BussHead: The Video

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.

The video released on The Fader Friday.

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.

Jab and Kalinda

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.

Check them out!

Destra’s Carnival

Despite a rocky 2 years, Destra Garcia is determined to produce a concert for Carnival 2017. The Queen of Backannal announced that we can definitely expect a Destra concert from her this year. If you remember, her 2015 concert was plagued by late arrivals, but was positively reviewed. Last year she cancelled her 2016 offering mere days before showtime. She thinks 2017 will be her year, and I support the soca star with her plans.
But Destra is a problamatic artist for me. I see her as a performer who lacks focus. Destra, at this point in her career still doesn’t know who she is as an artist. I see her jumping on trends with little to no sign of her personality on the track. I know that she can perform, and she is among the best, but I think that I have more faith in her ability than she has in herself.

Looking at her offering for Carnival this year, I’m still waiting. I have issues with the scripting of this song, but the visuals are lovely. I want to find that jetty and take pictures there.  The song is nice, but it seems fake, the language, implied accent, I can’t get behind it at all.

I don’t have words to express the levels of hate I have for this video. What is it? Who are you as an artiste? There is no authenticity in the performance, vocally nor visually. I’ve seen those gangsta posturing on TV. Destra looks like she watched the same programme that I did, and is as great of an actress that I am. It’s simple not a convincing performance.

We can do hip hop here. We can do soca-infused hip hop. Look at Nebula 868. He’s of that community, and does a convincing hybrid.

Destra vs Lucy works. Destra is cute and playful, if a bit subdued in the video. Some of the costuming needs work, I’m speaking about the Black, sweater combo in particular, but I really like her lyric video concept.

As an aside, I’m working on a piece on soca music videos, so stay tuned for that piece.

Uncle Ellis’ Christmas Present for the Carnival Babies

Soca’s favourite winer boy, sorry Machel, has entered the soca arena. We featured the song before on this blog, but yesterday, as a present for the Carnival babies, the video was released on YouTube.

A few years ago, Uncle Ellis was a Port of Spain sensation for dancing in front of KFC Independence Square to the music from the CD vendors. Videos of him went Trini viral and a career was born.

He seems to have a good management team, who’re actually seeing about his welfare. If I’m not mistaken, Uncle Ellis now has a BMobile contract as a sponsor.
I like the video. He makes reference to his life before infamy. His treatment on the streets and his subtle critique of our casual and not so casual violence to the downtrodden.

Plus, the damn song is catchy.

New Soca

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.