What is the secret to your longevity as a Soca artiste?
It’s a bit challenging to pin a response down to one particular thing but I would say that I am intentional about paying attention to what is happening around me and in my industry regionally and internationally. I also pay very close attention to trends and the changes that are taking place. Those closest to my business and career will also tell you that I do not shy away from investing in my craft. I have been consistently investing in myself as a product so that I can continue to thrive in this space. Soca has grown and there are discussions for Soca to be recognized as its own genre on billboards.
What do you think the tipping point has to be to get Soca to crossover mainstream?
Support! Our music is amazing, but we need the support of our fellow countrymen and the diaspora. We need the streams and numbers. We also need constructive and positive conversations surrounding the genre so the genre can be better understood.
About 6 months ago you did a virtual concert “Strength of a Woman”. Tell us about that, how it originated and what the experience was like doing a virtual show.
I did the virtual SOAW in 2021 and opted not to do it in 2022. A few years ago, my team and I felt that it was time to take my career to another level. We looked at my body of work and the fact that it was time to do something special for my supporters. It made sense to present me to my supporters in a more meaningful way and we thought that my own concert would be it. We did it for 2 years in person and then the pandemic forced us to venture into the digital space. Every execution was immensely supported, and I am extremely thankful for the support that I have received thus far.
Carnival is a go this year and everyone is excited about its return. Why is carnival so important to the culture?
It’s part of who we are as a people. Without jumping too deeply into slavery this is us being free. When slavery ended our people had a reason to celebrate, we were finally allowed to indulge in our culture. For me, it allows me to express myself through music even more and to interact with my supporters on a different level. The energy through Carnival time is insane, I cannot describe it, but you literally must be here in Trinidad and Tobago to experience it. Every island has some unique elements to its carnivals also and I am always happy to be part of that because it also allows me to learn from the different cultures.
We recently interviewed Nessa Preppy, and she mentioned you as one of her top female artists to work with. Tell us about the song “SPLASH”, how it came about, and your experience collaborating with Nessa.
Nessa is such an amazing young woman and such a joy to be around. Splash has been career-defining for both of us and we have enjoyed performing it together and apart all over the world. That track was produced by Dan Evens from Martinique and Trinidad and Tobago’s Travis World and written by Shumba. When we both heard it, we just knew that we could create an amazing track together and we were right. “Splash” is still growing and still reaching people in new places. We are forever thankful.
You’ve collaborated with Lyrikal, Kerwin, Its Drue, and others; tell us who you would like to collaborate with in the future.
I have my eyes set on the African market. I’ve already collaborated with the very talented Afro B but I do want to find a space in that genre. I really do want to learn and submerse myself in the culture and respectfully add my bits and pieces to what is already an amazing movement. My goal is to find creative ways to introduce Soca music and myself to new markets.
I saw you perform for Nessa Preppy’s boat ride, alongside Nessa, Destra, and Nailah Blackman, which was one of the last events for Trinidad carnival; the performance was electrifying, and I absolutely enjoyed seeing the women dominating the stage. Paint a picture for us of what you experience during a performance with some of the most dynamic women in Soca.
Our industry is tough for us women, so I am always happy when opportunities pop up for me to share the same space with the talented women in my genre. I am happy to see that everyone is doing well.
Were you expecting Dru to publicly propose?
I am happy to be embarking on this new journey with Ricardo. After dating for quite some time, the ultimate progression would have been marriage. I knew we were heading there; I just was extremely shocked and overwhelmed by his public proposal during Druesday. I did not see that one coming at all!