Groovy soca music may continue to cluster local airwaves ahead of Carnival 2016 but one artiste isn’t turning his back on the Power element that is synonymous with Carnival. The entertainer who catapulted to fame in 2014 when he told DJs to ‘Play More Local’ is now saying, “play more power,” this as he takes up the fight to recreate a carnival that once was.
Mr. Famous- the Toco native who is the cousin to famed soca singer, Patrice Roberts, says two of his contributions for the season will trigger a sense of rebirth for masqueraders who yearn for the right music to parade through the streets of Port-of-Spain. “Power Soca will never die. It’s the music the masqueraders want and need for the road. I’m really pushing Power because it seems like everybody’s forgetting this important part of our carnival. Everybody’s singing groovy,” he said.
Arguing that power soca music is the heartbeat of the mas, Mr. Famous, whose real name is Junior Noel, says his songs, “Calling Me” and “More Time on De Stage” are just what’s needed for revelers to enjoy the jump up on Carnival Monday and Tuesday. Noting government’s recent announcement of a need to diversify the economy and the integral part culture, the arts and festivals like Carnival can play, Mr. Famous says he believes, now more than ever, Trinidad and Tobago and the artistes and other stakeholders who make up the culture industry, must see the importance of holding on to the authentic aspects of T&T’s culture. “We have to sell what’s innate to us, to the rest of the world,” said Famous. His passion is strong for Calypso and soca music. He explained that his two singles epitomize the charisma of artistes like Super Blue, Kitchener, Ronnie MacIntosh and others of that era, something he notes is important to hold on to. Famous however has no qualms about the development of soca and recent efforts to fuse the music for variation. “I just feel that we should, even while this is being practiced and experimented with, we should stay true to who we are as a people. We’re a proud people with a loud, beautiful, colourful culture that cannot be emulated,” he reiterated.
His journey still fairly new, Mr. Famous is hopeful that the months and years ahead will see him enter the carnival landscape with greater force. “I have a song in mind for a collaboration with Kees. I haven’t spoken with him yet about it, but I know it will make for a great single,” he said. On the career of his cousin Patrice Roberts, Famous said he is very, very proud of Patrice, noting that she has worked hard and is seeing the fruits of her labour.
With a short season this Carnival, Famous says he has been hearing the utterances of many and says he hopes the carnival loving people will eventually receive music they can truly absorb and enjoy at fetes and on the road this season. He says airplay for him and others who are less popular, continues to be a challenge but all in all, he maintains his focus and is working on other promotional avenues in a bid to get his songs heard across the board. “Airplay will always be a challenge but we can’t dwell on it. We have to push forward and trust that the music will speak to the people, when it’s supposed to. I would like to see Power Soca music brought to life again and with that mission in mind, I’m trotting forward, making my individual moves to give the people their ‘jump up’ music.”