Eye Unit: Make It Yours - Shurwayne Winchester ft Maxi Priest (Video)

>> Friday, October 31, 2008

So, it's Halloween and I thought I would usher in the festivities with a special gift! No better to way to celebrate the holiday of treat, thrills and crazy sights that to offer you a feast for your eyes!

I started a new section of the blog devoted to posting soca music videos. So, let me welcome you to the EYE UNIT! Those of us based up here in Canada aren't lucky enough to have access to MTV Tempo or Synergy TV. I used to work in television as a segment producer, and would love to do so again. So enjoy my little homage to the genre of video...

So, here goes nothing!!

Make It Yours
by Shurwayne Winchester featuring Maxi Priest

Originally mentioned in The Rounds on Sunday, September 14, 2008

Directed by: S'Felix and Lisa Wickham

I'll be trying my "bestest" to post you a soca video, new or old, every week. To make it most interesting for ya. That way you'll get to see some of the finished products of videos mentioned in the Rounds. So much stuff out there...so come back often, leave your comments on the videos, and click EYE UNIT in the tag blog at the bottom right of the page whemever you want to see what you've missed!

Happy Halloween!


Booster Shot: St. Lucia launches Guiness Undisputed

>> Thursday, October 30, 2008

I love it when Caribbean countries step up to recognise the talent ripe for picking on their very own shores.

St. Lucia took a big step forward last night when a press conference was held to announce the launch of "Guinness Undisputed"

...you could compare it to American Idol, or Digicel Rising Star, or one-a-dem. Fact is it's homegrown...and it's about time. Truthfully, it's a very different concept. It's a competition that will incorporate four main events; The Original Song Competition, a Dancehall Dance Competition, a Freestyle Battle and some kinda final showdown. Contestants will be vying for a shot at EC $25 000 worth of prizes.

There will be no Simon Cowell (THANK GOD). However the critique will come from an impressive cast of St. Lucian music personalities who have experience working in the music biz locally, regionally and internationally. We talking all genres: soca, dancehall, zouk, hip hop, reggae and r&b.

So let me introduce the judges to you:

Francis "Leebo" De Lima, is probably best known at home for being a reggae artiste. A trained sound engineer, Leebo and partner Adam Gillmor are the brains and muscle behind Heights Music Production, where they work with many of St. Lucia's up-and-coming vocalists.

Posing with Leebo and St. Lucia Power Soca Monarch, 2008

Courtney Lewis, a St. Lucian based in Trinidad. He is one of the unsung heroes behind Machel Montano's "Jumbie" 2007 Roadmarch. Lewis copped the 2007 COTT Award for New Male Songwriter of the Year for that effort. He also shared the accolades for Best New Soca, and Best New Song with Machel Montano and Kernal Roberts.

Sharing a moment with Nigel Nicholas

Nigel Nicholas, is a hard-working musical jack of all trades. The artiste/producer thinks globally when it comes to music. As a business man he knows all about the hustle of networking. As an artiste, he brings a sexy hip hop style to tracks that gives his music a palatable crossover feel.

Together with dynamic music producer, Patrice Regis, Slaughter Arts Media Entertainment has made an impact on the airwaves of both the English Caribbean and the entire creole-speaking world. You probably know Pato's sound from the Soca Blutooth Riddim.

Enjoying the lime with Patrice Regis in beautiful St. Lucia

Lucians, check your local papers...and get involved!


Booster Shot: Christmas is here early thanks to Ma$tamind

Shawn "Mastamind" Noel and Natasha Andrews Noel are back at it again with upcoming release of their latest compilation album, A Ma$tamind Christmas 3. If you love parang, parang soca and all things that say west indies style Christmas, you might as well start early.

You know that I don't devote a post to every and any album that comes out. But hear nah, this release might as well be a Christmas miracle! As I write this, Ma$tamind Productions Business Manager Natasha-Andrews Noel is at home recovering from some very serious surgery. I do know the details...but I doh feel dat is everybody business! So, the completion of this album is a miraculous feat given the circumstances of her condition.

The Ma$tamind, Myself and Natasha at Island Style's Dawn Fete in Trinidad 2008

Here's what I can tell you: The album will be available on www.trinidadtunes.com on November 7th. The usually do a great job getting their merch on itunes and amazon too. So...save your pennies and support.

Here's who you'll hear crooning on the album:

Fuki (sister of Eddie Charles)

Krissy Grant (St. Lucia)

Lady Tantalizer

Leon Coldero


Mr. Shammi



Peter De Royce

Simple Dread

Third Bass

...and of course....that ever-so-sweet Shawn "Ma$tamind" Noel (the man responsible for producing all the tracks. Word is this former Asylum keyboardist gives his first solo singing performance on a track that was co-written by he and his wifey!

(Kudos on your COTT award nods, by the way!)

Here I am at Broward Carnival 2008 with Leon Coldero, who is featured on A Ma$tamind Christmas 3

Be sure to give it a listen, and follow through with your pocket book.

Tasha...get well soon babes!

For more on this amazing couple and their company, take a look at the article I wrote about them just last year for WE Magazine


>> Monday, October 27, 2008

Trinidad's COTT Music Awards are slated for November 6th, and I've got a selected list of nominees for you below. The Copyright Organization of Trinidad and Tobago is a membership organization that is set up to ensure that songwriters, composers, lyricists and publishers get their fair due from the music they have a hand in creating. It acknowledges all music pruduced for public consumption so to speak, so I've taken the liberty of highlighting the categories relating to Soca, Calypso and Pan. Enjoy!

COTT Musick Week kicks of on Thursday, October 30th. The nine days leading up to the awards gala will feature music performances across Trinidad and Tobago, public meet-and-greets for the nominees, and the Creative Minds Workshop.


