Booster Shot: Did Destra drop Atlantik?

>> Wednesday, January 28, 2009

If you happen to be in Trinidad, or you pay particularly close attention to the whole Trini scene, then you must have noticed something I been seeing this season.

The big soca band Atlantik is no more!

Destra and Nurse Karen in Toronto, May 2008

All of the published ads and radio commercials advertising performances by Destra Garcia make no reference to the band Atlantik. Rather, when the artist is billed it reads Destra and her Band

So what does this really mean?

Lemme sort you out...

Yes! Destra will be performing throughout the 2009 season backed by a complete soca band.

No! She isn't working with a different set of people.

Yes! Dem cuties from Atlantik like Dean (Guitar) and Ricardo (Keys) will still be at all the shows!

So what happened?

A decision was made to drop the name Atlantik, so as to focus the activities of all-parties involved on the lead vocalist, Destra! As one band member says it, "She now owns her own future!"

What to say to that except, WOMAN IS BOSS!
In Destra's case management hasn't changed, and her fiery energy is back with a vengeance. We can think of it like Machel Montano HD, or Shurwayne Winchester and Y.O.U., where the artist is at the centre of it all. Business as usual - just a new energy, an exciting new sound, and a playlist of unbelievable music for 2009!

Do yuh ting gyul! And all the best for the season.

Karen's Check-up:
How do you feel about the decline of the soca band in recent years? Do you think that soca culture will change as a result of it?


Nurse's Lounge: Congratulations Mr. President!

>> Monday, January 26, 2009

A week ago today, I was trying to get an early night in order to rise early for President Obama's inauguration.  What an amazing experience.  Although I'm a writer, I've found it especially difficult attempting to express all the emotions that were bouncing around in my belly.

Now, I look back and remember one thing - genuine happiness.  I know the man is no saviour.  I know that his tool is goverment, and all institutions are as flawed as the people who power them.  I know all the critisms and doubts.  But I remember happiness.  On January 20, 2009 I began to believe in humanity.  I began to believe that people are indeed good natured and maybe it's true.  Maybe, just maybe all the fairytales and fables of our school days really do have some essential merit in teaching us that anything is possible.  

I hope I remember that forever.

It's my pleasure to share a few sights and sounds with you from the inauguration of America's 44th President, Barack Hussein Obama.

Congratulations Mr. President.  I wish you and your beloved nation the very best.


Eye Unit: Sneak performance of unreleased new Jamesy P (video)

>> Sunday, January 25, 2009

Here's a little clip that you won't see anywhere else. Last Sunday, I was in Washington, D.C. at a small private gathering where Jamesy P tested out his newest song. My camera conked out on me, but thankfully my brother was there capturing it all. So here's your chance to see Jamesy P perform Sugar Pan, before he song even gets out of the studio!

Curious about what was going on here, and why you didn't know about it? Read my blog entry from last week.

P.S. Take the time to browse through the videos on My brother puts together amazing video collages from all over the world, that's where to find them! Make sure and tell him I sent you!


Booster Shot: Trinidad 2009 International Soca Monarch Semi-Finalists Announced

>> Thursday, January 22, 2009

The Caribbean Prestige Foundation annouced the names of the semi-finalists for the the 2009 bMobile International Soca Monarch competition yesterday in Trinidad.

The Semi Finals will take place on February 8th at the Arima Velodrome. Groovy begins at 4p.m., followed by the Power Soca Monarch.

Here's what you came here for:

Please note: This list does not include the reigning Soca Monarchs and Party Monarchs from around the Caribbean who have been guaranteed a spot in the finals on Friday, February 20th. Therefore five places in the finals have been reserved for Claudette Peters, Khiomal, Luni Sparks and Electrify, Ricky T and Skinny Fabulous.

