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Reigning Cayman Islands soca monarch Andrea Rivera is eagerly anticipating her participation in this year's carnival in Jamaica.
"I am really looking forward to it, I have my costume and I will be in the Xodus ban;, my costume was gifted to me so I want to bring my Puerto Rican-Caymanian energy to Jamaica!" an excited Andrea Rivera said.
Xodus Carnival is a premium carnival band in Jamaica. It is a merger between Jamaica's leading entertainment tourism company, Dream Entertainment Ltd and one of Trinidad's premier carnival bands.
Rivera has visited Jamaica twice before but she is relishing this trip.
"Jamaica is such a vibesy place, I know I am going to have an amazing time. In the future I want to work with Jamaican artistes, Vybz Kartel would be a dream, but I love Konshens and Shenseea, and I would love to work with the producer Rvssian," she said.
Last year, Rivera bested a field of competitors to win the Cayman Soca Monarch title with the saucy 'Loving On Meh'.
Then she solidified her popularity with the booty-shaking, waist-flinging soca single “Wuk Yuh Waist” that did well on FM radio in that country and across the Caribbean.
After that, she released another single, 'Light It Up' with music video that did very well. Widely regarded by Caribbean music critics as one one of the hardest working and hungriest female artists from the Cayman Islands, she has been making the rounds sampling the culture of the surrounding islands and performing at CropOver in Barbados- perhaps the biggest carnival in the Caribbean after Trinidad.
After a trip to Trinidad, she was inspired to write a new song, 'Permission' which she will use to defend her title this coming May in the Cayman Islands.
"They recently passed a law in Trinidad where men have to ask permission to dance with a woman, and that's the basis for my song which I will be performing when I defend my title next month," she said,
Originally from the Cayman Islands with Puerto Rican roots and with no immediate family members sharing her passion for music, her main influences were iconic artistes that she heard on the radio or watched on TV such as Michael Jackson, Madonna, Prince, Bob Marley, Whitney Houston and Celine Dion.
She has been singing in bands since the age of 16, and since the release of her first hit single “Drop It” she has developed her own style by building on the foundations created by others in the music industry.
"I want to be an internationally recognised artiste , that is my ultimate goal, and I won't stop till I get there," she said.