With my girl Dedra headed to the breakfast fete, “Shine.”
Tallpree, one of Grenada’s hottest Soca acts, came to represent for the Spice Island. His 2010 hit “Wicked Jab” had ‘all yuh’ rotating their hips and their necks.
Most “fetes” have an annual theme and Black and White was no different. I caught up with friends from New York, Miami, Argentina, and Trinidad. With the sweet sounds of soca, reggae, and iron drums my eyes saw many colors.
“Iron Bands” date back to the 1930s. It began as just picking up a piece of metal, a broken glass, or an automobile part. Basically, anything in sight to project a louder sound than a rival band. The prominent instrument can be heard at different fetes and “on de road”.
Iwer George is well known for his controversial soca tunes, such as “Bottom in de Road” and “Carnival Come Back Again.” Once referred to as the “Boom Boom Man,” the Trinidadian artist has now transitioned to “De Boss” as he started the only soca station in Trinidad. Yes Iwer, “We Reach!”
Shorblu Events brought Miami Vice, a spin on their New York happy hour “Vice”, knowing that many New Yorkers come to Miami for Carnival. It has been said that “New Yorkers make Miami Carnival.”
Miami Carnival attracts thousands of people from all over the world. With such a big crowd it makes extra special when you catch up with friends from “long time.”
Vale Vibe Miami is another extension of D’Original Vale Breakfast Party. My college buddies and I all headed to downtown Miami for an intimate upscale event where you must dress to impress! You can catch a breeze outside or party inside: definitely the best of both worlds.
My band of choice was Mascots. The band always brings a unique theme and this year was no different. My section “Melee” (actions that take place after chaos) lead into a full scale “Bacchanal” (commotion). It’s no wonder the band presented: “Iz Karnival A Bacchanal”.
While some dance, others come to watch the day’s activities. Carnival is a tradition which symbolizes self-expression and a tool to unite.
Beautiful ladies take a pose! In the past, the feathers represented the ability to rise above problems and heartaches and the ability to grow spiritually.
Soca encourages the crowd to chip, jump, and wave. Soca’s fast pace is a fusion of Calypso and Indian music. While most R&B have a range of 96 to 110 beats per minute, soca ranges from 150 to 165.
Playin mas you are sure to bump into friends and family along the way. Belize, Jamaica, Trinidad, and South Africa are all represented in this group!
Masqueraders takin a wine!
Carnival, no matter what city, is like a family reunion. My aunts and family were all on the road “having a time.” It brings them great pride to see that the second generation is upholding their culture.
Mascots International kept the drinks flowing all day. My cousin Nigel stops to reload for the crew!
Carnival traditions derive from African traditions where those in the village would put together natural objects to create a costume symbolizing a certain idea or spiritual force.
As the day winds down, the energy is still high. Masqueraders strike a pose after crossing the stage. Can you tell it’s eight hours later?
At Jabba Strikes Back the venue provides music inside and outside catering to the soca, hip hop and dancehall lovers. We ran Spragga Benz in the “dance”.
For our “last lap,” we hit the beach. I met up with old friends from New York and made new friends with a group who traveled all the way from London for the carnival. The “cool down” proved the ultimate definition of carnival: UNITY.