Groovy Soca Monarch Semi-Finalists

  • Alicia Lee
  • Ansel Joseph
  • Benjai
  • Biggie Irie
  • Blazz
  • Cassie
  • Cedonia
  • Chucky
  • Edwin Yearwood
  • Erphaan Alves
  • Esther Dyer
  • Farmer Nappy
  • Faye-Ann Lyons
  • Fireball
  • Gary Jackson
  • Hunter
  • Iwer George
  • Kerwin Du Bois
  • Patch
  • Nadia Batson
  • Patrice Roberts
  • Pelf
  • Peter Ram
  • Sean Caruth
  • Shal Marshall
  • Shyann Bailey
  • Skhi
  • Sugar Raye
  • Tracey D
  • Tizzy
  • Zan
  • Zoleah

Power Soca Semi-Finalists

  • Anslem Douglas
  • Benjai
  • Berbice
  • Blaxx
  • Blaze & JW
  • Blazer Dan
  • Choppa
  • Faye-Ann Lyons
  • Ivy
  • Iwer George
  • Jermeeka Mundy
  • TC ( The King of Swag)
  • Knycky Cordner
  • Lil Bitts
  • Nadia Batson
  • Ninjitsu
  • Nnika Francis
  • Olatunji
  • Patrice Roberts
  • Russell Cadogan
  • Shurwayne Winchester
  • Soca Tech
  • Terri Lyons
  • Tony Prescott
  • Trevor Gore
  • Tyra Matthews.
Quick comments:

Interesting to see Faye-Ann Lyons name included in the mix, considering that just last year she told the media that she would no longer enter her name in future Soca Monarch competitions. By media I mean the Trinidadian media and myself, when I interviewed her for the cover of WE magazine about one week after Carnival. Beyond that, Faye-Ann will be just shy of 8 months pregnant on the date of the semi-finals. The decision to enter is indeed surprising, but she's been receiving rave reviews for her mid pregnancy performances thus far.

For those of you who don't know the name Terri Lyons, that's Faye-Ann's sister, yes people another one of Superblue's girls. She's been releasing songs for the last few years, however, she hasn't had much success with that. However, Terri is quite gifted in the area of dance, having worked with the Black American Circus in New York.

I would love to see your comments. What do you think about who's up there and who's missing?


Nurse's Lounge: Washington Obama Soca-rama

>> Monday, January 19, 2009

One thing you oughta know about de Nurse, in case you haven't figured it out:  anywhere I go, soca must find me.  So, I'm here in DC.  No business vibes.  This little roadtrip was strictly vacation.  The plan was to be a part of history in the making.

We did that today at the concert...and I truly can't wait to witness Obama take his oath of office on Tuesday.  Knowing me, ah go cry.  I digress.

So, in my heart of hearts I knew that the Caribbean Community had to be doing something to recognize this occasion.  I shot a few emails to some US DJs and promoter trying to figure out if anything would be popping.  I turned up nothing.  Then this afternoon Jamesy P happens to casually mention something about a show he would be in this very night.  I'm a different kind of exhausted, so let's keep the details short and sweet:

  •  I finally met David Rudder. If you are reading this from Toronto, I'm sure you're wondering how it is that I haven't met the man.  I've seen him perform one-zillion times.  I've shared green rooms a few times.  However, I don't like to bother artistes at all, especially when I get a little case of soca-star-struck-itis. Meeting him was good enough, but when I said...

"My name is Karen. I'm a journalist from Toronto. " 

and he replied, "Are you Nurse Karen?"  I almost tumbled off my heels. 

My little moment with the incomparable David Rudder

  • I found out Baron didn't lose ALL his gold.  Earlier this month, I reported on a mishap that led to Baron loosing nearly his entire colleciton of gold jewelry at Piarco Airport in December.  He had on three chains tonight that were never packed in that lost pouch.  He says nothing has been returned.  None the less, his voice is still golden, despite his neck being unusually bare. 

The Baron and me!

  • International:  You already know, this is what I support.  Kudos for bring up artists from Barbados, Grenada, Jamaica, St. Vincent and Trinidad.

  • Cross Generational:  All eras of soca's development were repped to the fullest with a cast including the likes of Alison Hinds, Jamesy P, David Rudder, The Baron, and Kerwin Du Bois.

Kerwin Du Bois and Nurse Karen

Inclusive:  We all love we soca, but let's not try and fool anybody here.  Reggae is like the rice in allyuh sunday dinner when it comes to the music we appreciate.  You might be salivating over stew chicken, but the rice must be there.  Well, soca children...Cocoa Tea brought offical greetings as the RICE.  De man voice sweet.  The cast also included a newcomer by the name of Jeremy.  The young soca artist came up from T&T for his first US performance.  At this stage, I would like to see a litte more depth to the writing in his songs.  However, he shows some promise as a performer.  When he was on stage, he had the audience...even it if was by removing articles of clothing from his not-so-mature chest. That is no easy task.