1. Songwriter of the Year

- Kernal Roberts

- Machel Montano

- Shurwayne Winchester

2. Female Songwriter of the Year

- Destra Garcia

- Fay Ann Lyons

- Nadia Batson

3. Song of the Year

- Breathless – Kerwin Du Bois – Performed by Blaxx

- Chippin – Darryl Henry « Farmer Nappy » & Margaret Alexis « Ginga »

Performed by Farmer Nappy

3. Get On – Fay Ann Lyons

5. New Male Songwriter of the Year

1. Dwain O’Brien Antrobus « Dwaingerous » - Wukking Up (Co-written with Kernal Roberts)

Performed by Patrice Roberts

2. Olatunji Yearwood – Having Ah Time

3. Stephenson « Shal » Marshall -

Gyal Farm (Co-written with Kerwin Du Bois)

Performed by Shal Marshall & Kerwin Du Bois

6. New Female Songwriter of the Year

Annmarie Marilyn Windsor "A.B. Windsor" – Happy Go Lucky Woman

AugustaSt. Louis "Augusta" – Nice Vibes

Latchmin Dass "Devi" – Good Health is Wealth

7. International Achievement Award

1. David Rudder

2. Slinger Francisco "The Mighty Sparrow"

3. Machel Montano

8. Soca of the Year

1. Blazin D Trail – Machel Montano & Kernal Roberts Performed by Machel Montano

2. Breathless - Kerwin Du Bois

(Performed by Blaxx)

3. Get On – Fay Ann Lyons

9. Groovy Soca of the Year

Chippin – Darryl Henry "Farmer Nappy" & Margaret Alexis "Ginga" Performed by Farmer Nappy

Gyal Farm – Stephenson Marshall "Shal" & Kerwin Du Bois
Performed by Shal Marshall & Kerwin Du Bois

3. Wukking Up - Kernal Roberts & Dwain O’Brien Antrobus "Dwaingerous"

Performed by Patrice Roberts

10. Chutney Soca of the Year

1. Bring It – Lalchan Babwah "Hunter"

2. Intoxicated – Vivekanand "Raymond" Ramnarine & Derrick Seales Performed by Dil E Nadan

3. Rum & Dhal – Robin Jagdip Performed by Robin Jagdip

11. Rapso of the Year

1. Clear Up – Sharlan Bailey

2. Live Good – Pascall Roberts "Masaca"

3. Never Give Up – Wendell Manwarren, Stanton Kewley, Roger Roberts & Sheldon Benjamin "Shel Shok" Performed by 3Canal

12. Reggae/ Dancehall of the Year

1. Life – David Nieves "King David" , Roberito Angelo Pantin, Kwasi Robinson & Sherron Charles Performed by King David

2. Shorty – Marlon Sobers "Marlon Asher" & Sherwin Jackie (co written with Anton Chase - non member)

3. Who Do You Want– Troydon Cruickshank "Blazer" & Ray Roopnarine

Performed by Ziggy Rankin & Blazer

13. Soca Parang of the Year

1. Cash for Christmas – Adrian Hackshaw "Third Bass" & Shawn Noel "Da Mastamind"

Performed by Third Bass

2. De Sweetest Christmas Lime – Jason Seecharan "Fridge" & Richard Ahong "Charsu" Performed by H2O Phlo

3. Season It – Jerrod Johnson "Bongo Spear" & Gideon Quashie "EQ" Performed by Bongo Spear

16. Johnny Walker Pioneer Award
Timothy Watkins "Baron"

Awards to be given at the COTT Foundation Gala Awards Benefit Dinner – (October 30, 2008)

Golden Achievement Award

Clifton Ryan "The Mighty Bomber"

Treasured Licensee

Francis Fashions/Shoe Locker

Calypso of the Year

1. Reasons – Steve Rabathaly &

Carlos James "Skatie" Performed by Skatie

2. Reflections – Michael Osouna "Sugar Aloes"

3. Voices from the Van – Dexter Parsons "The Stinger"

Chutney of the Year

1. Aye Sajanee Peeya Moray – Rooplal Girdharie "Rooplal G"

2. Old Man – Shakti Rampartap

Performed by Heerala Rampartap

3. Poowa Lagaweh Kajar – Samraj Jaimungal "Rikki Jai"

Classic of the Year

1. Dingolay – Winston Bailey "Shadow"

2. Feeling to Party – Leroy Calliste "Black Stalin"

3. The Paint Brush – Kenwrick Joseph "Kenny J"

Pan Song of the Year

1. Heat – Amrit Samaroo

Performed by Crazy

2. The Ten Commandments of Pan – Jason George Isaac "Peanut" &

Ingrid Bernadette De Peiza

Performed by Tony Prescott

3. Thunder Coming - Alvin Daniell (co written with Edwin Pouchet - non-member)

Performed by Chucky

Parang of the Year

1. Abreme La Puerta – Francisca Allard &

Philip Allard

Performed by Los Dinamicos Trintarios


The Rounds: Soca Awards blunders leave a sour taste for Kititians

>> Sunday, October 26, 2008

Good evening soca lovers,

I'm Nurse Karen and these are Dr. Jay's Rounds. This is a weekend of celebration all over the region. Today St. Lucia joins Guadeloupe; Martinique; Dominica;Haiti and the entire Creole speaking world in the observance of International Creole Day. It's a time of food, music, and a culture rooted in a shared history of African ancestry and colonization by the French. Thus marks the beginning of Dominica's 2008 World Creole Music Festival. Some of Toronto's Dominican DJs like Blackberry Soundcrew and DJ Kold Fusion made the trip to get in on the action. The celebration is two-fold, as it also marks the nation's 30th anniversary of independence from British Rule.

