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Monday, March 29, 2010

Celebrity Carnival

According to a press release sent out by Antilla Carnival last week one would believe they were the first to bring celebrities to Trinidad Carnival. If memory serves me right we have had our share of celebrities visiting during Trinidad Carnival in the past.

Victoria Rowell of The Young and Restless played mas with Island Events section in Poison Carnival 2003, Gabrielle Union and Anthony Anderson played with Island Events the band the following year in 2004, Virgin founder Sir Richard Branson played in TRIBE 2005, Micheal Ealy has played in TRIBE in 2007 and 2008. Halle Berry and Flavor Flav both  showed up at a Girl Power fete in 2001 and 2008 respectively.Not to mention we have had a host of beauty queens playing mas in Trinidad; Sushmita Sen (Miss Universe 1994) and Mpule Kewlagobe (Miss Universe 1999) both played in Harts in 2001.And this was not AJ Calloway's first visit to Trinidad either

I have never gotten the celebrity appeal for Carnival, especially as the ones who were here this year went under the radar; how many of you even knew that  Tyson Beckford or Mya were going to be at Trinidad Carnival? Rumours were that Tyson Beckford did not want anyone to take his photograph (I am yet to see him show up in one Facebook album posing with a random person at any event ) but I did see Mya was kind enough to pose for photos with a few "fans" while she was hanging out on the streets Carnival Tuesday. 

Ok, so the rationale for the celebrity link to Trinidad's Carnival is that it gives the festival and the promoters who get the celebrities here, extra publicity. Though, I do not see if the celebrities are not actually involved in playing mas  how that exactly lends credence to the fact that one SHOULD come to Trinidad and play mas. What is the point of coming all the way to Trinidad for Carnival and NOT playing mas? Is showing up and making an appearance at a private event the same as getting involved in the culture?

I may be a bit jaded  but I would have been throughly impressed if Tyson Beckford had taken part in Jouvert, covered in head to toe with mud and paint! Queen Latifah did an excellent job on Jay Leno ( despite having her jewelry stolen) when she talked about her vacation  liming in Trinidad and Tobago; maybe next year they could get her to come next year and actually play mas in a costume!

Anyway, check out the press release by Antilla Carnival  and photos of the celebrities who graced our Carnival 2010:

 Jason Williams (JW), singer of Trinidad's 2010 "Road March" winning single "Palance,"
 is interviewed by Extra's AJ Calloway at the Carlton Savannah.
R&B songstress Mýa

Malik Yoba

Tyson Beckford poses in the elevator at the Carlton Savannah's rooftop 

NEW YORK (March 22, 2010) - Trinidad and Tobago is generating strong exposure in the American celebrity community and mainstream consumer market following Caribbean entertainment brand Antilia's successful promotion of its "2010 Carnival Experience VIP travel packages" to the twin-island nation last month.

Antilia's CEO, Simon Khan reports that the campaign was a tremendous success: Trinidad and Tobago received top class exposure and accolades from the visitors and celebrities who Antilia welcomed to the island for the season, including supermodel/actor Tyson Beckford, NAACP Image Award-winning actor Malik Yoba, and Grammy winning R&B songstress Mýa.

In addition to playing host to dozens of visitors who took advantage of Antilia's travel packages to one of the greatest cultural celebrations on earth, Antilia also invited the popular daily syndicated entertainment magazine program, Extra, representing one of the largest television media establishments ever to participate in Trinidad Carnival.

During Extra's visit, host AJ Calloway also covered the Beyoncé concert, teaching the R&;B superstar how to "Palance" (a Trinidad Carnival Dance), a memorable addition to her show which sent the crowd into a frenzy, and which was also highlighted in the program.

Extra also filmed Antilia's star-studded, invitation only Ash Wednesday "SUNSET" event at the Carlton Savannah's "Wow Suite", where Queen Elizabeth of England stayed during her visit to Trinidad last November. Upon his return to New York, Calloway publicly thanked Antilia for hosting Extra's visit to Carnival in front of millions of viewers. The February 26 and 27 airings of the show were carried on WNBC in New York among numerous other stations around the country.

Antilia welcomed many more taste-makers and notables, including acclaimed celebrity photographer Jonathan Mannion (who has worked alongside Jay-Z, Eminem, Notorious B.I.G., Lance Armstrong and David Beckham); Beyoncé's choreographer Zach Simmons; celebrity stylist Theo Faulkner; runner-up on Bravo's Make Me a Super Model Sandhurst Tacama-Miggins; NFL stars Edgerrin James and Clinton Portis; top New York radio personality Dahved Levy; and Travelista TV which is running eight webisodes about Antilia's "Carnival Experience."

Antilia offered special six-night packages, representing incredible value and convenience, including 4-Star luxury accommodation at the Hyatt Regency and Carlton Savannah hotels; VIP party tickets; airport transfers; chauffeur/ driver services; 24-hour concierge service, a costume and all-inclusive experience with top all-inclusive Carnival bands; and in-room costume fitting and tailoring.

"We're very pleased to have successfully introduced celebrities, media personalities and movers and shakers within the entertainment world to Trinidad and Tobago, and look forward to doing more of the same across the Caribbean to promote sustainable tourism development and awareness of the region's unique attributes," remarked Simon Khan.

The entertainment brand is currently planning a series of VIP initiatives both in the Caribbean and North America which will similarly integrate star power and international media participation with Caribbean fashion, music and travel. Visit for further details.


trinicandy said...

i most certainly loved my pics with micheal early in 2007 but what is the big hype about celebrities in mas.

Okay so if Beyonce or Will Smith jump in a band with me big whoooppsss, i get a glimpse but there security team was so much that it crowd up the band pressure, cause a lil more choaas armmmmmm errrr no ehhhhh.

I personal ent care for all that. Give me machel destra faye ann and bunji ayeeeeee and jw and blaze in my band any day

Someone said...

Not to mention I was there

dougla_1 said...

Buh wait nah, isn't every expat who come back for Carnival a celebrity?

afro chic said...

Tyson say he eh want to take pics with any one person cause then he'll have to take with everybody and it will never ned.

So ah hear!

hotandgroovy said...

great post! hmmm i don't think that is malik yoba tho (or at least the one i recognize from NY undercover fame...)

ms. hershey said...

yes, that is Malikl Yoba, saw him face to face and watched him bust a quick whine too while at lunch with Tribe, lol. He was a very good sport and looked like he was having a time. I actually think his costume was an IP one but hell, he was up in Tribe WHOLE DAY on Tuesday, lol.

As for celebrities playing mas... EVERYONE who buys there costume, spends months getting ready, stays in the gym to look great, decorates themselves to the heavens and prances down the streets of Trinidad for those 2 days is a damn celebrity!!! Being in Hollywood has ZERO to do with it so those who feel they have a lil "fame" and don't want to play mas... stay home! Trini have plenty celebrities during that time to make up for their "loss". LOL!!

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