Cocoa Tea and Nurse Karen

Energetic:  The Georgia Avenue venue used to be an old Chevy dealership.  The gigantic warehouse was cold as ice inside, unless you were pelting waist, so you know what we had to do!  I think I may have been one of the youngest people in the house.  I saw a few faces old enough to be in class with my Granny.  Quite literally, a woman who knows me mudda from Home came over to say hello.  It was after 5 am.  

Alison was blazing up the stage, and I had my coat on, ready to blaze my trail back to the ranch. This woman was prepared to close out the fete.  The best example of energy is bottled up in the host with the most, NY's MC Wassy.  I think I'll go out on a limb and officially endorse the man.  Promoters, Uncle Wassy would give your money's worth and more.  I've never seen a host sing with the band, wine up in the crowd, do stand up...all in the same show.   Book him!..and when you do, send me a ticket, ah wan reach de show.

Well, I said I would be short.  So there it is.  The variety of the show was an unexpected treat.  Big Up to Jamesy P and Atlanta Carnival's Wasi Philbert for the invitation and hospitality.  You made my night.  


Nurse’s Lounge: Friends, Family and Football...and Jamesy P

>> Sunday, January 18, 2009

It is cold.  Yes, I do remember that I’m Canadian, but Winter is not usually the time of year that I plan to spend hours at a time standing around outdoors.   After freezing my hands and warming my heart at the HBO concert, my icy toes got moving.  I had received an invitation from Jamesy P’s new manager to check out a private football lime in a posh condo complex in the Capitol Hill region. 

Finding the spot was a chore and a half.  However, I finally got there...not a moment too soon!   The gathering was a big excuse to gather locals and visitors to watch a little football on a Sunday evening.  I know precious little about the NFL, so I was grateful for the other entertainment options: food and drink!  I filled my plate with an array of savoury goodies, while Wasi Philbert, host and resident bar man kept the Nurse Karen contingent jovial with pale green cocktails.

Jamesy P enjoying a game of pool

Wait!  I almost forgot to tell you - Jamesy P was in the house! Throughout the evening his music provided the upbeat soundtrack to AFC and NFC playoff games. (Philly lost. Some said that’s a bad thing.) 

Finally, I figured out why I was invited in the first place!  Don’t get me wrong, I love meeting new people and getting to know people in the business away from the regular performance context, but it’s not everyday I get an invite to watch football at a swanky condo.  Jamesy P was about to give a live performance of an unreleased track for Trinidad Carnival 2009.

The piece is called Sugar Pan, it’s  a humorous mid-tempo soca about horning partners.  He charismatic Vincy, best known for a little chune called “Nookie”, stood atop a bar stool and tested his new ditty out on about 35 guests, all who were eager to join in to sing the chorus. Great response from the first ever audience.

Jamesy P and Nurse Karen in Washington, D.C.

The crowd reacted with unanimous approval.  Some danced. Some held their guts laughing.  Others watched every antic wearing buggy eyes and wide smiles.  Personally, I’m excited to see how it turns out.  I’m told the release will be happening by next week.

Shortly after the impromptu show, Nookieman slipped out to sound check for Obama Soca-rama.  That’s the big Caribbean fete happening later tonight.  I’ll fill you in a little later.  Pardon me, but I’m still in a mild state of shock.  No one told me about this line up!  LOL...change had indeed come to America.

Meet you back here later!


Nurse's Lounge: Wouldn't miss THIS for the world! HBO We Are One Concert

Even if you have been hiding under a rock, (why do people even say that?) you must have heard that the United States of America collectively flipped the bird to their racist past by electing their first ever African American President, Mr. Barack Obama.  

When the election results rolled in on November 4th, I started making plans for this week.  Guess where I am, soca people?  You better believe, I've been chilling out in the centre of the action in America's nation capital - Washington D.C.  God is real good, and if he spares this humble life till Tuesday, I'm going to see Barack get sworn in!

By the time you've read this, CNN will have given you a better visual rundown of the events than I can at this moment.  So here are a few of my highlights.  

Today I attended the HBO "We Are One" pre-inauguration concert at the Lincoln Memorial.  I was maybe halfway between there and the Washington Monument, standing shoulder to shoulder with 750,000 other pilgrims all united in our hope for a better day.  We saw performances from e'er-body!  Bonjovi, Tom Hanks, Shakira, Will I Am, Beyonce, Usher, Stevie Wonder, Samuel L. Jackson, Garth Brooks, etc, etc.  However, the real excitment came when president elect Barack Obama took the stage to say a few words.   Is it weird to say that the man is COOL!?!?  He even walks like a bad mofo.  Crazy!  

