The 19th Annual St Kitts Music Festival 2015 was held at the Warner Park Stadium over the June 25-27 weekend.
Thursday night was Soca and Caribbean music night and the line-up was deep and rich with some of today’s most popular acts. Performers included T-Vice playing Kompa from Haiti, Small Axe Band from St Kitts, Tonio Rosario from Dominican Republic, reigning Soca Monarch of St. Kitts Mr. Bagnall, The Roy Cape All Stars backing up Ricardo Drue (from Antigua), and Blaxx. Also, on the show were mega stars Patrice Roberts, Kerwin DuBois and Benjai, Mr Phenomenal.
Thursday night was a great night with stellar performances from all the artists. The heavy rain made this correspondent run for cover but, when the rain relented, I ventured out as Ricardo Drue sang his Soca Monarch hit Hooligan. Drue divided the crowd and I proudly became a Hooligan (by virtue of being on the left side of the crowd which turned out to be the right side!). Drue also sang one of my other favorites ‘Big People Party”.
I could go on for ever if I described everything but instead, I will just cover a few highlights. Benjai, The People’s Champion came on stage and sang several of his hits, Wine to the Side, Feter, Phenomenal, Low me Ima Trini. Many of you have seen the performance on video where Benjai stripped down to his tighty whities and the crowd asked me to do a repeat of his TnT Soca Monarch performance. Unfortunately, he resisted and stated that the Government of St. Kitts would not like it and he wanted to be invited back for Carnival in December! This was probably a good call on his part. Benjai a prolific song writer sang a slow song he co-wrote with Machel Montano called Amnesty “Gunmen gone astray, taking lives away…”
Kerwin Dubois Soca Monarch 2014 sang many of his hits, Bachannalist, I Am soca, Today I’m Feeling Nice, Monster Winer, Realest, Bumper. He is a prolific lyricist, great performance.
All the artists gave energetic performances and the Kittitians loved them, they went wild for their local acts, Small Axe and Soca Monarch Mr Bagnall, but they showed love and appreciation for all.
Friday night’s lineup was Bounty Killa, Chris Martin, Ciara, Aswad, Mod Stoney, Nicha B, Footsy, Jah Fire, Zemenfes Kidus, Trebla and AZ-1 Band. I like the fact that the government and the St Kitts Tourist Board provides exposure for their local artists. I have a special love for Aswad, I grew with them in the UK and followed them all over the world I have seen them at University in the UK, Jamaica, New York and now in St Kitts. Their song “I Need Your Love” was my wedding song back in the eighties. They sang African Children, Freedom Road, Shine like a star. Earlier in their career, they recorded Kings highway with Dennis Brown. I love Aswad. I read recently that a former founding member Brindsley Forde received the MBE from the Queen for services to the arts. Big up Aswad.
RnB star Ciara did her thing in the rain and was appreciative that the audience stayed with her and didn’t run from the rain. Chris Martin and I were on the same flight from Miami to St Kitts and I told him I was looking forward to his performance. The “Don’t Let Me Cheat on my Girlfriend” singer gave a great set.
Bounty Killa was the last act, I have not see Killa on stage for a while but the War Lord was his usual energetic self and his fans loved him. I am of Jamaican heritage, but I could not understand a word he was saying.
Saturday’s line-up was Jason Derulo, Trey Sonz , Infamus and Arturo Tappin from Barbados.
I spoke with a few friends in St. Kitts and they told me they were looking forward to the Saturday night line up of Jason Derulo and Trey Sonz. I missed them because I had to fly back to New York, I am sure they gave the ladies what they wanted.