As the first of a series of lead-up events in Jamaica Carnival’s line-up, Soca in the City, was an apt display of Julianne Lee’s vision to ‘Jamaicanise’ carnival this season.
DJ Kurt Riley mastered the turntables for the majority of the party, while popular selector and producer Supa Hype handled the microphone. Slipping in and out of his own version of an East Caribbean accent, while waving a Jamaica Carnival flag, Supa Hype rallied the crowd to near fever pitch. Supa Hype, with the help of Kurt Riley, even managed to split the audience and rallied them into an orchestrated stampede.
Soca in the City demonstrated some of Lee’s vision in her attempt to ‘Jamaicanise’ Carnival, as soca legend and dancehall sensations shared the stage later on during the event. Maintaining the high energy, soca queen Alison Hinds took the stage an hour before the event’s end, with a nostalgic set.
Towards the end of her set, Hinds invited soca-supporter and dancehall sensation Tanto Blacks to join her on stage. Hinds also took the opportunity to announce that she will be on the Jamaica Carnival trunk ‘pon de road’.
But the crowd really reacted when dancer and deejay Chi Ching Ching got his invitation to join queen Hinds on stage. “We want Breadfruit,” rose the chant from the audience after a short and energetic performance of, Way Up Stay Up.
Soca in the City was the first of a series of events leading up to the return of Jamaica Carnival, back pon de road on Sunday, April 23.