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The A Team band is THE carnival band these days. It’s been that way for a few years but ahead of Trinidad and Tobago’s highly anticipated 2020 Carnival season, the band that’s got the musical prowess to back any Soca artiste, is darting out the gate, revolutionising the stage show and bringing a sound like no other.
EBUZZTT, in an exclusive sit down with A Team band manager, Zarin Morean learnt that in 2019, the A Team Band took Soca music to Germany- something that Morean says will be a highlight in each members’ career, for many years to come. They were contacted and asked to be a part of the BonFire Festival, delivering soca to the folks in Germany alongside Iwer George and Kes the Band.
A band that rehearses continuously – twice per week, according to Morean, the A Team is indeed a unit that prides itself on preparedness. “We consider ourselves to be, to Soca, what Jamaica’s Ruff Cut band is to dancehall. While other bands have seasonal rehearsals, we rehearse every week, twice a week,” explained Zarin. He admitted it’s a herculean task to learn the music of every soca artiste who hits the stage with the band, at events throughout the carnival season. “It means not just knowing the music, but understanding each artiste’s repertoire and stage show.”
With names like Patrice Roberts, Swappi, Benjai, Erphaan Alves, Farmer Nappy, Preedy, Shal Marshall and so many others on their roster, the season ahead is guaranteed to be a hectic one for every band member. Zarin says his team is prepared though, ready for the action that always unfolds in the Greatest Show on Earth.
Already booked for several fetes, including Presentation College’s All Inclusive, Randy Glasgow’s Soka With Her, SOS in Tobago and not to mention Patrice Roberts’ Strength of A Woman, Zarin told us that he is confident in the ability of his unit. “I give tremendous credit to our sound engineer, Brenon Vergil, our musical director Miguel Charles, and each of the musicians. We foster camaraderie within the A Team so while some people may think rehearsals are always just that- playing music, sometimes it isn’t,” he explained. A firm believer in the concept of building personal relationships, Zarin told us that he’s always seen the need to allow the band members to truly get to know each other’s likes and dislikes and simply put, each person’s way. “The music is the easy part, because everybody knows the music. Understanding each other is the hard part,” he said, revealing that at their camp, sometimes a rehearsal amounts simply to a ‘cook’ and time spent together, chatting and bonding.
Frontline vocalists Ms. Kerlz, Eddie Charles and D Soca Trainer are ready for the upcoming season. Already, Ms. Kerlz has unleashed a new single called ‘Independent Girl.’ Her band mate, D Soca Trainer also released a track on the Fetish riddim- something called, ‘Situational’. Eddie, Zarin told us, will be releasing two soca tracks for C2K20. For now, the band is busy delivering their vibe at Christmas functions across Trinidad and Tobago, having been booked by TSTT, Central Bank, Customs and even the Tobago House of Assembly. “I think it’s safe to say that the A Team band is the best sounding band in Trinidad and Tobago,” said Morean. He isn’t the first person to make such a pronouncement about this band and we doubt he’ll be the last.
In 2020, the A Team Band will be on the road with Chocolate City J’ouvert and Showtime Mas on Carnival Monday and Tuesday. They are excited to kick off the season of revelry – a season that will undoubtedly mean non stop work. “We all love what we do and that makes it that much sweeter,” said Morean. His one wish as the Christmas season looms, is that corporate Trinidad and Tobago sees the value in extending support to musicians and cultural representatives. “We have young musicians from Laventille and Morvant in the band and I feel that’s a good message for youths of those communities to receive. If corporate T&T would make use of these young, ambitious faces as endorsees for their brands, maybe the message being sold to the youths of T&T, could be better for not just them, but our country.”