The Rounds - December 31, 2006

>> Sunday, December 31, 2006

Good Evening Soca Lovers,
I’m Nurse Karen and these are Dr. Jay’s Rounds for Old Year’s Night 2006. As we move forward to 2007, here are nurse Karen’s top ten tips for success.

1. Make love your priority…
A couple weeks ago Dr. Jay started referring to Bunji Garlin by his wife’s maiden name. Only…she wasn’t his wife yet. The nuptials finally took place last week Saturday...and I’ve heard it was more like an all-inclusive fete than a wedding. Faye-Ann and Bunji sang for their guests and they ate everything from stewed pig, to wild meat. If the amount of food at a wedding is any indication of a couple’s love for each other, this marriage will last forever.

2. Always have a plan.
It looks like Trini Culture Minister Joan Yulle Williams still hasn’t found a suitable Chairperson for the National Carnival Commission with the main event less than two months away. For 2007, do yourselves a favour and plan ahead. Your good reputation is too valuable not to.

3. Aspire to achieve.
Dr. Jay and I believe YOU deserve success in 2007. So, when opportunity knocks, open de door…but only if your house is in order. Bajan singer/songwriter Shontelle Layne was more than ready to answer last week when she signed a 7-album recording contract with Universal/Motown. That’s the label that promotes Damian Marley and Chamillionaire. The young law student at the University of the West Indies won party monarch in 2006 with Nathalee Burke for her song Colours and she also wrote “Roll” for Alison Hinds.

4. Embrace change
If you’re afraid to try something new, take a lesson from Freddie MacGregor. In 2006, the Grammy nominated reggae artist produced his first documentary film…and in 2007 he will be releasing his own soca song featuring Bunji Garlin. If you don’t believe me, check for him on the road in Fun Station 4’s brand new mas band, Pulse8. Freddie will be in a section called “Cocktails: You Shake – We Stir”

5. Act your age
I don’t mean you must act older, just behave bet-ter. Do like Rootsman and use all your success and wisdom from the past to bring you more blessings in the future. Rootsy celebrated 30 years as a calypsonian in 2006, and for 2007 his new tune Soca Jumbie is proving to be one of the most requested new releases for Trini carnival.

6. Pursue your dreams
I grew up in the 80’s, watching the bands go by on University Avenue. I remember music with a message being part of the Caribana soundtrack. I remember wearing t-shirts that said free Mandela, and meh momma telling me not to go in certain stores because they got rich off of Apartheid in South Africa. And so I remember a song called Shaka Shaka that came out in 1988.
If someone were to tell me then, that it would be 19 years before Bally would pursue his music fulltime, I woulda laugh in they face. Well allyuh…when God give you a dream, it’s for you to wake up and live it. Finally, Bally retired from his job at Customs and will be advocating Calypso music as the public relations officer for the Trinidad United Calyposonians Organization.

7. Share your education
When you know something, believe you me there’s someone out there who wants to learn. Finally the Trinidad and Tobago Ministry of Education is offering workshops on Soca Music in the school system. Starting Friday, each school can send three students and one teacher for a course on how to become a soca performer, focusing on song lyrics as a tool for reading.

8. Find balance
It’s not easy to have it all….unless yuh some kind of soca prince or someting so. But, if you want the most out of life you have to work hard. Parang Soca songstress Marcia Miranda spent years working as a flight attendant for BWEE while working on her music. So, as you face your trials in the upcoming year - remember…you CAN have it all.

9. Make a lasting impression
You may be young, you may be small, but if you play your cards right, the world will remember you. Look at the Soca Warriors football team. Trinidad is the smallest country to ever play in the FIFA World cup and now two streets in Germany are getting a name change to celebrate that victory. So if you ever make the trip to Rotenburg, meet me at the corner of Trinidad and Tobago. I’m sure you could find some inspiration there.

10. Make time for fun
Our friends in St. Kitts are ringing in the new year at a “Night of Stars Gala and Ball.” Partygoers will be treated to music by Small Axe band and d’Vybz band all night long. Then tomorrow morning they’ll be jumping up through the streets of Basse-Terre…and there’s nothing wrong with that!

I’m nurse Karen, and those were Dr. Jay’s Rounds for Old Years night 2006. Have allyuh-selves a good time tonight, and I’ll see you in 2007. Send your comments to SOCA at FLOW 935 DOT COM. Now back to de docta!


The Rounds - December 17, 2006

>> Sunday, December 17, 2006

Good Evening Soca Lovers,

I’m nurse Karen and these are Doctor Jay’s rounds. When you listen to Caribbean music, it’s no secret that the most anticipated tradition of the holiday season (besides the music itself) is the food. There are so many special treats that only make an appearance once a year. You name it! If you like sweet - we’ve got it. Savoury - but of course! Drinks…well you hadda ask Doctor Jay about dah one. He would know better than me.

