Weeks before July 5, 2015, scores of carnival lovers questioned the relevance of Toxik Carnival Band’s or Toxik Nation as they more popularly known out of custom decision to add a dancehall superstar to the Calypso and Soca driven season that is St. Lucia Carnival. Dubbed Amnesia, the general synopsis of the event was to join the forces of two influential genres of music to give the patrons “the best of both worlds.”
Many debated about whether the show would attract the numbers necessary to deem it a success. As the online posts, barber shop and beauty salon deliberations continued Toxik Nation tapped into a new demographic that had been starved for decades.
Merging Dancehall and Soca is nothing new to industry vets, as a matter of fact; the home of Soca music Trinidad and Tobago has been known to add many star studded names of the sparser version of Reggae to the biggest show, the International Soca Monarch. Names like Beenieman, Red Rat, Sean Paul, Mavado and Bounty Killer have either collaborated with the world’s greatest Soca names or performed on the biggest stages during Carnival season.
Toxik Nation has made no apology for thinking out of the box and daring to be different.
On the same stage with the likes ofD’Sean, Sergie, Mac 11, Migos, Blackboy, Arthur, Hollywood HP., and Sirlancealot, was the perfect adaptation to our carnival season- well at least the hundreds of adoring fans thought so – Alkaline.
Alkaline who caused quite a stir in dancehall and other fractions by tattooing his eye balls made his St. Lucia northern debut at Samaan’s Park a little after 11:00 p.m. belting hit after hit after hit, pausing only to acknowledge his fans. His performances shadows many of the big names that have come before him and even with the handicap of backing tracks and not a full band did the crowd feel short changed by the organizers.
Amnesia wasn’t a new event but it added new element to our carnival calendar. The anomaly may have been met with sharp criticism from sectors that believe in the purity of the festival but in a high paced and ever evolving world like ours, if you are not prepared to keep up with the pack you will surely be left behind.