News of a Carnival 2022 came too late. That’s the view of soca artiste Patrice Roberts, who believes the time is too short now to execute any event.
“I understand that we are operating with a high level of uncertainty but there is barely any time,” she told Guardian Media via Zoom yesterday.
Roberts said she was happy to hear the announcement by the Prime Minister of planned events but wished it was communicated earlier.
Roberts is not the only soca artiste with that view.
Terrin Jaiga Calender said some dates should have been set already in something like a Safe Zone calendar.
“It’s just fluff at this point because we’re smack in January already,” he said.
The singer said he believed those in authority should have put something in place already, using examples from other countries.
“Honestly speaking, it’s not that difficult to host events even inside the pandemic it’s just that I don’t think that they consider the arts a priority like that,” he said.
According to Jaiga, those in the industry already knew that events would have to be scaled down, so he doesn’t know why an announcement was made approximately a month before Carnival 2022, especially since in the last two years, many in the industry have not made any money, issues he said has not been addressed.
“We already know that it had to be condensed but it could have been handled way better even with the rising numbers,” he said.
On Saturday, Prime Minister Dr Keith Rowley said that Carnival 2022 was still possible.
At a media conference at Diplomatic Centre, St Ann’s, he said the Minister of Tourism, Culture and the Arts. along with other stakeholders, will meet this week to discuss the format.
Jaiga asked who are the stakeholders speaking on their behalf, as he is yet to meet any.
This view was shared by Down Dey singer Jason “GBM Nutron” Carter, who said there is no representation for many people who make up the industry.
“There is no union for the wire bender, there is no union for the bartenders, there is no union for the sound companies, so who are these stakeholders for real. Are they speaking for everyone, are they considering the roles of everyone involved in a carnival season?” he asked.
“These are the people.”
Carter said he was still happy to hear the announcement of Carnival 2022.
He said this gives them an opportunity to make money and rebuild some of what they lost in the pandemic.
“The people that work the fetes, the people that take on jobs as bartenders, the people that work as vendors the hairdressers, the make-up artiste, the designers, those are the people that I worry about,” he said.
Carter, who released approximately seven soca songs recently, without the confirmation of a Carnival season, said many artistes do this out of passion.
“My role and function is to create and deliver music whether there is a carnival or not,” he said.
It’s the same for Roberts, who said she loves her job and her supporters who admire her both locally and internationally.
“It’s really tough sometimes, even if it’s tough to not release music…my fans fuel my energy,” the singer, whose new release titled– Mind My Business– is a top favourite this season,” she said.
Jaiga, who released seven songs for the season, agrees. He said he will always do music because he’s a patriot when it comes to the art.
“I’m definitely a citizen of soca, me doing music is just a part of who I am,” he said.
Jaiga said it costs some in the business approximately US$5,000 to produce a song.
Despite this, these three soca stars interviewed said they spent money without knowing if there would be a Carnival because of their passion.