Naturally, I can't leave out my Vincy posse. Tomorrow marks 29 years of independence for St. Vincent and the Grenadines. Vincies here in Toronto marked the occasion with a slew of events, most notably the annual SVG Association Independence Dinner Dance, and a concert by Vincy Soca Legend Alston Becket Cyrus. It's beautiful to see Caribbean people celebrating our culture and achievements...

If you remember last week's rounds, there was a gathering down in St. Kitts that was doing just that. Yes children, I'm talking about the International Soca Awards. I promised you the results, and I intend to make good on my promise...but according to quite a few people in St. Kitts last weekend, the Soca Awards Organization failed to follow through with a few promises of their own.

Here goes...the night before the show, a big all-white party was scheduled. Tickets sold for $25 EC and hundred of patrons got decked out for a show featuring performances from Tizzy, Zoelah and Juliette Mills. The concert ended up being a DJ party, when an announcement was made at 2 am that the artists would not be appearing due to inclement weather. Granted there was a lot of rain that week, but in a country where every flight is on the ground by 10 pm, I would think that somebody knew that none of the acts were even in St. Kitts long before they bothered to tell the expectant crowd.

So, your nurse did a little extra research, only to find out that one act, namely Tizzy, had not even been booked for that show and was not planning to be at the awards ceremony the next day either. Tisk tisk Soca Awards!

Well, sadly...that's not all. Former Kititian Calypso King Ellie Matt was inducted into the International Soca Awards Hall of Fame this year. However, he wasn't there to bask in the glory...through no fault of his own, I might add. He was contacted by the Director and Entertainment Manager regarding travel arrangements, and was promised an airline ticket and acommodations at the St Kitts Marriot. Ellie Matt is undergoing medical treatment in the United States and made special arrangments to be able to travel. So, two weeks prior to the show, he calls her back because he still didn't know what was going on. Would you know it, no one even returned his call.

Well, I believe in keeping my word...so lemme not stall.
iSA results it is! The list is long so, just a few highlights, and for the rest you've got to check Nurse Karen Etc:

Lehwe start local...

Congratulations to Toronto-Lime dot com for winning Favorite Soca Information Website, every year since the category was created.

Kerwin Du Bois, walked away as Soca Producer of the year. time to raise your rates papa!

It was also a big night for Studio 758 out of St. Lucia, with 5 awards. Ricky T snatched Favorite Uptempo Soca Male, Best Soca Collaboration Remin for for Pressure Boom with Mr. Vegas. And Kudos go to his production team Penn and Ace for their honours, Best Soca Compilation Riddim ---for the lehgo me riddim and Best Soca Roadmix for pressure boom. AS if that weren't enough de chune tied Faye-Ann Lyons' Get On, for Soca Song of the Year. Now, I bet you can't wait to see that Ricky T perform that big tune on Saturday at Soca or Die 9.

Machel cleaned up quite a few major categories, and I'm certain that Toronto voters had something to do with Problem Child and Zoelah each earning accolades as best new artist. Congrats all winners and nominees!

I'm Nurse Karen and those were Dr. Jay's Rounds. Please leave me your comments online at the Nurse Karen Etc blog at triple w dot mustard seeds dot net. And don't forget to grab your podcast of the rounds at soca therapy dot com. Now back to de docta..


Booster Shot: Get the latest soca headlines on your desktop...or wherever you choose!

>> Saturday, October 25, 2008

Over the last couple of months, many friends and other readers of (Nurse) Karen (Etc) have been asking me for a way to preview the recent headlines posted here. I'm not the most techy chica out there, so at first I was stumped.

How you get your info is a matter of personal choice. Some want a feed sent to their blackberry, some like to have a gadget in igoogle, or maybe they just want a quick peek at the headlines on facebook, or their myspace page.

Well, I was pretty STOKED (never used THAT word before!?!)to find a tool that allows the reader to get the info ANY WAY THEY LIKE.

Check out the widget below:

All you have to do is click the "Options" share this on your computer, website, or email....

You will get the five most recent headlines from (Nurse) Karen (Etc), Plus a 50 word summary of each item with direct link to each post, if you want read the rest!

You don't need to be technologically inclined. Click now, and follow the simple steps to get your access (Nurse) Karen (Etc) from any of the tools listed below:

  • AIM page
  • Blackplanet.com
  • Blogger widget
  • customize the appearance
  • Dashboard widget for Mac
  • Eons
  • email code
  • Facebook
  • Freewebs
  • Friendster
  • HTML code
  • iGoogle
  • Java script
  • LiveJournal
  • Multiply
  • MySpace
  • myYearbook
  • Netvibes
  • Pageflakes
  • Piczo
  • Tagged
  • TypePad
  • Windows desktop gadget
  • Word Press
  • Xanga


Eye Unit: Happy Birthday Problem Child

>> Friday, October 24, 2008

I thought I'd take a moment to recognize a very hard working man in the Soca business. Problem Child is known to the world for a song called Party Animal. However, he's a guy who definitely knows a thing or two about putting work before play.

Today is his birthday, and I thought it fitting to say a big fat HAPPY BIRTHDAY. I know you were supposd to be out in Calgary to ring it in. That ain't happening, so I hope you're making time to enjoy the fruits of your labour.


Here's a video of PC's 2008 St. Vincent and the Grenadines Soca Monarch performance of "For Life". This act earned him 3rd place - his first year in the competition.


Booster Shot: Buy legal soca music right here on (Nurse) Karen (Etc)

Now there are two great reasons to visit (Nurse) Karen (Etc).

