At age three soca artiste Nadia Batson was already reading the newspapers. By four, the star in the making surprised her mother-a writer and actress-as well as everyone else in her family, by composing short stories and poems. "There's this story my mom gives all the time. She said when I was four, my grandfather wanted to buy me a bike and she told him that if I could read an article in the newspapers, he would have to buy it." Well, Nadia got her bike and has been riding a wave of success ever since.
Music has always been Nadia's first love and it has taken her around the globe, including Shanghai, China, in 2010, where she wowed the foreign crowd, in spite of the language barrier. "I was thinking the people would be like, 'What is she doing?' But girl, I had them jumping, waving, running, dancing, all kinda ting! That's the power of music and soca. We really don't know what we have here," she said. When the T&T Guardian caught up with Nadia on Wednesday, she was at her Santa Rosa home relaxing on the couch. She confesses to not getting the time to dedicate to her usual gym routine but getting adequate rest during the day and taking her vitamins are priorities as she readies herself to take over the International Soca Monarch stage on Carnival Friday.
Singing professionally since the age of 17, the entertainer, who also did ballet at the Caribbean School of Dance in her younger years, will go up against the creme de la creme of soca in both the Groovy and Power categories, with the popular tracks, No Pressure and Making Up, respectively. Nadia isn't worried. It's a feat she accomplished back in 2007 when she was a finalist in the two categories with her infectious tracks Caribbean Girl and My Land. "My approach to Soca Monarch differs from many artistes because I look at the stage as an opportunity to present my song in the best possible way," stated Nadia, who was also in high praise of Caribbean Prestige Foundation for "coming up with new ways to improve the show."
The creator and lead singer of the Caribbean's first all-female soca band, SASS, Nadee, as she's affectionately called, is having her best year yet as she continues to break boundaries in the world of soca. "I formed the band in July last year, it was a risk but I'm a risk-taker. It's one of the best moves I've made in my career. We've been booked every weekend since Carnival," she stated. "I think it's a kind of shock value too because people didn't expect this level of musicianship from women. It's beautiful to see...People still come up to me singing, "Nadee how yuh go do meh dat" like if that's the name of the song!"