by Eulana Weekes
St. Kitts-Nevis (WINN): Following two years of the COVID-19 Pandemic and the hosting of the festival in a bubble, with several policies in place, SKN’s Carnival – Sugar Mas returned to its full staging on December 02, 2022.
In an interview with Jade Johnson on Island Tea on Tuesday, December 13, 2022, Mr Mention, lead singer for the Nu-Vybes Band said the group is looking forward to making its usual contribution to the St.Kitts-Nevis National Carnival this year; notwithstanding that there have been challenges.
“It’s definitely been a challenge. For two years, not being able to create revenue for yourself and after a two year hiatus, going into Carnival with limited resources in terms of sponsorship towards recording and making our music, I could say straight up, “this is self”. There was no sponsorship about this. So that was the next thing that kind of limit I think, not only me but most of the bands; in terms of doing the extended albums like we normally do. So it is very hard to come out of two years not creating revenue for yourself and having to take revenue to create music- produce music, but at the same time we had to. We had to. This is a sworn commitment. That’s why we have a band and that’s why I take our music and I take our brand as “Nu-Vybes”, as “Sugar Band” as [seriously] as I take it, cause it’s more than just the music for me. You can use music as a platform to carry your country. That’s why we’re ambassadors.”
The artist said the band is mostly looking forward to looking down from the trailer and seeing all their fans having fun and enjoying the band’s return to the road for Sugar Mas 51 Jouvert and Last Lap.
“Definitely we look forward to looking down and seeing all [of our] fans and patrons come out and have a nice time and enjoy us and what we represent-“Carnival;” what our music represents. We represent our culture and ourselves as a people, through music. It’s everything in one. I am just hoping that this year lives up to all its expectations and all the hype. We hope that people come out and “be on [their] best behaviour but having [their] worst behaviour at the same time”- that means have fun responsibly-responsible fun.”
Mr Mention agreed that Sugar Mas is one of the best festivals in the world, but suggested that the SKN people support their own continuously and not depend on foreign artists or entities to build the hype of the festival. He said that local artists and bands must have an identity; adding that, if people around the world cannot look at artists and bands from the Federation and identify them with something then, “enough isn’t being done.” The artist believes if artists and bands are professional and stay on their “A” game business will improve.
The Nu-Vybes Band has released three songs for Sugar Mas 51. They are “Sneaky Link,” “One Thing” and “Earth Shake.”