The entries for this trip will be back-dated, so you can read them in succession.  Please just bear with me.  There haven't been too many pauses in the action.  I'm recovering from a couple of hours shut-eye after the wild soca-filled night that ensued.  Stay-tuned!


Nurse's Lounge: Diddy's Pre-Inauguration Gala

I used to love H.E.R..  Any Hip Hop heads in the house?  When I was growing up, rap music 

was like a special friend.  I watched the videos, learned the lyrics and read the magazines.  I saw the odd concert here and there, and even found myself rubbing shoulders with some of the up-and-comers in the Toronto scene.  That was then.  Now, the Hip Hop animal has evolved into a beast of burden. ..for me anyway.  The commercialism surrounding the craft saps so much of the creativity and diversity and that leads me to tonight.

I got to Washington D.C. today.  I’m here for the Obama inauguration on Tuesday, but I have a few days to kill.  I want to experience as much as possible.  The Capitol Region is booming with events.  Before I left Toronto, a few American friends suggested that I get tickets for at least one dress up event.  My travel partners and I weren’t keen on forking out more than $300 a piece on some of the inauguration balls that caught our attentions, so instead, we opted for Diddy. 

The “Gala” event was held at LOVE, one of Washington’s largest and most celebrated night clubs.  It’s a beautiful venue, so I pulled out a hot little backless Benedicto number, that I scored from the designer Juliana Corona when I hosted the runway show for her Spring ’08 line in Yorkville. I love a good excuse to get all decked out.  This my lovelies, was not a good excuse.

The crowd was beautiful.  I love seeing my people dressed to the nines and hitting the town.  We entered the club. Checked coats, and ascended the stairs and hit the dancefloor.  The party was hosted by the Orginal Bad Boy, Sean “P Diddy”  Combs.  He graced the VIP with friends, pass holders and Stevie Wonder.  When I saw Stevie, I was hopeful for a change of pace, maybe some Soul and R&B for more authentic Gala vibe.  Instead we were in for a ceaseless playlist of late nineties to modern day hip hop hosted by Angie Ange and The Cuban Cigar Smoker from DC’s 93.9 FM. 

Stevie Wonder addressing the crowd

Let me get right to it.  The party was ok-ish.  The music wasn’t my style.  I needed some relief from the monotony of it all.  There were a couple of reggae sets that felt like Christmas to me, even though the DJ didn’t have a clue how to mix OUR stuff. 

My four inch heels had an even worse time than I did.  There were so many folks there.  My poor purple pumps were tried and tested every time I got shoved, pushed, or even stepped on.  Then, when my toes were about tell off my 4 inch stilettos, I chose  to go the non-violent route by finding the closest wall lean on and take a break.  Just as I found the perfect spot, a couple of guys got into a fist fight right next to me.  Next thing I know, a bottle breaks, I fall to the floor and above me are two  200 pound black men.   My shoes – “Where the heck are my shoes?”

Somewhere in the mix, a pair of beautiful raspberry pumps were suffocating and crying for mercy.  Thankfully, after coming to my defence my big brother hurled a swift right hook to the thug who pile-drove me, dove in for the shoes...and we bolted.  Diddy, Stevie, beautiful people, smell ya later!



Booster Shot: Lucian Musicians upset over controversy with Machel Montano

>> Saturday, January 17, 2009

I haven't had a chance to really dig into this. However, I thought I would post it as is, to show you something that happens quite a bit throughout the Caribbean.  I applaud the Association for speaking up on the matter.  I believe that touring artists are entitled to be compensated at their asking rate, however, this should not happen at the expense of local artists who rely on domestic performance opportunities to raise their profile in the music industry. In this case, I don't think Machel should have been booked at all for this event.  The choice is an indication the organizers' lack of confidence in calibre of St. Lucian artistes.  Have a look, and see what I mean.

Friday January 16, 2009
For Immediate Release

The St. Lucia Association of Musicians and Producers have taken issue with the closing ceremony of the CHA Caribbean Market which will be held at the Pigeon Island National landmark on Tuesday January 20th 2009.

