SpiceMas is getting Hotter!!!

Grenada Carnival is on the tail end of the Caricom summer carnivals. Referred to as Spice Mas because of the islands well knows abundance of spices, Carnival in Grenada is very unique. While many of the well known Carnival traditions prevail, such as, Soca Monarch, King & Queen competition, Panorama, Jouvert, Monday and Tuesday mas as well as numerous fetes and boat rides, Grenadians put a twist on Jouvert and have a Monday night Mas and vibe to rival all the other islands combined.

shortnee - hermitage

For the past couple decades, Jouvert and Monday Night Mas have been the highlight of the Carnival and the costumes on the road Monday and Tuesday during the day very scant and lackluster to say the least. While traditional mas bands depicting Shortnee and Moko Jumbies have remained prevalent during the day on Monday and Tuesday, for some reason Pretty Mas had died down in numbers. Bands such as Comancheros have been consistent in presenting, but somehow the young people were not getting as into it as they do Jouvert and Monday night Mas.

Aurora - Dawn

Aurora – Dawn


In recent years the interest in “Pretty Mas” seems to have been rejuvenated. Bands such as Summer Crew and this year Levels Mas Band are bringing beautiful costume options for Tuesday on the road and with it some more spice to the Spicemas tradition. In addition to Pretty Mas there has been an introduction of Monday Wear as well. Chris K Designs is leading the charge in Monday Wear for Spice Mas this year which takes the pretty costumes and people on the road for SpiceMas 2016 up another notch.

chriskdesign level mas monday wear mirror

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New Music – Bunji Garlin – Television Produced by Jillionaire & Richie Beretta

Bunji Garlin - Television

Bunji Garlin last week released a new single under Feel Up Records. Feel UP Records is an independent record label founded by Jillionare of Major Lazer fame and New York based producer Richie Beretta. The brand new track titled “Television” premiered on Billboard magazine online.

Bunji is well known for his lyrical freestyle, and this new track highlights that talent with a ragga soca feel. Take a listen to the track below:

LISTEN IN bit.ly/BunjiTV
Bunji Garlin “Television” 📺
Produced by The Jillionaire & Richie Beretta
Buy now on iTunes: bit.ly/iTunes_TV
Listen on Spotify: bit.ly/SpotifyTV
‪#‎feeluprecords‬

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Carnival Tuesdays…has a new home

Everyone loves Carnival Tuesday! It’s the precursor to the last lap, the big show day, the time to show off your costumes, and your freedom as a masquerader. However, as we tend to like to overdo a good thing, in Brooklyn, every single Tuesday, rain or shine, snow or sleet, Carnival Tuesday is in full effect.

I caught up with King Swady, one of the minds behind the creation of Carnival Tuesdays at D’Savannah to find out the story behind why Carnival Tuesday now has a new home. He explained that Carnival Tuesdays was never a joint venture between his promotion team and the owners of D’Savannah despite the fact that Carnival Tuesdays, Bird, Bake and Shark and Corn Soup have all become synonymous with the Flatbush Avenue establishment.

Turns out that after multiple breaches of the business agreement between the promoters and the establishment it has become impossible for Carnival Tuesdays to continue to operate at D’Savannah.

Beginning this Tuesday, April 5th Carnival Tuesday will be held at Aura Bar & Lounge located on 4410 Avenue H between East 45th Street and Troy Avenue in Brooklyn. The lounge is an indoor and outdoor venue with a VIP lounge on the lower level with ample parking on the surrounding streets. For the Inaugural week the entertainment will include Skinny Banton, 1 Voice and Wild Fire with music by Freeze International, Riggo, 10 Speed, DJ Dredy and special guest DJs Copperzilla Digital and DJ Little B.

