Usually, at this time of the year, revellers all bedecked and bejewelled in stunning costumes would be dancing their way down Cayman’s streets to booming music, getting about as close to one another as the law allows.
The coronavirus has put paid to those plans, as residents of Grand Cayman are still sheltering in place and social distancing is de rigueur. However, the organisers of Batabano and CayMAS have not allowed the present situation to dampen their spirits.
Last weekend, Batabano went online, and this Saturday, CayMAS is doing the same.
Instead of four days of partying, it will all be crammed into six hours – from noon to 6pm – and rather than people taking to the streets, they will be dancing in their living rooms.
With the assistance of Hurley’s Media and EventPro, plus the connective magic of Zoom, registered attendees can join in the fun of seeing all their friends and be entertained by international and local artists. The music doesn’t stop all day, with hosts Koolface and Festa keeping the party energy going. That’s the great thing about an online event – no down time for breaking down and setting up new artists on stage.
Noon – Sound Revolution
12:30pm – Turner
12:40pm – DJ Soca Sweetness
1:10pm – DJ Quan
1:40pm – Nailah Blackman
1:50pm – Celebrity DJ Duchess
2:20pm – Alison Hinds
2:30pm – DJ Rocksteadyy
3pm – Mikey
3:10pm – DJ Lantern MD
3:40pm – Erphaan Alves
3:50pm – DJ Dr. Esan
4:20pm – Preedy
4:30pm – Travis World
5pm – GBM Nutron
5:10pm – DJ Marz
5:45pm – Surprise guest artist
In case you are not familiar with these names, allow us to enlighten you about some of them.
Nailah Blackman is a 22-year-old singer and songwriter out of Trinidad with a combined total of over 30 million views on YouTube. She has been nominated for numerous awards and was recently interviewed on the set of ‘The Stream’, Al Jazeera’s live stream show.
British-born Bajan soca artist Alison Hinds has made such a name for herself in the industry that she has been crowned the Queen of Soca. Her first solo album, aptly named ‘Soca Queen’, is a diverse selection of soca tunes with standout song ‘Roll It Gal’ which became an international hit between 2005 and 2006. It was released in the US, Europe and the Far East, taking her music to new shores and creating fans all over the globe. She has toured worldwide and has won accolades and awards over the years.
Bajan artist Mikey Mercer, simply known as ‘Mikey’ by soca fans, has been making waves on the power soca circuit for some time now, letting the trophies pile up from competitions, including being named the Soca Monarch champion in 2019, at a contest held in the National Botanical Gardens in Barbados.
Erphaan Alves is a Trinidadian soca recording artist and songwriter. He initially gained recognition in the soca world in 2012 when he successfully qualified as a finalist in both the Groovy and International Power Soca Monarch finals with the songs ‘In Your Eyes’ and ‘Terrible’.
Preedy also hails from Trinidad and is considered a triple threat with his gifts for songwriting, performing on the microphone, and dancing. In 2016, his captivating stage prowess paid off, garnering him second place at the International Soca Monarch competition with his
Jason Carter, better known as GBM Nutron, began hitting the stage and singing calypso when he was 7 years old and in primary school. After migrating to the US, he lost touch with the music, but was reintroduced to his love of soca at the age of 16; there’s been no stopping him since then. One of his latest hits is ‘Practice’.
If you want to be a part of the action, you have to register to get the Zoom code at www.caymas.ky. There are up to 1,000 slots available, which sounds like a lot, but when you consider the popularity of carnival in Cayman, those spaces could fill up quickly. Best of all, it is free to see it all!
Here’s another idea: suppose you are an overseas fan of CayMAS and you miss being in the islands. Register online and you can be in the thick of it, just like if you were here. Don’t have a costume? No worries. Dig out an old feather duster, pull it apart, and use a headband to create something homemade.
Although participation is absolutely free, as already mentioned, CayMAS wants to help out the community by encouraging attendees to donate to Meals On Wheels. The charity has experienced a big upswing in requests for food, due to the COVID-19 crisis, and is receiving fewer donations for the same reason. Anyone who can afford to give a little something is being asked to do so, through www.eventpro.ky.
Just because you can’t dance pon de road outdoors doesn’t mean you can’t dress in your finest carnival gear at home. Strap on the sequins and the headdresses and pull on the boots. Be your own mas band and strut your stuff!
| For more info, visit www.caymas.ky.