A video of a child growing up in the San Juan community plays on a screen. Romanesque columns line either side of a well-lit stage and dancers can be seen peeking out from behind.
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Big People Party in New York
Internationally-acclaimed Trinidadian soca star Darryl “Farmer Nappy” Henry officially launched his new album—Big People Party—to a full-capacity crowd at the New York city concert venue Sounds Of Brazil (SOB’s), on Sunday.
His third, full-length studio effort, Big People Party was released worldwide in stores and online on February 25, from FOX FUSE, but since it was in the midst of Trinidad’s Carnival season, Farmer was only now able to journey to the media capital of the world to promote his new album to the media and fans there.
Presenting a soca showcase and a free event at that, Farmer breaks new ground for soca music and the culture of T&T, as he takes full aim at exposing soca to the masses and capturing his spot in the North American market.
“I am extremely grateful for all the support you have shown me over the years and I thank you very much for coming out to support me and my album tonight,” Farmer Nappy told the SOB’s crowd. He was backed by a stellar session band that includes some of the top producers in soca music, including Scott Galt of De Red Boyz on guitar; Shawn “Mr Roots” Mitchell of WIZ Records on bass; Darien Bailey of Studio B on keyboard; and, Melvin Alick on drums.
The live-band performance brought down the house as fans followed Farmer word-for-word through his hit-filled catalog, which spans 30 years and counting. He ran through the gamut of tunes, from his breakout hit Chippin’, to crowd favourites such as Surrender, You Make Me, Minglin’, Stranger, Flirt, to classics like Music Farm from his Xtatik days, then concluded the hour-long set with his current blockbuster Big People Party, which placed second in Road March and third in the International Groovy Soca Monarch at this year’s Trinidad Carnival. Farmer was also joined on-stage by dancehall icon Lady G, for an impromptu rendition of their collaboration Surrender Remix, much to the crowd’s delight.
A concept event for soca music, this album launch was completely free as it provided the opportunity for Farmer Nappy to give back to his longtime fans, and to also expose and market his music to the mainstream audience. It was hosted by Toronto-based radio personality and soca aficionado Dr Jay, while music was provided by the international alliance of soca deejays known as Team Soca, with deejay sets from Freeze International, D Soca Boyz, Spoil Brattz and anchored by DJ Spice of NYC’s Power105.1 FM. The showcase concluded with an album-signing session and meet-and-greet with fans.
Farmer Nappy merchandise was on sale all night long, including various t-shirts, albums, wrist bands and posters. In addition to soca and Caribbean press, mainstream media houses also attended the showcase, including journalists from Billboard Magazine, FADER Magazine and LargeUp.com. Video coverage was provided soca promoter JuliansPromos.
Farmer Nappy was busy making the promotional rounds while in New York City.
He was interviewed on Wee Radio 87.7FM by Ian “The Goose” Eligon, on Irie Jam Radio 93.5 FM by DJ Roy, on Randy’s Reggae Radio by The Bajan King, on TeamSoca.com by DJ Spice, and on several local soca radio stations across Brooklyn, which have the ears of soca fans on the streets of New York. He now takes off on a packed touring schedule, which will bring him to audiences all across the Caribbean and the world in months to come, as he continues his mission of bringing soca music to the world.