I Love You Trinidad Carnival…
Dear Trinidad Carnival,
It seems like I can’t go anywhere these days without hearing your name. I opened my Yahoo News Page the other day, and there you were with young masqueraders in Ray Bans falling all over you. I even overheard two twenty-something’s at my local Star Bucks waxing on as if they really knew you. “Yeah, she, like, had to, like, find herself. So she went to Trinidad to get some inspiration.” The other girl nodded knowingly and sort of whispered, “of course.”
I felt a bout of jealousy and surprise upon learning that you’ve become the Mecca for any self-searching bacchanalist. I suppose all along I thought I was different. I’m embarrassed to tell you that in that moment I realized I wasn’t your only one.
My mind began reeling with memories. Suddenly, I found myself transported back to your hot terrain. I came to you as a young man yearning for excitement, eager to be seduced by your wild ways. I was attracted to your friendly vibe, the joy of liming, the vital spirit I could find everywhere in your borders. You gave me all of that and so much more.
Do you remember when I wasn’t yet singing? I was bartending at Woodford Cafe. I made friends with one of the cover band’s KES, and a couple of times the lead singer invited me on stage to sing “(Crazy) Nani Wine”. Remember how I’d abandon my customers for at least six minutes to belt it out on stage? You and I both knew I was dying to sing in front of an audience.
Your rhythms got inside of me and needed a place to really let go. Do you recall that day at the Panorama Semi Finals @ The Savanah on the greens? During the intervals the Tassa Drums drove the crowds into a wild frenzy, I thought I’d made it to heaven and then the rum kicked in and together they brought that knowing smile to my face….
After that crazy escapade I went to the Fantastic Friday @ Jean Pierre Complex. Backstage in VVIP I met one of your most beautiful artists, Destra. Right away she was kind and generous. She told me I could call her if I ever needed anything.
It seems like only yesterday that I met Machel Montano at the Hasley Crawford Stadium in town. He heard me sing, and invited me to come and lime down @ ZEN. Don’t you love ZEN? I immediately fell head- over-heels. The venue was sublime and the crazy scene Johnny Soong curated was intoxicating!
Being with you opened my eyes to people delightful and extraordinary. J’Ouvert, playing with Cocoa Devil’s where mud and liquor prevail in a hedonism which can hardly be imagined. Lead straight into to playing mas with Tribe decked out in glitter sunglasses, a feathery costume, and matching sneakers. I played mas all over town wining down low like a jumbie to the crowd, and sometimes I just got on bad for the pure hell of it. But that’s the way you do things isn’t it?
All-inclusive Fete’s all day & all night. I was feteing for the sake of feteing, and I loved it. There was no thought to the future, to finding myself.
Nothing stays the same (like I need to tell YOU that!) Machel Montano’s ‘Machel Monday, Bacchanal Wednesday, Girl Power, Insomnia, Sunnyside Up and Moka Sunday you can still see how they were lined up around the block waiting to get in? And all-inclusive admission! It was the addictive exuberance of Diamond Vale Breakfast Party where you gave me the confidence to dream bigger. What about Anya All Incl, Headley Fete, maybe even Lara Foundation & Friends?
You supported me all the way. You even called me your own and gave me the Key to the City! I was just a boy when I came to live with you. You accepted me and encouraged me to grow. I found myself in Trinidad Carnival without even knowing I was looking for me.
Trinidad, I hesitated to write you and drum up all of these bittersweet memories but after hearing those women talk about you as if they really knew you, I realized that I’ve never truly thanked you for all you gave to me. From the bottom of my heart, thank you. I realize I’m not your only one — you are not more mine than other girl’s. The torch I carry though, that, will always be mine.
I’m gonna be in town next year Carnival to fete & play mas. If you’re free, I’d love for you to be there…for old time’s sake.
All My Love,
@machelmontanohd 19 Feb
The Money Shot !!! Full composure ! Soca Superman http://instagr.am/p/V5GRKbvIWp/
Did you like this post? Please do take a second to share it on Facebook or Twitter we warmly welcome your 2 cents worth