”The event, themed 'IMAGICA - Carnival of the Senses' will feature a number of St. Lucian acts and will be headlined by Trinidadian Soca Sensation Machel Montano HD. The three main factors that STAMP has issue with are as follows:

1) The gross disparity of fees for the local featured entertainment and main or closing act. The featured act (Machel Montano and crew) cost is more than ten times the cost of the collective cost of the local acts. Montano’s and crew performance fee is said to be in excess of EC$ one hundred thousand dollars plus accommodation and airfares, while local acts collectively are less than twenty thousand EC dollars. 

2) The missed opportunity for the showcasing of our local music industry at CHA marketplace. Our music industry has grown by leaps and bounds in past years and it is exactly this reason why it is highly unnecessary for the inclusion of other island performers in this “Caribbean Night Party”. Based on our information the past CHA marketplaces for example in the Bahamas last year did not feature any other acts but Bahamian performers as was the case in Puerto Rico and Jamaica.

3) In addition at the art and craft market the products on display are all St. Lucian products, so why should the music be not only St. Lucian as the “marketplace” is promoting St.Lucia.
Another factor is based on this cost sponsored by the Government of St. Lucia, would the attending delegates, members and visitors really know who Machel is and his performance in relation to St. Lucia. A complete exhibition of St. Lucian only artistes would have been as entertaining and more representation of our St. Lucian carnival culture. In the last two years the launch of St. Lucia Carnival has not needed a regional act, the St. Lucian performers have entertained the masses and no one complained. We have to start to support home grown talent especially in trade shows like these.


Eye Unit: Tempa Wine Video *Fresh from the Lab*

>> Thursday, January 15, 2009

One of the tracks that brought some extra heat to Barbados' Crop Over 2008 has finally emerged with a snazzy new video.  Be one of the first to see Machel and Patrice's latest video offering. 

Tempa Wine

I feel these two need to do a collabo album  or sumting!  How they find theyselves in studio together so much?  LOL. Lemme not start something, eh.

Just enjoy the video!


Booster Shot: Calypso world mourns the passing of Mighty Duke

Unfortunately it is true. Trinidadian calypso great Kelvin "The Mighty Duke" Pope passed away in Trinidad on Wednesday. Pope had been suffering from a bone marrow disorder for the last four years, that ultimately called his number. He breathed his last with a son, his wife and fellow calypso great, Chalkdust at his side. In spite of his illness, Duke had planned to perform a calypso entitled "Do Better For Calypso" at the Klassic Russo Calypso Tent for the 2009 Carnival season.

The Mighty Duke will be remembered as the only artiste in Trinidad and Tobago carnival history to win the Calypso Monarch title four times in a row (1968 - 1971) . His songs ran the full gamut of social commentary and humour over four decades. He boasts hits like 'Thunder', 'Get on Radical', 'How Many More Must Die', 'All Night', and 'Pan in Yuh Rookcung-Kertungcung'. In 1970, the Mighty Duke was honoured with the Humming Bird gold medal for his musical accomplishments.

Pope was born on the island of St. Vincent and migrated to Trinidad at an early age.

We thank Mr. Pope for his great contributions to our musical heritage and culture. You were indeed "a Pope, a Duke and a King." May you rest in peace.


Booster Shot: HD technician dies in traffic accident

>> Wednesday, January 14, 2009

My condolences go out to Machel Montano and the entire HD family on the passing of technician, Ephraim Douglas. He died on Sunday when the taxi he was in crashed into a pillar on the Beethan Highway, while trying to avoid a car.

It was reported that Elizabeth Montano, mother and manager of Machel said she kept the news from the band members before their performance that night. The entire team was understandably upset by the death.

My thoughts and prayers are with you all as you make your way through this carnival season, one soldier short.

With sympathy,

(Nurse) Karen


The Rounds: Machel to release a steelpan tune

>> Monday, January 12, 2009

Good Evening Soca Lovers, I'm Nurse Karen and these are Dr. Jay's Rounds.
If you are a fan of this radio show, you probably agree that soca is not just for Summer or even Carnival time.  It's music, so it's great for a workout, and even better for having a good time.  Barbados' Soca Duo, the Fraud Squad recently found themselves very pleased to learn that people in Toronto actually know how to respect soca music beyond the Caribana Season. Toronto's own locally produced TV sitcom, Da Kink in My Hair, just signed a licensing deal to use two Fraud Squad chunes in season 2 of the program.  Keep your ears open for the songs Haunted and Bring Drinks the next time you're watching those wacky gals at the salon.

