An escape to cloud nine. That’s what soca star Lyrikal (Devon Martin) provided fans across the world when he livestreamed a full concert performance from his living room in Atlanta, Georgia, USA, last Thursday evening.
Lyro, as the Belmont-born singer is fondly called, jumped, wined and sang his heart out during a high-energy set that featured a number of fete hits, including “Passin’ Tru”, “25/8”, “Lit”, “Loner”, “Criminal Wine” and “Heaven’s Design”, among others. The showcase attracted close to 10,000 viewers on Facebook and Instagram Live.
The moment of the evening however came when the socially conscious singer slowed his tempo to deliver a poignant message of hope in the face of the global coronavirus pandemic.
“Right now is quarantine time in the world, but we celebrating still,” Lyrikal told them through cell phone, computer and TV screens.
An emotional Lyro sat and spoke to the camera after, cuing DJ Spoogy The Boss into the instrumental opening of his 2015 Carnival hit, “Cloud 9”.
“When we say we living for tonight, the people in the world, including myself, we never know when things could change. We say we prayers every day, we have faith, we hope for the best, but we never know when things could change.
“So give thanks for life, health and strength every morning and live life to the fullest and to the best of your ability right now. I say this in 2015, and we go say this today and we go say it for life,” he continued emphatically.
Dropping to his knees, he sang:
“Oh Lord, ah high, celebrating life
I know the limit is the sky
Everybody on the live, wha yuh say
That’s why we living for tonight
On cloud nine.”
Fans go into full fete mode
Thousands of soca fans in Trinidad and Tobago, across the Caribbean region and throughout the diaspora went into full fete mode for Lyrikal’s online concert.
Hundreds of dancing fans shared photos of themselves dressed in fete gear, inclusive of full hair and make-up. Others shared photos of their fully stocked home bars and videos of them “taking a wine” in their living rooms.
A few famous faces were seen in the virtual dance, as well as soca acts Iwer George, Nadia Batson, Voice (Aaron St Louis) and Bunji Garlin (Ian Alvarez), who showed their full support with encouraging messages on the live chat. Garlin, in particular, opted to fill the chat window with fire emojis, much to the excitement of the thousands of fans viewing.
Lyro meanwhile ended his set by pouring every last drop of energy into his 2020 Carnival hit, “Rukshun”.
The song won him second position in the Power Soca category at the 2020 International Soca Monarch competition, behind Iwer George’s collaboration with Kees Dieffenthaller, “Stage Gone Bad”.
DJ Spoogy asked Lyro about his thoughts on the night and missing out on the title, to which he responded, “Everything was in place and I felt great going on the stage. Coming off the stage, I felt like a winner. We won over the people and that’s what we had set out to do.”
Turning to face his thousands of fans, he switched into performance overdrive and shouted, “Do me a favour, doh tell me ’bout behaviour.”
You didn’t need a live camera feed to see the mania that followed in thousands of living rooms around the Caribbean, the United Kingdom and North America.