IMG-20160403-WA0016

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Carnival of Cultures in Berlin, Germany – Berlin Carnival

mwd 2016Summer is right around the corner and the world is in Carnival mode. Berlin, Germany is no exception. In its 21st year, Karneval der Kulturen which means Carnival of Cultures hosts a large street parade with parties, music, food, drinks and activities for both the young and the old. The city of Berlin estimates about 1.4 million guests from around the world to come and experience their huge summer festival. One event contains four stages of music from various world regions with performers and DJs, while culinary delights and handmade arts and crafts are offered in the approximately 400 stands. Whitsunday, is the final day of the event which celebrates Berlin’s cultural diversity with traditional costumes and ritual dances.

For an amazing Carnival Experience check out Mas with a Difference

For details on events check here:

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International Soca DJ Competition 2016

International Soca DJ Comp 2016

This year Full Moon Ltd. presented it’s first ever – International Soca DJ Competition. The International Soca DJ Competition introduces a new wave for Carnival 2016, because for the first time ever the art form of “DJ-ing” was be given a platform within Carnival.

DJ’s from all over the world were given the opportunity to demonstrate their skills within the genre of Soca Music. Twenty finalists vied for the crown and performed on the night of Saturday 30th January.

In a time where DJ’s like Major Lazer, David Getta and DJ Khaled have exploded into the Music Industry and ingeniously used the platform to express their art form and establish credibility it seemed the perfect time for
the local Industry to take ownership of this Dj-ing art form within Trinidad and Tobago’s own culture.

Trinidad and Tobago has a wealth of talent with many young and aspiring DJ’s, and there has been no existing structure that celebrates the DJ as an artiste. Masqueraders have “The Big Stage”, Soca Artistes have Soca Monarch, Designers have “Parade of the Bands” and the Panman has Panorama, and now the DJ’s have the International Soca DJ Competition.

The 2016 winner International Soca DJ Derek Pereira of Xcaliber International is the first to hold the title and will represent Trinidad as the Best Soca DJ in the world. The second place winner Jr. Mafia Sound ft. Nigel Snipes & DJ Skull is also from Trinidad; third place winner DJ Kirk Brown is from Barbados.

Below is the winning set of Xcaliber International Dawg E. Slaughter who both was also his own Mic man. In addition there is a guest appearance by pannist Richarde’

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Soca on the Seas – Press Release

Soca on the Seas Flyer - main

Soca On The Seas – the first All Inclusive Soca Cruise sets sail October 28th 2016

Soca On the Seas 2016 is carving out its own niche in the tourism, promotion and marketing of Trinidad and Tobago culture and entertainment.

We are packaging it and taking it to new shores like never before. It is the first of a kind affair that brings together all the ingredients that make up our Trinbagonian culture and delivering a once in a lifetime weekend of blissful relaxation and revelry.

For Trinbagonians at home and around the world suffering from a ‘Carnival Tabanca’, Soca On the Seas is the once a year pill to take to bring back the spirit and energy of a true Trinbagonian lifestyle.

Soca On the Seas 2016 brings together a taste of Trinidad and Tobago culture aboard the luxurious cruise line Royal Caribbean, Enchantment of the Seas cruise from Miami to the Bahamas. Partying on board with our top soca artistes, entertainers, fashion designers, mas’ bands, steelpan players, dancers, personalities and DJ’s, all sailing to CocoCay, Royal Caribbean’s private island for the ultimate beach BBQ experience & a Celebrity beach cricket match, then on to Nassau for a Beach J’ouvert and island tours.

When is Soca On the Seas set to happen and what can guests expect?

