Soca stars still want band in Jamaica’s carnival

October 20, 2022
Bunji Garlin
Bunji Garlin
Revellers take part in Carnival in Jamaica’s road march in July.
Revellers take part in Carnival in Jamaica’s road march in July.
Fay-Ann Lyons
Fay-Ann Lyons

Trinidad and Tobago soca monarchs Fayann Lyons and Bunji Garlin still have their sights set on successfully introducing their One World Rebellion band into Jamaica's carnival celebrations.

After a jam-packed launch in December 2018 in New Kingston, fans did not expect to hear the organisers announce that the band withdrew from the 2019 road march celebrations less than three weeks before the scheduled date.

"A lot of restructuring is happening," Lyons told THE STAR. "We understand that what had happened was not how it was to, but at the end of the day, Jamaica is home to us too. We are Caribbean people, so Jamaica can look for us coming back, not for 2023, but possibly the following year."

The Raze soca artiste explained that outside of issues causing the cancellation then, other considerations have to be made following the pandemic. Noting that carnival in general is a great investment for countries and regions that are involved in it, she shared that they were being meticulous as it related to future plans.

She said, "Bands that are around for many years are better able to mobilise themselves in case of anything. However, after the pandemic like what the world saw, we've witnessed a few who lost or gave up ownership of their bands. It's not been easy."

Lyons shared that they collaborated with sections in Barbados and anticipate that for the carnival celebrations in Trinidad and Tobago, they will be in full force.

"I have been participating in carnival for so many years. It lets you learn to not expect anything but just to do your job. The universe can be so weird. Instead, I say prepare, keep your foot on the ground but keep yourself flexible. It's a good idea to set goals but you can put yourself in a situation where you have to know up to switch things up more than just a bit," she said.

Presently preparing for the new soca season, dates are being selected for the release of soca songs, which, she said, is also a timely and tricky task.

"When releasing soca songs for the season, as an artiste you want to be sensible because it's you and 15 million other people putting music out into the space. It is a coordination process, even selecting the beats of how much groovy soca versus power soca is released. And also, because you are working with multiple producers, who don't necessarily consult with one another, it is important to time the releases," Lyons said.

Upgrade, her first official release for the 2023 soca season, is a conversation piece where a side chick talks about making a woman's man a better person. It has garnered over 15,000 streams on YouTube since September 27.

Other Entertainment Stories