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A love letter to doing everything for Trinidad Carnival #TBT

Published as part of the "Carnival is love" series in the Jan/Feb 2022 edition of Caribbean Beat Is a vibe coming outta we soulEverybody take up yuh roleThis year we playing brave and boldJumbies coming out ah dey hole— Machel Montano, “Jumbie” Picture it: Port of Spain, 2007. For a plucky twenty-something, it is the …

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Remembering Gillian Nathaniel-Balintulo

I was just going to do a short post on Facebook. But I realised there was too much to say. One of the things I cherish about the way I grew up is that all I saw was that steelbands could be and do anything; choirs could be and do anything; and women could be …

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Becoming a Payge Turner | Discover Trinidad & Tobago

Back in October and November 2020, the young singer, songwriter, and multi-instrumentalist Paige Roopchan (stage name Payge Turner) was making her way through the early rounds of The Voice. Over the course of two articles, I talked first to Paige's family — Anika, Rianna, and Jacqueline Johnson — and then to Paige herself about her …

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Courtesy Jeanine De Bique

Jeanine De Bique: “It doesn’t matter where you come from” | Caribbean Beat

Jeanine De Bique, Trinidad-born classical singer, on the influence of her upbringing, and why Trinis “could do anything” — as told to Caroline Taylor in the November/December 2018 issue of Caribbean Beat I went St Gabriel’s RC School in San Fernando, and was in choir participating in the Music Festival and SanFest. I had a love for …

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Winston Duke (at centre) as M’Baku in Black Panther. © Marvel Studios 2018

Winston Duke: “I’m unfinished” | Caribbean Beat

Tobago-born actor Winston Duke, appearing in the eagerly awaited Black Panther movie, on his love of stories and magical realism, how his village childhood shaped his ethos, and his love of soca music — as told to Caroline Taylor in Caribbean Beat magazine (January/February 2018) I left Tobago when I was about ten years old. My memories of …

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The Cutlass: cutting through barriers | Caribbean Beat

Written for and published in Caribbean Beat magazine (July/August 2017) If making films in countries with established industries is gruelling, imagine trying to make them in the Caribbean — where, more often than not, the infrastructure doesn’t exist. Still, auteurs eager to tell Caribbean stories on screen soldier on, often getting boosts from regional festivals like …

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Tobago therapy | Caribbean Beat

Written for and published in Caribbean Beat magazine (January/February 2017) You may be forgiven for thinking that Carnival is an ever-present phenomenon in both Trinidad and Tobago at this time of year. But what if you’re a local or an international visitor who’s not really into Carnival? What if you’d much prefer to escape and recharge …

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Take Back the Night. Image via Kent State University

Taking back more than the night

It stopped being “take back the night” a long time ago, didn't it? It’s take back the day, the night, the street, the mall, the workplace, the classroom, the home, the church/mosque/mandir/etc, the community, and so many hearts and minds… We're almost like a society walking around with chronic PTSD, where the symptoms only get more and …

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