From October 28th– 31st, 2016, patrons are set to experience:
– Non-stop soca music, by our celebrity 14 DJ cast including Private Ryan & Celebrity Duchess from Trinidad, Avalanche from the US Virgin Islands, Dlife from WBLS 107.5 FM NYC radio station, D’Enforcas from Toronto, Canada, 2016 International Soca DJ, Dawg E Slaughter and Selector Hemo, female soca DJ from Japan.
– An impressive lineup of LIVE acts, will give guests the ability to be up close and personal like never before – including veteran Soca band Roy Cape All Stars featuring Blaxx, and Darnella Simmons, Bunji Garlin, Fay-Ann Lyons & the Asylum Band, Willie Panama, King of Salsa Rap & his Live Orchestra, KI & The Band featuring KI, Neval and Nishard, The Caribbean Queen, Alison Hinds, Olatunji, Khiara Sherman, the Bahama Queen and for our Comedy Lineup LEXO TV’s Santana, Narine & Pastor Stewart; Nikki Crosby & Rodell (Ro’dey), Cumberbatch
– Cultural entertainment – Ole Time Mas’, Fancy Mas’, Pan ‘Round D’ Neck and YUMA 2017 Band Launch presentation.
– First port stop on the private island of CocoCay, Bahamas, awarded a Gold level Eco-Certification by Sustainable Travel International. Enjoy the ultimate beach BBQ experience, premium drinks/cocktails, non-stop music, island tours, nature trails, Caylana Aqua Park and watersports in the crystal-clear waters of the island – activities like parasailing and snorkeling.
– J’OUVERT in Nassau, Bahamas.
– Accommodation, meals (specialty restaurants excluded), welcome party, premium unlimited alcoholic beverages, gratuities, taxes and entertainment are included.
– All amenities and activities available on the Enchantment of the Seas – comedy/Broadway style shows, conference facilities, Soca Zumba classes, casinos, pool, spa and fitness center, tennis tables, rock climbing and even putting greens!

Make your reservations: http://www.socaontheseas.com or http://www.hjtravels.com
For further information, contact: HJ Travels: 713-366-9284

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Aye Shanti Designs, Art Culture & Fashion

AyeShantiface

As part of my Woman Crush Wednesdays I have been chatting with young women in the community that have started their own small business. AyeShanti has an amazing line of hand crafted art that she designs with love and passion. Please read more about her below:

1. When did you first know that this is what you wanted to do?

I always knew I wanted to design and craft beautiful things if it was jewelry, accessories or even paper crafts – I just love to see my hands at work. I’ve always collected vintage jewelry, stones, shells and beautiful objects from a very young age. I wouldn’t necessarily call myself a jeweler but a creator of wearable art. Growing up dancing with a Caribbean company, we had to adorn ourselves with jewels and tie our heads in traditional head wraps, so I’ve always had a connection to jewelry and beautiful fabrics, which you would find in my collections.

2. What is your motivation?

My motivation to create jewelry and paper crafts has to be that I love to tell a story. There’s something about a customer wearing a piece and being inspired by it. I always want to include a pop of color, design, culture and good energy into each piece.

3. What is your proudest moment?

My proudest moment today is the solo exhibition I had at the United Nations in New York City that ran from June 16 – 20, 2014. Through various mixed-media portraits, paper installations and handcrafted jewelry, I paid homage to the women of the Caribbean specifically from the island of Grenada.

4. What has been your biggest obstacle?

My biggest obstacle is time management and being a one-woman show with Aye’ Shanti Designs. Running a business for me is the creation of each piece, packaging, advertising and motivating yourself each day that “you can do this!” I am my own team most of the time but recently thanks to the help of my mother who sews, my husband who’s a photographer, and a lovely team of family and friends, I’m able to get things done on time.

5. What advice do you have for other young ladies, interested in doing similar crafts?

Some advice I have for young women interested in doing a similar craft is one find your passion first. Always carry a journal and sketch, design and conceptualize your ideas. Be strategic about your business plans. Make weekly, monthly and yearly goals. There’s NO room for negativity when running a business. And one more thing, I think it’s important for women to support each other in the process, thanks to a few facebook groups, instagram friends and fellow businesswomen, we keep each other motivated!

CONNECT with Shanti & Aye’ Shanti Designs:
http://www.AyeShanti.com
http://www.twitter.com/AyeShanti
http://www.facebook.com/AyeShantiDesigns
http://www.instagram.com/AyeShantiDesigns

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