I’ve been waiting for this video to be released for so many months now. I’d heard snippets from the set from the Producer, and some of the co-ordinators, and have waited with baited breath for its release and finally it’s out.
My friend Laura at LoopTT interviewed Machel after the video came out, he told her, “The intention was to show the story of this youth acting out of anger and rage… that people were there for him to be able step in and help him channel that negative energy into something positive. That untapped raging energy could easily be used as a weapon to take someone’s life. Instead, the imagery is that two elder people stepped in and showed him that you could channel that energy into something positive so basically he became an instrument of the art which preserves the art and give the art longevity.”
I know that is something Keegan Taylor, one of the songwriters, and Rondel Benjamin feel passionately about. Keegan and Rondel are the principals that formed Bois Academy, a group that is determined to bring the indigenous martial arts of Trinidad and Tobago out of the shadows and into the light.
Rondel truly believes that our martial arts can provide a channel for the aggressive energy some of our youth have, and it through kalinda and jab jab, they can learn to harness that anger and turn it into positive energy.
Bois Academy has teamed up with Ronald Alfred the King of the Jab Jab to offer training in Kalinda and Jab Jab every Sunday 4pm at St. George’s Grounds in Barataria.
Bahamas Carnival just ended and Machel Montano and Bunji Garlin were there. It was the first time the pair performed their soca hit Bussheadoutside of Trinidad. The duo were interviewed about their collaboration, and careers, on ILTV’s chat show The Stew.
They’ve (the show’s producers) posted the entire episode online, so you can fast forward to the 19.28 mark for the Bunji and Machel interviews.
That said, I ended up watching the entire programme because they spoke about the epic failure that was Fyre Festival. In a nutshell Fyre Festival was supposed to be an ultra-exclusive music festival on the Bahamian island of Great Exuma. It failed miserably, with lawsuits being filed, but of particular concern for us here in the Caribbean is where it would affect the tourist interest in our music festival, like Tobago Jazz. I like this article in Billboard for exploring those concerns nicely.
I liked the conversation on The Stew, because it’s a Bahamian chat show, so it was nice to hear their perspective on the fiasco.
And I’ve just noticed something, last post I shared Dionne Jackson-Miller’s All Access, today I shared The Stew. I wish we had more local and regional content on our televisions in Trinidad. That’s something I want to discuss, and will probably do so in another post soon.
I’d never heard of The Stew before, but I know Aneka Stewart from her Insta-account @caytostyle. She’s fab. And I may start watching the show on the regular.
The Voices From Inside event was one of those really nice and hopeful events that make you believe in the potential of us all to do good things. It was a showcase of the prisoners’ poetry, and a reading from Dr. Baz Dresinger’s new book Incarcerated Nations. She had travelled all over, looking at our prison systems. Too many of them are holding cells for people, and do very little to reform or treat their ills. Too many are soul-destroying cages.
It was nice listening to the prisoners’ poetry. It was really nice to see how their fellow inmates responded to the work. One guy was clearly the prison saga boy, with shades and ting. I wish I was able to take a picture, but we had to hand in our cell phones to security.
It was also nice that for Baz’s book, they drafted local celebrities Kees Dieffenthaller, Machel Montano and Anya Ayoung-Chee to read excepts. Kees also performed, and Mohammed Muwakil, singer and well-known spoken word artist, opened the proceedings. It was a great showcase for the prisoners.
As a journalist I knew that I was going to talk to as many people as I could. Since the event was a Bocas Lit Fest event, I decided, let’s ask people what their favourite books were. So that’s what I did, and here are their answers.
Here’s a list of the books mentioned:
Mohammed Muwakil: Seed to Harvest by Octavia Butler
Anya Ayoung-Chee, Kees Dieffenthaller & Machel Montano: The Alchemist by Paulo Coehlo
Kees Diefenthaller: The Prophet by Kahlil Gibran
Machel Montano: The Long Walk to Freedom by Nelson Mandela, The Power of Now by Eckhart Tolle
Dr. Baz Dresinger: Invisible Man by Ralph Ellison
If you were to ask me that very same question, my books are The Bluest Eye by Toni Morrison, and Like Water For Chocolate by Laura Esquivel. And an honourable mention to Wine of Astonishment by Earl Lovelace, because I felt like I was buzzing while reading it. I was simply overcome with the sensation that it was meant to be read aloud.
It’s a Carnival miracle. The blog title is a lie. The feud is over. Machel Montano and Bunji Garlin are together on one track and it’s fire!
Heh HA! Fanism unlocked. I lurve eet!
My friend Keegan Taylor, soca producer, stick fighter is one of the writers. I heard the song and immediately called him to congratulate him on a fantastic track. It’s full of magic. Especially if you know about Trinidad culture; Joe Tamana and patwa. It speaks to your very soul.
Two soca songs created a bit of buzz this week. The first being from novelty act Uncle Ellis. Uncle Ellis shot to spotlight earlier this year for his now trademark dance, originally performed outside KFC Independence Square by a music cart.
Well he’s capitalising on his notoriety, and has released a song for Carnival 2017. It’s getting some early Jouvert hype. Not sure if that assessment is genuine or if they are pappyshowing the man. Time will tell.
The second has been out for a bit, but the video dropped this week. It was filmed during Chinatown (a fete). I want to like the video, the look of it is of the highest quality, but the video has no story. Before you tell me that it’s a fete video, so it can’t have a story, let me point you to Machel Montano’s The Fog. That director used his shots better, and took enough to create the narrative of a bess fete, that is overly joyous. He was able to single out several story lines: the lovers; the friends; the performers on the stage, including the artist who is almost incidental to the party. It’s a winning production.