Dancehall a recurrent element of Xodus launch
For diehard soca lovers, Saturday's Xodus Carnival band launch at 36 Hope Road may not have been the most enjoyable event, especially if they expected old and new hits from the genre. Normally, when DJ Lantern approaches the DJ console, it indicates time to get on bad and find a wining partner.
However, Lantern only touched the turntables for a short moment prior to the costumes' unveiling.
The models engaged the audience during the presentation as DJ Smoke played soca hits, just before ambassador to Xodus Carnival and singer, Tosh Alexander, briefly delivered contemporary soca single Light It Up, co-produced by Twelve 9 Records (ZJ Sparks), while in costume.
For the four additional sections added to the Xodus collection, a recurring dancehall element was observed in the designs. Whether it is for the raunchiness, hardcore combination of materials, or the way each was accessorised, the Jamaican culture had its influence.
Chromatic Sound took over after the presentations, spinning hip hop like Cardi B's Bodak Yellow with a library of 2017 dancehall hits. The biggest moment of the night came when Chromatic's JR quipped that Philip Palmer of Dream Entertainment would be performing.
VOICE OF DANCEHALL
But the Genna Bounce Riddim sounded through the speakers along with the voice of dancehall artiste Aidonia performing Yeah Yeah in turn inviting Govana to deejay. The artiste continued with his single Gyal Clown, but the 'genna genna' entertainer could not exit the stage without adding to the brief stage show with Hot Tool and Banga, much to the patrons' satisfaction.
In addition to the deejays, recording artistes Ky-Mani Marley and Leftside were spotted in the crowd dancing up a storm.
Nonetheless, the promoters ensured that Xodus would not be changing the texture of soca celebrations, but making it marketable to wider audiences.
"Jamaica just has some natural assets that work much better for us. Our brand of carnival and specifically Brand Jamaica is growing, showing huge potential," Kamal Bankay, director of Dream Entertainment and Xodus, said noting that "to have our Government giving it support pushes us forward to do better,"
Bankay also said that Xodus Carnival, along with partners YUMA out of Trinidad and sponsors, will do more with this year's theme, League of Angels, which includes a plethora of lead-up events to road march.
These events will cater to soca and dancehall fans, plus add to its appealing characteristic as a Caribbean festival of music.