Sekon Sta, Ding Dong bring ‘happiness’ to I Love Soca
From start to finish, the I Love Soca Cooler Festival inspired positive energy and unity, which was visible off and on the stage.
Once the gates were opened, groups carrying their own coolers of ice, along with a selection of alcohol and chasers, filed into the Port Royal Street venue at the Kingston waterfront to secure their spot facing the stage, to await the usual 'surprise' element of the decade-old event.
It came in the form of Trinidadian soca artiste Sekon Sta. When he graced the stage with the lyrics 'Where you come from with that big bumper, gyal', he was able to pull the females away from their coolers and closer to the stage, waving their flags in representing their countries, Jamaica and Trinidad and Tobago being the most popular. Shining the lights of their mobile phones in the air, soca lovers showed Sekon Sta some love. He said that his performance of the hits Who Pay and Come Correct was just a teaser of what is to come for 2022 and the carnival seasons.
The night's other live performer, Ding Dong, entered the stage preaching 'happiness' in the post-COVID period. Singing 'Happiness, we nuh i nna nutn wid stress' was exactly the attitude of patrons. He also showed that a fusion of music and unity among the artistes and audience were all an event needed for a pleasing outcome.
Along with his Ravers Clavers family, including Bravo, Desha and Wiz, and his specially invited guests, Safaree and Chris Gayle, the dancehall entertainer took the audience through time, using the dance moves which he created for many hits like 'Holiday', 'Genna Bounce', and 'Fling Yuh Shoulder' as well as new trends like 'Rich Walk' and 'Stir Fry'.
Before the live performances, the event heated up quickly as the people tuned into the spinning skills of local DJs Mindless, who got the music off to a good pace, as well as Fame 95 FM's Franco, Richie Ras, and the combination of Tyler and JR Chromatic. From the Eastern Caribbean, DJs Tony X, Cardo and Travis World brought some of their leftover carnival vigour to the controls. Brush1 Chromatic could easily walk away with the crown for being a vibes master as he challenged his colleagues and the crowd to participate in different activities, from learning dance moves to getting fit as they feted.
Sekon Sta, who thought he was there to entertain alone, was not spared in the challenges, as for the first time, he would be taught a few of Jamaica's trending dance moves in front of the audience. "The tables were turned, as I became 'the entertained'," he said.