1. Great Soca and carnival-related news and info (But you already knew that!)

2. You can buy legal soca, calypso, zouk, and reggae CDs and music downloads.

If you're really observant, maybe you've already noticed the recommended music on the right side panel of this blog. If you're like me, you probably haven't! So, that's why I'm giving you the heads up. Now, you can actually purchase LEGAL soca CDs and music downloads via (Nurse) Karen (Etc). All you have to do is click the CD cover. You will be forwarded to Amazon dot com's online store. When you buy your music on (Nurse) Karen (Etc), partial procees will go to the artists, and partial proceeds will be directed to maintaining this blog.

Anywhere you see the Amazon logo on this site, you're good to go! Start browsing....

Check it out below:

So, do yourself a favour! With the holidays around the corner, don't miss this opportunity to give the gift of soca, as you brighten the spirits of your favourite artists, and soca fans everywhere by supporting OUR culture.

Never miss out: Bookmark (Nurse) Karen (Etc) right now. Add this site to your favourites list....and happy shopping!

P.S. Look out for free music downloads. In the near future, I will be featuring DJ mixes for FREE DOWNLOAD. For starters, be sure to grab the Soca Twins amazing double CD "Addicted 2 Soca"


Booster Shot: (Free Download) Soca Twins win Best Soca DJ Mix

>> Thursday, October 23, 2008

You see what happens when you jump the gun?

I published the results of the International Soca Awards before the official media release was issued. Then, I got the release and I tried my best to fill in the blanks. Thanks to Boone Chatta of the Soca Twins, I discovered that I missed one VERY important category: "Best Soca DJ Mix of the Year".

...and the SAO International Soca Award goes to: Soca Twins for "Addicted 2Soca"

Here I am with the WINNERS, here in Toronto earlier this year. Boys, that night was too FUN!!

I'll be honest, it was an oversight, but maybe I was somewhat conscious about what I was doing. Here are two reasons why:

1. The Soca Twins are my bestest German homeboys, but they were up against
my hometown dawg JESTER. Caught between a rock and some twin rocks, feel me?

2. I'm "uber" happy that their kick @$$ mix took the prize, and yet I
was a tad bit disappointed that I didn't already have a copy for myself.

Well, SOCA PEOPLE....great things come to those who wait. Guess what I just scored? Music. Music. and MORE MUSIC.

So, join me in saying THANK YOU!!! Frankie Fire and Boone Chatta, nuff respect on the awards...and even more kudos for waving the soca flag high and proud in Germany.

Did I mention that these guys are COOL with a capital K (just like ME!!!)? Here's a special gift for YOU, direct from Germany!

Click below to download the award winning mix.

Soca Twins
"Addicted 2 Soca"


Nurse's Lounge: (Video) The "Skinny" on Caribana

>> Wednesday, October 22, 2008

If you haven't realized it yet. Your girl has a passion for editing video. I LOVE IT! So, these clips have been sitting on the cutting room floor for the last two months. This morning I decided to put them to good use. See Mr. "Head Bad" like never before...as he welcomes you into his world for Caribana 2008. 

Music: Crazy Vybe - Scratchmaster Roadmix- Skinny Fabulous featuring Jamesy P

Maximus Dan
Bunji Garlin
Afterdark - Andrew Sutherland
Nurse Karen
Devon "The Split" Jones

Nurse's Lounge - Intro
Palazzo - KOS J'ouvert
If Lounge - The Split's Birthday Bruch
Lakeshore Boulevard - Caribana Parade with Tribal Knights
Sound Academy - CVR Fire Fete


Booster Shot: Ruckshun Caribbean Music Festival Cancelled

OK...lemme tell you something.  I was really wanting to go to Calgary this weekend.  After Miami Carnival, that was the number one destination that artists were whispering in my ear.

"So, we seeing you in Calgary Nurse?"

"Karen, I guess we would meet up in Calgary next!"

" Girl, why you not going Calgary again?"

"Why don't you just come to Calgary?"

Call it peer pressure, but I was actually trying to work a ting to make it out west for the Ruckshun Caribbean Music Festival.

The event was set to be a two-night all Caribbean showcase featuring performances by (Check the lineup):

  • Destra and Atlantik
  • Junior Kelly
  • Edwin Yearwood and Kosfyah
  • Jamesy P
  • Lil Rick
  • Problem Child
  • Mr. Dale
  • Zoelah
  • Juliette Mills
  • Ragga
  • Harella
  • Maffie and Crew
  • music by Barrie Hype, Top Gunners
Sounds like a great lime right?

Well BAD NEWS.  Really bad news.  The whole thing just got scrapped.  

Believe it!  This is not public knowledge, so if you're a ticket holder you might wanna go back to wherever you got it and figure out how to get a refund.  Just doing a public service.  

I won't be telling you my source, because only a few of us know right now.  

Thank God I didn't drop nearly $700 on a flight.

So, sorry Calgary.  I sure hope you get a big show like that some time soon.  I especially feel bad for the seven different acts on the bill who spoke to me about this.  Fill me in when you do...cause I want to be there.    


Booster Shot: UK Soca Awards! Who knew?

>> Tuesday, October 21, 2008

OK....you're right. Everyone who has been asking me if there are TWO sets of soca awards. All along, I thought you were referring to the International Reggae and World Music Awards Show. But alas, our friends in the UK have been conspiring in secret. Well, not in secret...just not in ear shot. It took a while to cross the pond. However, I've got the info now.

Do not be confused with the event I've been talking about for the last two days (or anytime prior to that, for that matter) This is the first time such an event has taken place in the UK. It happened on Friday, October 17th in the Bloomsbury area of London at the Holiday Inn. You will soon notice that there are not many categories in which artists stand to earn some hardware. The bulk of the accolades go to UK-based DJs and personalities. Check it out!

and the award goes to...

