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Party With A Purpose: Soca Lovers Help Heal Dominica

THE CLOSING lines of The Last Poets much-celebrated 1970 track When The Revolution Comes make the claim that when the revolution comes, black people far too often just want to “party and b******t”. Think soca music and you might be inclined to envision gyrating hips revved up by pulsating carnival rhythms. Because of this, you may not necessarily think of this happy-go-lucky, vibrant music, originating in Caribbean islands such as Trinidad, St Vincent and Dominica, as inspiring a generation of ravers to seriously consider their social responsibility.

However, when soca promoters, Shak Callender and Patrick Roberts showcased Agua - The Ultimate Foam & Wet Fete on June 2, ravers turned out in their droves. The event was a soca-inspired water party with a strong social dimension in as much as the primary aim was one of raising funds for destitute Dominicans – still reeling from the effects of last year’s category five hurricane, Maria. Partygoers were urged to “get wet” because a percentage of the proceeds would be donated to Dominica.

Organiser Callender, drew the conclusion that since water had played a central role in Dominica’s destruction, where waves larger than houses washed away or damaged almost 90 per cent of the island’s infrastructure, then water should be used to help the island recover.


WET FETE: Soca promoter Shak Callender believes water should be used to help the island recover (Image: eyesam.com photography)

DJ Shak said: “Agua was created to build a community across Soca music to help musicians gel and to also support a charity. For the next two years we are working with the island of Dominica and it is quite pertinent because water was the destruction of the nation but without water there is no civilisation.”

At a press conference organised at the Yaa Centre the previous night, the Bouyan Boss and Wet Fete singer Asa Banton, spoke of his experience of donating relief to Dominica immediately after last September’s hurricane. Banton spoke too of his joy at being selected this time around to collect proceeds from Agua - The Ultimate Foam & Wet Fete and deliver these back home in his native Dominica.

The singer said: “I feel really good being the one handing over the funds on behalf of Agua and letting my countrymen know that the people in the UK still think and care about them. Obviously, I would encourage everyone to buy loads of bottles of water because a percentage of all funds raised are going to an excellent cause.”

Big Girl Now singer and Trinidadian, Patrice Roberts, told fans she was thrilled to once again visit the UK to help spread soca music far and wide.


HIGH ENERGY: Patrice Roberts performing at the Agua - The Ultimate Foam & Wet Fete (Image: eyesam.com photography)

Decked out in a raunchy, bling-embellished white catsuit she didn’t disappoint and gave a steamy masterclass performance while working the crowd like the professional she is. Fellow Trinidadian Yankee Boy lived up to the hype and expectation delivering an energetic, powerful and colourful set with the highlight being the performance of his hit song Blue Soap.

The Bouyan Boss Bantan contributed to the good humoured energy and mayhem while performing his hit songs We making a mess and Wet fete. At one stage he had the crowd running in unison from one end of the field to the other, it was a sight to behold.

The energy level of this event was extremely high and if this was a measure of things to come, Agua 2019 can’t come soon enough.

After the event, Colin Crawford of Candy Mas, spoke of the importance of doing something different to help spread soca music. Perhaps he was on to something. These partygoers aren’t rebels without a cause but ravers with a responsibility – their mission is to party with a purpose. With this, surely The Last Poets would have been proud.

Award-winning Candy Mas are organising many events throughout 2018. If you’d like to keep up to date with all their activities or would like to purchase a costume for the upcoming Notting Hill Carnival, follow them on social media: @carnivalcrasherz

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