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Soca star Nailah Blackman evermore radiant

Trinidadian soca star Nailah Blackman will be evermore radiant as she performs virtually on Friday during the West Indian American Day Carnival Association’s (WIADCA) first ever virtual Brass Fest.

Born on Dec. 2, 1997, Blackman is not only a singer but also a songwriter.

Her grandfather, the late Garfield Blackman, also known as Lord Shorty or Ras Shorty I, invented the style of music known as Jamoo and is also credited with inventing soca as a means of reinvigorating calypso music.

Blackman’s mother, Abbi Blackman, is a hit-making calypso star in her own right.

Blackman is also the niece of Avion Blackman, lead singer of the Los Angeles-based Christian-reggae band Christafari, and Nehilet Blackman.

Born in San Fernando, Trinidad’s second city, to a family of musicians, Blackman grew up “influenced by the sound and artistry of the musical traditions of soca and calypso sounds,” according to Wikipedia, the online encyclopedia.

At the age of four, it said Blackman began singing regularly and entered her first Calypso competition two years later. Her professional career then began at 11.

She is not only classically-trained in voice but also in various instruments, including the guitar and keyboard, Wikipedia said.

Trinidadian singer Nailah Blackman.Nailah Blackman / FB
In 2016, it said Blackman performed her song, “Runaway Train” for Movie Towne’s Pixel Play showcase.

“This performance raised her national profile and helped to garner buzz in advance of her 2017 releases,” Wikipedia said.

It said Blackman collaborated with the internationally-successful soca act Kes on the song “Workout,” “which became a massive hit during the 2017 Trinidad Carnival season and continues to enjoy lasting popularity.”

“Workout” took Blackman to the finals of the 2017 International Soca Monarch competition.

Blackman also released “Bailah Mami” in 2017, produced by Anson Pro Soverall.

In 2018, the most popular of Blackman’s songs were released, including “O’ Lawd Oye” and “Badishh,” the latter featuring the Jamaican dancehall singer Shenseea, Wikipedia said.

It said Blackman’s rising star earned her candidacy in BET‘s 2018 “Best New International Act” viewer’s choice competition.

In August 2019, Blackman released her debut EP “The Reel”, which features the single “Sweet & Loco”.

“Nailah is radiant in this scene from the ‘Sweet & Loco’ music video,” said the Buzz. “Known by many for her weirdly yet unique vocals, soca artiste Nailah Blackman is showing different sides of her music with a new EP, titled ‘The Reel’”.

In the seven-track body of work, the Buzz said she “dabbles in R&B with her track, ‘Kills’

“In ‘Sweet & Loco’, she fuses afrobeat with soca for a playful yet sexy song,” the Buzz said.

It said the Trinidadian soca artist was also inspired by hip hop, as “Break It Down” features rapper Trinidad James.

“Even though I am an ambassador for soca music, I love so many different types of music, and I intend to at least try every one of them,” Blackman said.

Since her big break with Kes, with “Workout,” she has toured, Japan, Europe, America, and made several stops in the Caribbean, according to Buzz.

It said Blackman intends to create her own legacy in the music industry.

“It’s all great to be local and support local, but Caribbean artistes are much more than just soca, dancehall or reggae,” Blackman said.

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