Best International Male Artist
Machel Montano

Best International Female Artist
Alison Hinds

Best Soca Collaboration
Machel Montano & MOP (One More Time)

Best Soca Producer
Darryl Braxton

Best UK Calypsonian

Best UK Male Soca Artist
Soca Johnny

Best UK Female Soca Artist

Best International Band/Group

Best Soca Album
Book of Angels (Machel Montano HD)

Best Soca Track
One More Time (Machel Montano)

Best Soca Compilation Album
Soca Gold 2007

Best Soca Music Video
Jumbie (Machel Montano HD)

Best Male Soca Club DJ
D Tee

Best Female Soca Club DJ
Hyper Spice

Best UK Male Soca Radio DJ
D Tee (1Xtra)

Best UK Female Soca Radio DJ
Feminine Touch (Millennium Supreme)

Best UK Soca Radio Station (online & The FM Dial)
Tempo Radio (www.temporadio.co.uk)

Best UK Soca DJ Newcomer
Triple M


Booster Shot: More International Soca Awards Results

I now have the official press release from the Soca Awards Organization.

Here are a few results that were missing from my post yesterday. Congrats to all the winners!

Female Soca Vocalist of the Year - Mo Wuk, Patrice Roberts

Best New Male Soca Artist of the Year
Problem Child

Problem Child in Toronto (2007)

Male Soca Vocalist of the Year

Carnival Please Stay by Shurwyne Winchester

Shurwayne in St. Vincent (2006)

Soca Duo or Group of the Year
3 Canal

Best Soca Compilation Album/CD of the Year
Soca Gold - Various Artist 1 2008

Over All Soca Chutney Artist of the Year

Over All Soca Chutney Band of the Year
JMC Triveni


Booster Shot: Soca Awards Results

>> Monday, October 20, 2008

OK Allyuh, I've been hunting for this information since Saturday night. All now, still no response from the organizers. Thankfully the local media in St. Kitts was on the job, and finally released the results of the 4th annual SAO International Soca Awards.

Here's what you've all been waiting for. The review and results are not mine. You can thank Suelika N. Creque, Editor-SKNVibes.com. I've just added some pics to make it a lil more fun for ya!

See the originalpost at: http://www.sknvibes.com/Entertainment/News.cfm/1195


Date Posted: Monday 20 October, 2008

Soca Awards Honors Artistes

By Suelika N. Creque

BASSETERRE, St. Kitts – THE 6th Annual International Soca Awards
came to an end at the Royal St. Kitts Marriott Ballroom on Saturday, Oct. 18
with a poor turnout that did not warrant an event of such importance.

However, the Green Carpet event brought entertainment and enjoyment
to those who attended and were able to mix and mingle with some of the artistes
whilst also enjoying their performances.

The Soca Awards was created with the objective of recognising and
rewarding excellence and achievement in the Soca Music art form while showcasing
the extraordinary talents of soca music’s absolute best exponents, according to
the awards’ mission statement.

The statement also informed that the Awards was also created with the
intent to further expose and market the soca music genre to mainstream

With a few technical difficulties and glitches, the awards began
sometime around 8:00 p.m. and ended after 11:00 p.m.

Performances for the night were by Kerwin Du Bois, Kamau, Kassi,
Sizwe C, Crazy, SKHI and Zoelah.

Nurse Karen with BVI's Mr. Network,Kamau in
Trinidad (2008)

Minister with responsibility for Tourism, the Hon. Richard
‘Ricky’ Skerrit announced the list of honorees who were awarded with special

The ISA Hall of Fame Award went to St. Kitts’s Elston ‘Ellie Matt’
Nero, while the ISA Technical Award went to Leston Paul.

ISA Legend Award was awarded to ‘Gypsy’ while the ISA Trustee Award
went to ‘Invader’ and the International Lifetime Achievement Award to ‘King
Short Shirt’.

Kittitians were also among this year’s nominees including Juliette
Mills, nominated for Best New Female Soca Artiste;

Liming with Juliette Mills backstage at Broward
Carnival last weekend

Smiley of Grandmasters, nominated in the Favorite Soca
Up-Tempo Male; Small Axe Band and the Nu Vybes Band International, nominated for
Overall Soca Band of the Year; Dj Choice-One, Best Dj Soca Mix of the year; and
E.K of Small Axe Band, Favorite Groove Soca by a Male for his song ‘Naughty
Although no the Kittitian was successful in winning an award, the
audience cheered with pride as the nominees names were announced.

Nearing the end of the Awards, the Celebrity’s Mas Crew of Trinidad
showcased three costumes that will be a part of this year’s Carnival

This is the second hosting of the International Soca Awards in the
Caribbean, which is traditionally held in New York. Trinidad is the first
Caribbean country in which the event was held.

And the ISA goes to…

Best New Female Soca Artist:
• Zoelah

With Zoelah and Skinny Fabulous in Toronto 2008

 Soca Producer of the Year
• Never Leave Ya by Kerwin Du Bois

With Kerwin in Toronto 2008

Female Soca Performer of the Year
• Faye-Ann Lyons

Faye-Ann in Toronto (May 2008)

Male Soca Performer of the Year
• Machel Montano

Machel and me in Toronto (2007)

Soca Song Writer of the Year
• Kernal Roberts & Machel Montano - (Unconditional Love, Blazed D Trail, Make Love)

Nurse Karen and Kernal Roberts (Trinidad 2008)

Best Soca Collaboration Groove
• Kerwin Du Bois & Shal Marshall – Gyal Farm

With Shal and his sweet mohawk in Miami (2008)

Best Soca Collaboration Up-Tempo
• Machel Montano & Mighty Sparrow – Congo Man

Machel in Miami (2008)

Over All Female Soca Artist of the Year
• Faye-Ann Lyons

Over All Male Soca Artist of the Year
• Machel Montano

International Soca DJ of the year
• DJ Spice

Best Soca Compilation Rhythm
• Lehgo Me Riddim

This is me in St. Lucia (2008)with the producers of the Lehgo Me Riddim, Penn & Ace