Every Caribbean country has its own special Christmas traditions…but they’re all lots of fun, so text me with your dinner invitations. Whichever day you’re cooking, I’m free!

Last week I mentioned that St. Kitts carnival is a Christmas tradition for THAT country. It’s well underway and new band D’Vybz International is beginning to make its mark. Well, they’re not schupid either. When carnival time coincides with Christmas, de bands and dem don’t stick when it comes to getting their CD’s out. After all it is the season for giving! They just launched their inaugural album “No Turning Back” which will be the sound track for masqueraders jumping up with Inferno.

My people in Montserrat are in the swing of carnival too. And Scrappy is back to defend last year’s Soca Monarch Crown. His new CD “Dreams are Reality” comes out tomorrow….but the first track Carnival S.O.S. is already lighting up the airwaves.

All this talk about CDs has me realizing, if I just buy original soca music, it wouldn’t take much to cross a few more names off my Christmas list…So I’m thinking my mommy would enjoy a jamoo cd featuring Religious Soca songs like “Christmas with the Blackmans” performed by Isaac Blackman and his siblings.

Meh tanty Hetty is a romantic, so I would get her “Christmas With You” by H20 Flow. And I think meh friend Keston would enjoy a Ma$tamind Christmas, since he grew up in Siparia near the producer Shawn Noel - and he love he black and sorrel…and parang more than anybody else!

Traditionally parang songs are sung in Spanish and addresses religious themes like the birth of Christ. The music has changed over time and a politician for Barataria/San Juan doesn’t like where it’s going. In Trinidad parliament on Thursday, Dr. Fuad Khan called for a ban on a Christmas hit by Damian Joseph, stating that some of its lyrics may be derogatory to persons of Chinese origin. The artist whole heartedly disagrees. Since last year, he has performed the tune for the Chinese Association with no complaints whatsoever and he even won 2006 Soca Parang OF THE YEAR for the composition at the COTT awards. All that being said, I still ent go tell you de name of de song. Because Nurse Karen may be many things, but I am certainly not offensive.
If you don’t like soca, suk you ma-whey!!!….Those are not my words, that is the work of Ian Alvarez aka Bunji Garlin…a similarly non-offensive soca icon who will be starting a new tradition in February 2007. On Carnival Saturday in Trinidad, from now on Bunji will be hosting his own annual concert.

So, there’s a new event to check out, if you’re heading down for the big show…so you better get used to it. You may find your self breaking with all kinds of TnT carnival tradition for 2007. It seems that the construction happening at Queen’s Park Savannah will really change the face of Carnival this go round. The Panorama finals will take place down South in San Fernando instead of in Port of Spain. Nothern Steel bands are upset with the decision, BUT I FIGURE it’s nice that the pannists down South could finally hold on to THEIR gas money for a change.

I’m nurse Karen and those were Doctor Jay’s Rounds. Please send your comments to soca at Flow 935 dot com. Now back to de docta!


The Rounds - December 10, 2006

>> Sunday, December 10, 2006

Good Evening Soca Lovers,

I’m nurse Karen and these are Dr. Jay’s rounds. I have a confession to make. As much as I love liming with de docta on a Sunday evening….sometimes I daydream about doing so online from a location in the caribbean. The holiday season in the West Indies simply can not be beat. You still have all de nice food, and family and presents and so. But de grass and ting does be green, and the sun stays hot and bright.

With St. Vincent’s nine mornings festival kicking off next weekend, the Alliance Band and HS Phaktor are getting set to share the stage with reggae stars like Richie Spice and Chuck Fender.

Fellow Vincy soca man Jamesy P was just booked as the feature performer at the Miss Caribbean Talented Teen pageant to be held in St. Kitts as part of their 2006/2007 carnival celebrations. The show is in its 27th year, featuring thirteen contestants competing for the crown. This time around Guyana will get back into the action, after not having sent a contestant for the past 15 years.

With all the carnival action, St. Kitts and Nevis would definitely be a good place to go. While everyone here is packing on some extra pounds for the winter, my Kittitian posse is meeting up after work in independence square for Soca-cise. Just like the mas band I told you about in Jamaica, Digicel Inferno is holding a weekly aerobics class for anyone who wants to get their heart healthy for carnival. It’s a great idea, but I’m all about giving credit where credit is due…and so I want to big up Toronto’s own Tamla Matthews of the Caribbean Dance Theatre. She’s been holding Soca-cise and Reggae-robics classes for years now. Tamla doux-doux…call de nurse, okay darling? I sure de little bun could use a college fund, so I go put you on to a good lawyer.