    Looks like the TV world knows what's up, and the hip hop world does too.  The Ying Yang twins needed a hot remix for their song Dangerous featuring the likes of Wyclef Jean.  And what could be hotter than soca?  The twins reached out to St. Lucia's top production duo, Penn and Ace to give the song that festive island flavour and the rest as they say is….Dangerous! 
            With so many people beginning to realize the value of our beloved soca music, it's no surprise that the soca community is coming together to fight for its due respect on the internet.  There's a new initiative called Bring Soca to MySpace that is working to get MySpace dot com to create a soca category in its music section, and to develop  a sub-site for the English-speaking Caribbean.  For more information, log on to

At Broward Carnival 2008, with Trini Chutney Soca star Rikki Jai

            Who's ready for mas? Trinidad carnival has now begun!  The official launch of Carnival took place in Port of Spain on Friday...and officials say they are not concerned about the economic downturn.   Be that as it may, many artists in the chutney soca genre were a little disappointed to learn that the prize structure alotted for the Chutney Soca Monarch competition on February 7th have been reduced for 2009.  Rooplal Girdharrie won $200,000 TT last year, plus a car and other prizes.  This year, it's just the cash. That's basically cutting the value of the top prize in half.

In Toronto with Machel Montano, December 2007

           One never knows what to expect at Carnival.  And the guy who's most likely to keep us guessing is Machel Montano.  The soca star recently had a video shoot for a commercial for his signature event Alternative Concept.  This year's theme will be "Heavenly Drums".  Machel is seen playing steelpan while accompanied on keyboard by Phase 2 bandleader, Len Boogsie Sharp.  The image is out of the ordinary, but understandable when you find out that the defending champions of Panorama 2008 will be competing this year with a pan tune recorded by Machel himself.  The song is called Magic Drums, it was written by Kernal Roberts, arranged by Sharp and by all accounts, it's a real contender.


Booster Shot: "Bring Soca to MySpace" interview tomorrow on CJSF Radio

>> Friday, January 9, 2009

By now you've heard, (Nurse) Karen (Etc) is starting off 2009 by shaking things up.  We are petitioning MySpace for a new Category for Soca Music.  All the info is available online, simply check out

Thanks to everyone who has taken action to show their support, people like Dr. Jay, Ma$tamind Productions, Corey Graham 2.0, Toronto-Lime dot com, the Soca Twins, DJ Spice, My Party Fans,  DJ Bassline, and Tropical Fete dot com

To help you follow the development of the campaign, I've created a new tag called "Soca Now".  Any time you visit (Nurse) Karen (Etc), you will be able to read all the latest developments by going to the tags cloud on the right hand side and selecting "Soca Now"

Exciting news though!  The new campaign will be the subject of discussion tomorrow night in a live interviewed by Nasty Jag Soundcrew in Vancouver, British Columbia (that's Canada, if you didn't know)  If you'd like to better understand why this is important, make sure you tune in!

Tune in to the Pirates of the Caribbean radio show at 7 pm Eastern on Saturday, January 10th.

All you have to do is click here , then click listen live.

I promise you'll hear some sweet up-to-the-minute soca music, followed by  an interwiew with the Nurse just after 8:15 pm.

Jags, thanks for linking it up.  Looking forward to  the chat

Here I am with Vancouver's biggest soca fan and advocate, and one of the hosts of Pirates of the Caribbean,  De Big Bad Jags!


Booster Shot: New Campaign Urges to Create a Soca Music Category

>> Thursday, January 8, 2009

January 8, 2009

Source:  Mustard Seed Media

For Immediate Release


New Campaign Urges to Create a Soca Music Category

Toronto, Canada  - A new advocacy campaign was launched yesterday to officially list soca as a musical genre on the internet entertainment portal,  The initiative entitled Bring Soca to MySpace is lobbying to make it easy for fans to browse soca music online and interact with their favourite personalities.

Bring Soca to MySpace has four main aims:

·         The creation of  a Soca category in MySpace Music

·         The featuring of Soca artist profiles on the site splash page

·         The inclusion of editorial relating to Anglo-Caribbean music

·         The creation of a MySpace Caribbean regional English-language sub-site.