Soca Humor of the Year
• Phone Card by Crazy

My shot of Crazy performing at last year's SAO Soca Awards in New York, (2007)

Favorite Groove Soca - Female
• Patrice Roberts

Backstage with Patrice, Toronto 2007

Favorite Groove Soca - Male
• Mr. Dale

Mr. Dale in Toronto (2007)

Favorite Up Tempo Soca - Male
• Pressure Boom by Ricky T

With Ricky T in Miami (2008)

Soca Artist Album/CD of the year
• Flame On by Machel Montano

Soca Song of the Year
• Get On by Faye-Ann Lyons
• Pressure Boom by Ricky T

Favorite Soca Info Website
• www.toronto-lime.com

My buddy Jef from Toronto-Lime.com

Over All Soca Band of the Year
• Machel Montano HD

Soca producer of the year
• Kerwin Du Bois - (Breathless, 2 days, Gyal Farm)

Best Soca Music Video
• Desire by SKHI

Best Soca Remix Collaboration
• Ricky T. ft. Mr. Vegas – Pressure Boom (Remix)

In St. Vincent with Mr. Vegas and Skinny Fabulous (2006)

Best Soca Chutney collaboration of the Year
• Bring It by Hunter & Bunji Garlin (Official SAO press release refers to this as "I Want Meh Rum")

Favorite Soca Online Radio

The man behind Soca 919 - Mr. Iwer George (Toronto 2008)


Nurse's Lounge: Krosfyah blazes up Broward Carnival

Check out my footage of Krosfyah at Broward Carnival. You ever wonder if they have somebody in the band just to massage dem boys after the wuk up? Hmmmm....

Play close attention. You'll notice the drummer has a bit of an emergency. The snare breaks, and he continues to accompany Khiomal for "Unleash the Beast" without missing a beat! LITERALLY!!!!!


The Rounds: Miami Carnival Round Up

Good Evening Soca Lovers,

It's good to be back here with you this Sunday, after a brief absence. While most of you were gathering to celebrate thanksgiving. I was giving thanks for carnival Miami style. The trip had me taking a small wine at both Broward and Miami Carnivals. I also got to see performances from Big Bands like Red Hot Flames. Machel Montano HD, Krosfyah, Byron Lee and the Dragonaires, Asylum, and Traffik. It was a veritable who's who of the soca industry. And I have to say is, All the artists all brought their "A" game.

Nurse Karen with Machel Montano HD Drummer, Kernal Roberts in Miami

Now while we on the topic of game...lemme fill allyuh in on one of our Toronto native sons who recently took up residence in the beautiful city of Miami. I'm talking about Miami Heat Center, Jamaal MaGloire...who we all know as the bandleader of the two-time Caribana band of the year title winning mas band, Toronto Revellers. Yes, I saw the man. After all that is to be expected. Jamaal loves carnival. But I have a little bad news. Jamaal who is vying for a starting line-up position with his new team the heat, is forced to sit out for 4 to 6 weeks due to a pretty bad hand injury that happened not long ago at an exhibition game in Paris. The man is sporting a cast on his left hand the size of a boxing glove. It doesnt' get in the way of wukking up...but it doesn't really help him play basketball, if you catch my drift.

Nurse Karen and Jamaal MaGloire at UWI Fete Miami Carnival 2008

Being in Miami had it's obvious advantages. Scoop scoop scoop!!! I wanted to break this news to you all last weekend, but the details have since been leaked online via my blog Nurse Karen Etc. Let me fill you in.

First, If you're heading to Trinidad Carnival for 2009, you can expect to see a Bajan Soca Veteran performing alongside Bunji Garlin and Faye-Ann Lyons in the Asylum Band. Clean out your ears and listen good. Edwin Yearwood will be performing with Asylum for the 2K9 carnival season. No, I didn't stutter. Please note. He's not leaving Krosfyah or anything crazy like that. Hes just making sure he's fully in the mix for Trinidad next year.

Nurse Karen with Edwin Yearwood in New York (2008)

What else? Check this: Sheldon Shel Shok Benjamin is no longer a member of Atlantik. I caught him in Miami running samples for Machel Montano HD. I asked him about it...and he confirmed that he has been DISMISSED. Big word...but what does it mean? Machel and they went Bahamas the other day. Shel Shok went with them...and his former band found out while he was away. Not cool. Fact is Atlantik has not been touring as much as they used to, and Benjamin felt justified in picking up some work on the side. Let's say he and management weren't on the same page on that one. Everything is alright. Atlantik is on the case. Marlon Roach has taken over in the samples department, and I've heard he's already doing a GREAT job.

In other news, the Soca Awards were held last night in St. Kitts. The press department hasn't issued a release as yet with complete results as yet. But, as always I'm on it.

Before I go, special congratulations to Island Boyz on 15 years of soca events in Toronto. The rang in the occasion last night at Palazzo with a special show from Kes the Band, Nadia Batson, Mr. Dale and Maximus Dan.

Nurse Karen with Maximus Dan in Toronto (2008)

I'm Nurse Karen and those were Dr. Jay's Rounds. Check me out online this week for more news, pics, stories and videos from Miami carnival...and your complete results from the sixth annual soca awards. You can find all that on the (Nurse) Karen (Etc) Blog at triple W dot Mustard Seeds dot net. Remember to download the Rounds podcast to go at www dot soca therapy dot com. Now back to de docta!


Nurse's Lounge: (Video) Miami and Broward Carnival...see for yourself!

>> Saturday, October 18, 2008

Here's the souvenir I got you from Miami and Broward Carnivals!

Enjoy, and be sure to share with all your friends...


