s 15 minute performance was too short for the crowd that was now revving up.
When Nailah Blackman hit the stage, she did so to enthusiastic cheers from the fans. The 19-year-old soca artiste began her set singing Work Out followed by Baila Mami, her single from this year’s Trinidad carnival. With the help of local dance group Riddim Tribe, Blackman integrated Marzville’s Bam Bim into her performance to the delight of patrons.
When Bajan Vibes caught up with the third generation soca artiste afterwards, she had nothing but great things to say. “[The performance] felt a little different for me because I am out of my comfort zone and I am not in my home town. That in itself is an experience and it helped me to open up a lot more. . . Bajans are really more vibes than ever,” she said.
Experimenting with the soca genre for the first time, Blackman who originally sang Caribbean folk, revealed she will be releasing a soca EP in September. “I just want to create more music that people can open their arms to soca music all times of the year. It’s not just about being on the road and having a good time as a partier,” she said.
Promoter, Kofi Jones, was pleased with the crowd response and the numbers gathered on the estate. The spokesperson for the One Light – Spektrum collaboration said, “Patrons actually said they’re ready for another Valhalla next week so at this point, it would be almost criminal not to have one in 2018.”