Selections by Jillionaire—
Words by Eddie STATS Houghton
Yes, Memorial Day weekend is over–and if you were here experiencing the sparkling hot weather here in NY, it was probably spent in the first of many picnics, park jams, cookouts or rooftop bashies. Hopefully you checked Mixtape Mondays before you left the house but if not you might have got caught up short for picnic-appropriate selections, which is why I took the trouble to assemble this pan-Caribbean top 10 picnic jam playlist to get you started. The selection of picnic jams is a subtle art, and should not be confused with the related but separate categories of carnival/parade anthems, and general summer bangers. The key elements are lyrical references to sunshine, breezes, sexy people and all-around relaxed, feel-good vibes…feel free to add your own in the comments section.
Words by Eddie STATS Houghon and Jillionaire, via The Guardian UK
Through the kind links of our UK correspondent Gabriel Heatwave of the London-based Heatwave crew Jillionaire and myself were tapped to provide the Guardian newspaper with a breakdown of the goings-on and getting-mads at this year’s Trinidad Carnival. We have reposted the column in full below, including the tunes that won the various titles in the Soca Monarch constellation. Since this went up on Tuesday, however, Machel Montano’s “Advantage” (as predicted!) also took the Road March title, winning the hearts and minds of the people in addition to the all-important judges panel and completing his massive comeback to the Carnival stage. If these J’ouvert monsters and the Tony Tempo and Heatwave carnival mixes included in Mixtape Mondays are not enough to satiate your soca hunger, you can also download the Extreme Soca Mix from Massive B’s resident Trini D-Life below and rave out while you read…
Words by Rishi Bonneville and Eddie STATS Houghton
Carnival time again! As multitudes of ex-pat Trinis and foreign calypso, pan and soca lovers board flights for Port of Spain, the fetes and song competitions are in full swing. The famed parades of masqueraders will be held this year on March 7-8, when the Road March champion will be crowned. However, since 1993, on the Friday before the full costumed bacchanalia, soca fans gather at the Queen’s Oval Park cricket stadium to watch an onstage competition in which the singers of a faster soca tune and a slower soca are selected as the Power and Groovy soca winners respectively. (Note: The Chutney Soca Monarch competition, which occurred on Saturday, March 19th was won by Rikki Jai for “White Oak & Water.” A disgruntled Ravi B, who came second, urged fans to “pelt something” and hundreds of bottles fell upon the stage.) As the excitement builds, LargeUp reached to top soca selectors and soundsystems from Trinidad, NY, Miami, Montreal, Germany and Japan to take the international temperature and get their favorites for road march, power and groovy soca monarch. This is actually a Top 10 (roughly) but since many of our soca pundits had comments and overlapping picks we have dispensed with the usual countdown format and broken it down by selector. To the road!