Booster Shot: Changing Tides in Atlantik

>> Friday, October 17, 2008

OK...here's a little addendum to the story this week about Sheldon "Shelshok" Benjamin's departure from Atlantik.

I was doing my usual fishing around among Trinidad-based sources very close to the band. Here are a couple of quick facts.

- This is new thing. Benjamin travelled to The Bahamas with Machel Montano HD for a show at Wyndham Crystal Palace Ballroom on October 3rd, 2008. Atlantik only discovered that he intended to take outside gigs when he was already in the Bahamas.

- Atlantik has replaced Shelshok. The new samples man is producer Marlon Roach of Madmen Productions. He was already a member of the band. His replacement is no stranger to major soca bands. None other than Slick D. He was a member of Xtatik, and has also accompanied Bunji Garlin in years gone by.


Nurse's Lounge: Dear Miami, it's so hard to say goodbye

>> Monday, October 13, 2008

Miami, you did it.

You left an indellible mark on my memories. This was a beautiful pit stop in the Grand Prix that is soca music. I had such a great time in and around your city during the carnival festivities. I saw a lot, but I'm keenly aware that there is so much more to see.

So, God willing, I will return. But before then stay sweet. Keep building the infrastructure of Caribbean culture. Find ways to make OUR creative expressions more accessible to the masses. Fans, support your promoters. Promoters, support the artists. PAY them what they deserve and treat them with the utmost respect. They are your livelihood.

As a people, our strength is evident when you see thousands together as one at a great fete or on the road. However, every day is not carnival. (Unless you're me...I digress) So, as I unnofficially close the lid on the 2008 carnival season, take a little courage for the real world. With the right state of mind, we can stand together for the daily grind too. We are capable of transforming our communities. Every carnival reminds me of that.

So stand together. Do your part. Talk. Organize. Lead. Vote. We know how to party, but we are far more than party people.

...and with that ah gone!



(Nurse) Karen


I nearly forgot to mention that darling Kevon Carter managed to spot me in the Fort Lauderdale airport just as I was boarding my flight. I know I've said so before, but he's one to watch. His vocals are pristine. He's got an obviously marketable look...and best of all...he's got my support. Kev, thanks for coming over!


Nurse's Lounge: Return to Eden

After all that carnival madness, it's a good idea to cool down before skipping town. Lucky for me, I ran into Walshy Fire from the legendary Black Chiney sound last month in Toronto. We both happened to be a Nathan Phillips Square taking in the Manifesto Hip Hop festival.I biked over to take a peek after I finished up at Soca Therapy on Flow 93.5 FM. Walshy was in town for the night to DJ the official after party.

Nurse Karen and Walshy at Manifesto

So, my boy tells me that he was throwing a party during Miami Carnival weekend and that I should reach if at all possible. Well friends, that was a no-brainer after the time I had in Manhattan. I was going to make time, and make time I did.

Ricky T dancing circles around us...

In retrospect....it was a pretty tricky feat. The Party was called Eden or A.U.R.A (After "U" Rave All Day). I just told you what kind of day I had. Two-carnivals, a lot of jump and wave..and some uber heavy West Indian food to boot. When I got back to the hotel after Broward it was already midnight.

X-caliber International's Slaughter, serious about keeping the party jumping

The event was free for the women-folk before 1 a.m. Yeah, right! So last week, I asked Walshy if there was a guest list. Y'all know I have a problem getting places early. He assured me that 1 wasn't going to be an issue...maybe he doesn't know me well enough yet.

Vincy Soca Artiste Fimba and Nurse Karen

Boyyyy, I just have to count my blessings. I was really looking forward to this event like no other. Simply to relax. This was the spot that where quite a few friends were planning to go...and I wanted to let loose and just dance. (Large up Lady Ga-Ga...Miami is loving your chune!)

Crown Prince taking a break from moving the crowd

To make a long story somewhat longer: we got in. The crew was 10 deep: Barrie Hype, Skinny Fabulous, Teddyson John, Fimba, The Houston Sisters, one lone but bery sweet Trini sistrin, Ricky T, the Split and Me. It must have been more like 2:30 a.m. Walshy we love you. I still remember the look on the ticket girl's face when you waved us in. She was like "All of them?" LOL. Dude...thanks.

Top Gunners Barrie Hype and Skinny Fabulous having a time at Eden

Highlights of the Night: So many.

  • Ricky T is a serious winer boy. He can throw down solo, couples style, reggae, soca, old school, house. He never sat down for the night. And because of THAT, neither did i. It was such thrill seeing him school all of us on the dancefloor. Rhythm for hours. Waist for days.
  • Meeting Orlando's DJ Crown Prince in the Flesh. Wikked set rudebwoy. Word on the street is that you're moving your operation to Miami. The city will be lucky to have you around
  • The after lime at IHOP. That restaurant is so COLD dread, especially when you're wearing a backless dress. I have to say THANK YOU to the gentleman who literally gave me the shirt off his back. He was only getting takeout, but thanks to him, I ate my brekky in total comfort.
  • PETER. I'm going to post a video in two-two's. It has nothing to do with soca. But, Peter was our server at IHOP. He's a singer-songwriter with a CRAZY vocal range. Dunno if we'll meet again. But I seriously wish you luck!

  • Eden was like a return to innocence. No notebooks, no interviews, no deadlines. Just good times with friends.
    ...belated shout out to Tim and D'Bandit. As I was blogging about IHOP. I thought it would be fitting to post THIS. Good seeing you EVERYWHERE this weekend...on your best behaviour, of course! Hope you enjoyed your red skin potatoes!


    Nurse's Lounge: Broward Carnival, and more Fyah!

    >> Sunday, October 12, 2008

    Soca people. You know I'm gonna tell you the truth right. Here it is. Broward was better! Organizing a carnival is serious hard work. It doesn't help when a faction breaks away to do their own thing. So, this is not a criticism...just a comparison. Broward, TO ME, felt more like carnival. More space. More people behind the bands. More variety of cuisine. More people as a whole. More Fyah!