Speaking of connections, you know how many soca bands would literally keel over and DEAD for the connections that Elvis White has? You remember Elvis White – dat group from the Virgin Islands. They toured with the Fugees. They recorded with Akon. They sang at an NBA halftime show….and now they liming with Sir Richard Branson. Yeah, dat one…de guy you pay your cell phone bill to. He owns an airline, a record company and a few islands in the Caribbean too. Richard hosted a party at the Old Macy’s building in Atlanta on Friday to benefit the Charitable Sara Blakely Foundation. Sources say they closed out the set with a performance of “Sexy Waist”. Before the end of the song Mr. Moneybanks was wining he waist on stage with grammy award winning recording artist Jewel. De virgin not easy at all… Elvis White’s album release has been pushed back again. This time to Spring 2007, but with friends like Richard Branson they’re not worried one bit.

Rupee was in Trinidad last week where he voiced his disgust over the rising crime rates in the Caribbean. In an exclusive interview the artist shared his hope that local musicians would take responsibility to address social issues through their music. He believes music can really change how people think and act. Rupee has enjoyed many new experiences in 2006, including the birth of his daughter Chloe. He told journalists that while he is still under the banner of Atlantic Records, he is essentially solo. In 2007, he hopes to change his management team and expand his horizons by touring both Africa and India. I wonder if I could find a cheap flight to one of those for Old year’s night?

Doh vex with me, ya kna. I’m not the only one looking for somewhere warm to rest my feet. The international Soca awards will be hosting their 5th annual awards gala in the Caribbean next year instead of New York. The organization says many islands are bidding to play host to the red carpet event. Only the carpet is actually white…signifying rebirth and purity. Well friends they could purify all they want, just as long as YOU make sure Doctor Jay is up for the best DJ trophy again…and nurse Karen gets a ticket to join in the fun.

I’m Nurse Karen and those were Doctor Jay’s rounds. Send me your comments at soca at FLOW 935 Dot Com. Now back to de docta!


The Rounds - December 3, 2006

>> Sunday, December 3, 2006

Good Evening Soca Lovers,

I’m nurse Karen and these are Dr. Jay’s rounds. Well friends, It’s December and I guess we can’t deny that the only thing you can expect from Canadian weather is change.

Last week, I let you all know about some possible changes for Trinidad carnival next year. It looks like the Piccadilly Greens, just east of Port-of-Spain are being considered as a new judging point for the parade of the bands. The change is coming because of the $400 million Carnival Cultural Centre that should be going up at Queen’s Park Savannah, one of the original mandatory big stages. Since the Savannah is out of the question for 2007…a new location has to be found. If you ask me..they betta hurry up!

After Trini Carnival, there’s only one other event that has the entire Caribbean pumped for 2007. Say it with me now…WORLD CUP…OF CRICKET!!! Preparations have been underway for a long time now. When I was in Grenada this summer I couldn’t believe the size of the new stadium they had going up. You could fit the whole of St. Georges inside it twice.

When the West Indies cricket team hosts the rest of the world for an internationally televised backside whooping…yuh know we hadda have the right music for the occasion. World Cup 2007 organizers announced that Rupee, Faye-Ann and Shaggy will be collaborating on the official song for the tournament. The tune is called "The Game of Love and Unity". It’s got a pan-Caribbean sound that combines soca, reggae and r&b. Some kinda groovy someting that should pull together influences from across the region.

As 2006 comes to a close, you can’t help but look forward to all the great new soca for 2007. Last month, I was the first to tell you that Nu Vybes out of St. Kitts was no more. If you remember that far back, I also speculated that the keyboardist Steve Dublin mighta had a new band in the works. Well, I’m confirming that news for you NOW. A media launch was held in Bassterre last week to announce the arrival of “D’Vybz Band International….headed up by none other than Mr. Steve Dublin. Kittitian Carnival takes place over the Christmas holidays, So the launch came right in time to put an end to all rumours and get down to the business… of fete!

In Barbados, super band Krosfyah is using their soca sense to make some soca dollars. For the third consecutive year Krosfyah has signed an endorsement deal with the B-mobile branch of Cable and Wireless. A slew of other major artistes have enjoyed the added exposure bmobile brings, including the likes of Rihanna, Beenie Man, Machel Montano, Bunji Garlin, Ninja Dan and Shurwayne Winchester.
As the band looks forward to celebrating its 16th anniversary in 2007, they are ecstatic to do so in partnership with the telecommunications giant.

I’m nurse Karen and those were Doctor Jay’s Rounds. Please send me your comments at Soca at Flow 935 dot com. Now back to de docta.



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