At present, MySpace considers the Caribbean to fit under the umbrella of Latin America.  Therefore Caribbean users often login to into a Spanish-language interface featuring the latest in Reggaeton and Latin Pop.  Organizers believe that the end result of the above recommendations will create a win-win situation for the soca music industry, fans and MySpace alike.

 “Every other style of Western music is up there,” says campaign organizer and Caribbean entertainment writer Nurse Karen , “We are simply asking MySpace to give soca artists the respect they deserve.  Artists already use site, but they have to describe their sounds as Reggae, Tropical, Fusion or Zouk.  There is no category that represents them.   As a result, Soca artists never have the chance rise to the top of MySpace music charts. Soca is way bigger than that, so the time is now for a change.”  

The non-partisan campaign, officially endorsed by (Nurse) Karen (Etc) and Soca Therapy, Canada’s #1 Soca radio program, asks for the grassroots support of all Caribbean media outlets, entertainment professionals and music fans. 

Supporters may assist in the following ways:

·         Post or circulate this media release and campaign poster

·         Join Bring Soca to MySpace in Myspace Groups

·         Email MySpace in support

·         Encourage contacts to join the Bring Soca to MySpace group

·         Add your logo to future versions of the poster


For more information, to get involved or to join the Bring Soca to MySpace group please visit:


To send an email to MySpace in support of the campaign

·         All emails must be addressed to:

·         The subject line must read:  Re: Media - Not listed [ref:00D78NrS.50077iea4:ref]  

·         An effective support letter should list  your name, age group, occupation, country and reasons for supporting the campaign

To get your logo added to campaign posters:

Send an email describing your affiliation, along with an attached .jpg to Click Here


For media inquiries or to receive an updated list of sponsors:

Karen L. Richardson

Mustard Seed Media



Booster Shot: Soca snatches hardware at the fourth annual Barbados Music Awards

>> Tuesday, January 6, 2009

I truly believe that as a Caribbean people, we have to recognize the talent among our ranks before the world can give us our due credit.  Therefore, it's my pleasure to offer kudos to Barbados for continuing to honour its music artistes at fourth annual Barbados Music Awards, held on Sunday, January 4th. The event took place in Two Mile Hill at the Lloyd Erskine Sandiford Centre.

Krosfyah at Broward Carnival (October 2008)

This year the awards were dominated by members of two of the islands most celebrated party bands; Square One and Krosfyah.  Newcomers to the soca arena were handsomeley represented by Stabby de Guard who took home the prize for Best New Artist. 

At the head of the pack was former Square One lead vocalist, Andy "Blood" Armstrong, with 5 trophies.  He took home awards for Album of the Year, Best Soca (Uptempo) Single, Soca/Calypso Album of the Year, Best Collaboration with Tarah Holdipp, and a Liftime Achievement Award with the now disbanded Square One.

Ms. Alison Hinds was awarded a platinum certificate for her commercial debut album, Soca Queen.

While Rihanna ain't a soca star, it wouldn't be nice if I didn't tell you that she also copped three awards.  Shontelle Layne was also recognized for her international success with her song "T-Shirt",  but thos ladies weren't on the island for the ceremony.

Krosfyah had an exceptional night as well. Here's the tally. De General, Edwin Yearwood is the proud owner of three BMAs for Best Ragga/Mid-Tempo Soca, Band of the Year and Songwriter of the Year.  

Here I am with the other soca Nurse, Khiomal at Broward Carnival in October 2008

I think one of the sweetest success stories of the night was the naming of reigning Party Monarch, Khiomal as Male Entertainer of the Year. It's hard to carve out a name for oneself when they perform side-by-side with the likes of veteran soca sweet man Edwin Yearwood.  None the less, Khiomal was given as vote of confidence on Sunday that he will not soon forget! He's an entity unto himself with unparalleled energy, a distinct vocal timbre, and a wine that sends female fans completely nuts.  Khiomal, well done!

 My congrats to all awardees and nominess!  Barbados, keep on making top quality music of all genres! ...and I will keep on listening!


The Rounds: The Baron robbed at Piarco airport

>> Monday, January 5, 2009

Good Evening Soca Lovers and Happy two-thousand and wine.  I'm Nurse Karen and these are Dr. Jay's Rounds.

