Popular tattoo artist jumps on to carnival events

February 19, 2019
Candice ‘Needlez’ Davis
Candice ‘Needlez’ Davis
Members of RARE, creators of the upcoming Ash J'ouvert . From left: Shaneel Simpson, Jerome McKellar, Candice 'Needlez' Davis and Dahvia Wedderburn
Members of RARE, creators of the upcoming Ash J'ouvert . From left: Shaneel Simpson, Jerome McKellar, Candice 'Needlez' Davis and Dahvia Wedderburn
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Popular tattoo artist and body piercing specialist Needlez is answering the call to revisit a past profession as a party promoter. During her university years, she was known to participate in event planning, and actually gained a large following by doing so. The last event she was a part of, 'Hintimacy', attracted more than 1,000 persons via invitation.

Candice Davis, her given name, believes that she is ready to test the waters again. And with a group of friends, she has formed Real Authentic Revolutionary Events (RARE).

"As the name states, we want to specialise in events that boast rare concepts or that haven't really been done to it's true potential," Davis said.

J'ouvert

The first event on the team's calendar is Ash J'Ouvert, which take place during the busy carnival week. It will be the first J'ouvert of its kind in Jamaica, and the bright, powdered paint colours like red, yellow, pink and green are replaced by charcoal powder.

"We have coined the phrase 'fete dutty', which, in essence, is how the participants will look by the end of the celebration," she said.

Special university student and early-bird tickets will be available online. The tickets also come with an 'Ash Survival Kit' that includes a T-shirt, waterproof fanny pack and drink ticket stubs. There is also another package called the 'Super Survival Kit' that contains all the items in the Ash Survival Kit, as well as a mug and a drink-inclusive band.

One thing persons would be surprised to know is she was never actually interested in soca or carnival-themed events until she was introduced to it by a friend while attending university.

"Before, I hated everything about soca and its events, but now I am carnival 'tette'. I chase carnival every year, not only in Jamaica, but Trinidad, Barbados and Miami Carnivals are there that I frequent religiously year to year," she said.

She believes that her familiarity with the various celebrations can be revealed to others through events. And she also hopes this knowledge can be shared so that "carnival can be experienced in its true and best form".

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