Michael Mondezie

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“Soca music, take me, take me, take me back to my island.”

For more than three decades that timeless lyric from calypso icon David Michael Rudder has comforted many a pining West Indian heart, stuck in the hustle of big city life on both sides of the Atlantic.

A good meal is like hearing your favourite song. The right combination of ingredients could make you bob your head and shuffle your feet.

That’s exactly the response entertainer Dloxx (Dalton Jeremiah) aims to inspire daily at his self-titled Dloxx Kitchen in Arima. Dloxx cues up a different local favourite on his menu’s turntable six days of the week at the eatery located at Cynners Sports Bar on Subero Street in Malabar.

Nobody. Lives. There.

Those three words are fast becoming the official Yuletide refrain of Christmas 2021 following the release of the parang soca jam “The Lost Band” (Nobody Lives There).

The comical Junior “Ibo” Jospeh-produced track features an unlikely all-star quartet of calypso queen Maria Bhola Paul, soca parang queen Marcia Miranda, jazz supremo Vaughnette Bigford and parang queen Alicia Jaggasar.

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The gift of gratitude. That’s what actress Penelope Spencer hopes to give children this Christmas with her upcoming book Toy Troubles.

Spencer has crafted a tale of haves and have-nots she hopes will awaken a greater appreciation in young readers to the privileges they enjoy in their own lives. The book, meant for three- to ten-year-olds, is inspired by both children lucky enough to get gifts at this time of year and those who make the best of their unfortunate circumstances.

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At just 22 years old, Yung Bredda is one of the most exciting new acts on the local music circuit.

Born Akhenaton Lewis, the multi-genre self-proclaimed “Mr Versatile” has had a major influence on the trending cross-genre sound in T&T and has built an impressive online following. His hybrid dancehall singles “Trampoline” and “Fed Up” racked up millions of views during the past two years.

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“We wanna live.”

That empowering declaration was first made in song by husband-and-wife duo Carl and Carol Jacobs in 1987.

Back then, the pair were championing the resilience of the people of T&T in the face of a crippling economic recession and other socio-economic challenges of the day.

It’s an uplifting message that contemporary soca acts Swappi (Marvin Davis) and Terri Lyons believe needs to be echoed today.

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“Keep the faith. God is great and he knows best.”

That’s the uplifting message from New York-based singer Kevon Carter to the people of T&T during the current spike in Covid-19 cases here at home. T&T recorded 537 new cases of Covid and 17 deaths on Thursday.

Carter, who returned to the United States earlier this year following the reopening of international borders, says he is “disturbed by the continued rise in Covid cases in T&T”.

Jerrod Johnson is the point of the spear of a new wave of soca parang music.

Aptly, Johnson is known in music circles as Bongo Spear. The Palo Seco-born musician catapulted into the national consciousness last year with his parang soca hit “Ah Not Eating”. His comical refrain of “ah not eating nothing dat smelling so” after being offered “food” by a neighbour’s wife became the unofficial anthem of Christmas 2020.

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Low numbers.

That’s what entertainer Rome (Jerome Precilla) is hoping for this Christmas season.

New Covid-19 cases on the island surpassed the 500 mark on Wednesday and Thursday last week and hospital ICUs (Intensive Care Units) and wards are currently overwhelmed with patients as T&T appears to be in the middle of a new pandemic surge.

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Christmas is love.

Despite the all the personal challenges, loss and hurt of the past year, soca act Bass, aka Trilo G, wants everyone in T&T to remember their humanity this Christmas season.

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