Congratulations on arriving in the New year safe and sound.  Now that 2008 is over, let us try and leave all that badmind ting behind.  I'll tell you what I mean. Trinidad's silky voiced veteran crooner Baron, appeared to be the unfortunate victim of theft on December 28th.  It happened at Trinidad's Piarco airport on his way to Toronto to perform at a New Year's Eve fete.

  If you've ever seen the Baron perform, you know that he likes to sport a treasure trove of gold chains around his neck.   According to his manager, the entertainer placed a pouch containing the items on the counter when visiting the washroom. The lost jewellery is reputed to have a value of $75 Thousand TT, which is about  $15 grand Canadian.  Naturally, the man was NOT too pleased about that. It's real sad, the jewellery represented a personal collection amassed throughout his lifetime in the music business. This year people, take my advice...Don't worry about who have and who does not.  Achieve a little something and get your own.

  St. Kitts and Nevis chipped its way into 2009 by closing out their carnival season with a bang.  For the second year in a row, Grand Master's band copped the road march prize with the song "A Want Whale" from its 2008 album "Whaling Season".  You could bet there's some kinda double meaning in THAT.  Last year's road march was Boom Bam Bam. That song received a soca awards nomination in the Best Uptempo - Male Category. This is the sixth road march for Grand Master's Band.

If one of your resolutions is to finally make that trip to the mecca of Caribbean carnival next month or even to save a little money, boy have I got some bad news for you.  In spite of the global economic crisis beginning to rear its ugly head in these parts, the cost of carnival fetes is actually going up.  Many suspected that ticket prices would be made available at a discounted rate, however in most cases, they have either stayed the same or increased in price.  One example would be the popular Beach House All-inclusive which has gone up from $600 TT to $800 in 2009.  (That's One hundred and $160 CDN for one fete. )  I don't care how open the bar is...I don't even think Dr. Jay could drink his money's worth.

Before I go, I promised that I'd let you know what happened at Crucian Christmas Festival Party Monarch Competition in December.  Personally, I resolve to always keep my promises.  So here goes...Toby Dee successfully defended his title with  "Hands High" and he continues to be the Party Monarch of St. Croix.  But remember that anything is truly possible with a brand new year ahead.  Over in Montserrat, Rondell Meade managed to flatten his more experienced competition by capturing the Soca Monarch crown on his very first attempt.  He got the crowd hyped and happy with his performance of My Festival, placing him ahead of former Road March King Flying Dove and US-based crossover artist Kulcha Don.  

I'm Nurse Karen and that was your first edition of Dr. Jay's Rounds for 2009.  Why not start something new this year, and follow the Nurse Karen Etc blog at triple w dot mustard seeds dot net for more juicy soca-related information.  You'll be happy you did.  Now back to de docta!

Karen L. Richardson
a.k.a "Nurse Karen"
Entertainment Writer

Visit my soca blog (Nurse) Karen (Etc) at

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Nurse's Lounge: Happy 2009!

>> Sunday, January 4, 2009

So sorry for the long silence.  I celebrating the holiday season by actually taking a much needed vacation.  This time around the destination was beautiful Cuba.  You know me, it's only a matter of time before I get around to posting some exclusive video footage.  Stay tuned!

Before that goes up, I just want to take a little time to thank you for your unparalleled support in 2008.  The (Nurse) Karen (Etc) blog has been online for just over one year...and it continues to grow daily thanks to committed readers, loyal soca fans, and helpful entertainment professionals who keep me up-to-date with the latest in Caribbean entertainment news. 

I realize that any success I have experienced in the past year is a direct by-product of the numerous, networks and personal friends who have embraced my vision for development of the soca music industry.  We have grown by leaps and bound, and with a new year under our feet, the possibilities are endless!

Looking forward to moving forward with you right by my side.

Lots of love, 

Nurse Karen


Eye Unit: Peter Ram "Tight" on the Coconut Tree Riddim (video)

>> Thursday, January 1, 2009

Ok it is viewable for all. My favourite chune on this Coconut Tree Riddim changes every day, but this will always be a strong contender. congrats to Peter Coppin and Monstapiece for succesfully getting everybody and they uncle on the same riddim. If you didn't know besides the Ram, Rick, Rupee, Iwer, TC, Problem Child and whatever else. 2008 and went out with new releases on the riddim from Bomani and Sheldon Douglas. I'm worried that the next time I'm in a fete, I go be jamming to the same beat whole night.

Peter Ram
Directed by Jay Will


For the initial posts where I spoke of this vid, click here.



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