    Met up with some of the Vincy crew to take a jump, now that was wild!

    When we arrived, I was not about to let the rain dampen my spirits. After seeking shelter a couple times I thought to myself....what's the worst that could happen? My lil stick-on ponytail gets wet. Boo hoo. Exactly...who cares? It's carnival.

    According to organizers, Broward Carnival had more then 13 thousand paying patrons. If you include vendors, mas bands, performers and media ( LIKE ME!!!) That number mushrooms to 20 thousand people attending. I think some of those extra people stormed the gate, but that's just between you and me.

    Backstage with Rikki Jai, Trinidad's Soca Chutney General

    You should have seen people going mad behind Red Hot Flames on the road. That band has real energy, and the crowd sought it, caught it and threw it back. The main stage boasted a very international line-up with performances from the likes of Byron Lee and the Dragonaires (Jamaica), Rikki Jai (Trinidad), Traffik (Trinidad),and Krosfyah (Barbados).

    Krosfyah posing, just before they brutalized up the stage!
    Big dutty big up to the drummer. He actually smashed his snare in the middle of the performance. He kept playing the kit with one hand as the drum was replaced. No one had a clue. I have video of that. So check for it soon on Nurse Karen TV

    It was a personal pleasure to meet Jumo Primo. He sings lead for Byron Lee. If you don't know...he and Adrian Dutchin are partners in a group called X2 (Times Two) outta Guyana. Both of them are busy touring with accomplished bands based in Jamaica and Bimshire respectively. But they continue to be great friends, and still work together to mash up Mashramani Carnival in Guyana.

    Nurse Karen and X2 at Broward Carnival

    That show was mad. Thank you to the Broward Carnival Committee for showing me such great hospitality. Before I go, I wanna send some love to Miss Juliette Mills outta St. Kitts. It was a pleasure for me to catch her live for the first time. She's got a few impressive tracks under her belt and I really look forward to hear more in the upcoming year.

    Nurse Karen and Juliette Mills


    Nurse's Lounge: Miami Carnival...was OK.

    My stint in Miami is coming to a close, after all today is carnival day! I haven't had much sleep...but there are two big limes going on today that were the whole reason for the trip. ...And we're off!

    You may not know that there are actually two different carnivals in South Florida held the Sunday before Columbus day. When people say Miami carnival, ya hadda check and be sure that Miami is what they really mean and not Broward. Broward County is home to more West Indians than Miami proper. It is home to the city of Fort Lauderdale, and located to the north of Miami-Dade.

    We decided to hit Miami carnival first. It seems to be the more popular destination for the younger crowd. But, I'm having a hard time understanding why. At the height of the day, I estimate Bicentennial Park held no more than about 6 thousand people. You all know I'm from Toronto...so if you know the Caribana scene, that figure about represents the combined population of revellers in about 5 T.O. mas bands.

    Miami Carnival charges a $20 admission fee for access to the festival grounds. The main reason would be to compensate the artists who are official performers at Carnival. I understand why they do it, but I feel like carnival in its very essense belongs to the people. Ah feel, it could be the sweetest jump-up in the heart of America's sexiest city...if the walls could come down (so to speak).

    Later in the evening Miami was treated to performances by Skinny Fabulous, Ricky T, Teddyson John, Bunji, Faye-Ann...and more! I missed THAT action because I had moved on to Broward by then. What I saw was a very tame lime in the sun, but the artists tell me the energy picked up in time for the stage show.

    Here's a shot from later that same night with Skinny Fabulous and Teddyson John

    I'll tell you about this fete later!!!! Sweet, yes!


    Booster Shot: Shel Shok dismissed from Atlantik

    Superstar soca producer Sheldon Shel Shok Benjamin is turning a few heads this weekend in Miami. Why? Well, because he's actually here and Destra and Atlantik are not. Benjamin is...or should I say WAS the samples guy for the big band. Granted he is a grown man, so he can go wherever the heck he wants, right? That would be the case if the man who brought us Alison Hinds' Roll, and Daville's Turning Me On was in Florida for a beach holiday.

    Nurse Karen with Shel Shok at UWI Fete Miami, Grand Palms Resort, 2008

    But let me assure you Mr. Benjamin is definitely not here on vacation. I ran into Shok last night at UWI fete performing on stage with Machel Montano HD. The HD camp rolled into town this weekend with a couple of major gigs lined up, couple of major gigs on the docket including Socavivor: International Flag Party, UWI Fete and, HD Miami at 90 Degrees.

    Machel Montano and Nurse Karen at UWI Fete Miami

    However, Shok was not permitted to take on any gigs with any other bands while performing as a touring member of Atlantik. So, going to Miami was a definite no-no.

    I asked him what happened:

    "They said if I go to do the gigs, forget about them. So I went to the gigs. We were not working anywhere so the income was needed," said Sheldon Benjamin.

    It doesn't take a soca analyst like MOI to realize that our friends in Atlantik have been noticeably absent from the last couple of major soca limes. No New York. No Miami. No Notting Hill? (....somebody please confirm that one.) The fact is, it costs big dollars to book Atlantik at a time when many bands have been negotiating down their asking price to ensure that they have a presence on the scene. Naturally, there are more factors at play than price alone....however, whatever the reason, Shok's dismissal is evidence that the musicians are beginning to feel the pinch.

    Destra with Atlantik Band in Toronto, 2008

    Benjamin will not disclose whether the current arrangement with Xtatik is a temporary fill-in situation or a permanent return to his former band Xtatik. Guess you'll have to keep coming back to (Nurse) Karen (Etc) to find out!



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