Nailah Blackman and Gamal "Skinny Fabulous" Doyle perform their hit, "Come Home during the launch of Skinny's B.A.D. (Beyond A Doubt) album held recently at the Residence nightclub in One Woodbrook Place. Photograph: Overtime Media

Come Home for Trinidad Road March 2023

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Responding to rampant speculation that the song does not have the required percentage of Trinbagonian input to qualify for Trinidad’s Road March registration, it has been confirmed that Come Home, by Nailah Blackman and Skinny Fabulous, is definitely eligible to enter and win this year’s Road March competition. This assurance came from Blackman’s camp, even as members of the public continue to show their love for the song – whilst some began questioning its eligibility.

Blackman’s producer/manager, ‘Anson Pro’ Soverall, said that the song was created “to invoke an emotional response on the Carnival stage,” and added that “it definitely contains more than 75% Trinibagonian input”. He said, “We’re seeing a lot of people questioning its validity and I want to say that, aside from the fact that Nailah sang background vocals on the entire song and even below Skinny’s parts, there are also two other Trinis who did background vocals on it – and the song credits myself and a few other Trinis as the primary features on it as well. So people may be hearing Nailah and Skinny’s voices most prominently on it and thinking it’s 50-50 between them, but there are more layers to the song and all of them are filled with Trinis!”

“It’s eligible firstly because Nailah physically sang on over 75 % of the song.” Soverall declared emphatically. Going into more detail, he said, “Skinny sang on the chorus and he has a verse but Nailah sang underneath all of his parts, and she starred in her own parts, and she sang the pre-chorus and on the chorus with him and she sang on his verse also. Secondly, the song was released in the vein of the EDM producers and officially registered as Nailah Blackman, Kyle Phillips of Badjohn Republic, Kitswana Israel of Advokit, Mevon Soodeen of Xplicit, Anson Pro and Jeffers of Perception Management, so the majority of it is Trinbagonians. We understand the rules and we are in the music business, so we would not make such errors at this stage.”

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Asked about their chances to win, Soverall said, “I don’t want to put my foot in my mouth and jinx anything, and I feel like we have just been letting the song do what it does and not targeting or pushing it in that direction. The people just love the song. It was written specifically to make people cry while they’re on the stage. The original name of it was I Won’t Cry, and then we changed it. The chances are very high, but that’s for the people to determine. What we’re more focused on is the children; we just finished three schools and they’re not paying gigs, but we’re trying our best to fit them in ’cause that energy and that love is more rewarding and fulfilling than any other prize we might end up winning.”

The Road March race took full flight this past weekend, as patrons at popular events displayed their enthusiasm for their preferred songs. The buzz for Bunji Garlin’s Hard Fete continues to build, and it’s definitely a party favourite – with patrons learning the lyrics beforehand and taking up the challenge of reciting them live and on command. The assembly at Caesar’s Army’s Bacchanal Blocko J’Ouvert-esque event last Saturday took the fanfare to another novel level, as they paid cash to Bunji onstage in order to request a repeat performance – aka a ‘money pull up’.

Meanwhile, Nailah Blackman and Skinny Fabulous experienced the crowd ‘On The Greens’ in the Queen’s Park Savannah singing Come Home out loudly (and a bit too long, after they were supposed to be silent for the next Panorama performance onstage nearby).

Examining the songs’ structural and lyrical integrity, it seems clear that Hard Fete is more of a social commentary song (a la calypso), as Bunji’s instance of “not going no small fete” speaks not to the promoters’ responsibilities, but to the people who just suffered through two years of pandemic with no fetes or opportunities to express themselves in Carnival fashion. Hard Fete represents the aggression stored up over the past two years, and allows the listeners/singers to declare their intentions to celebrate and express themselves in the carnival space. Come Home, on the other hand, is almost a pop love song, which speaks to the masquerader directly and taps into the emotions they will surely all feel when returning to the Carnival stage in two weeks’ time.

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For Bunji, a win would mean another Road March title won (with this one captured on his own merit) to add to the collection of accolades currently residing in his home alongside his wife, Fay-Ann Lyons’, historic haul. Whilst for Blackman, it would be a first for her (and she would possibly be the youngest winner ever) and a tremendous honour and addition to her grandfather’s legacy as the creator of the ‘Sokah’ (renamed ‘soca’) genre.

Entries also under consideration are Machel and Patrice Roberts’ Like Yuh Self, which is fast becoming another favourite in the fetes; Destra and Machel’s Shake The Place is also being mentioned, but neither song is yet closing in popularity to the first two clear contenders. 

Barbershop bacchanal, whatsapp groups and backstage chats continue to moot the idea of a ‘Stage March’ winner, separate from the Road March, and even a Song of the Season title, to be voted on and chosen directly by the people. With no Soca Monarch contest his year, the Road March race has claimed more attention from the masses, and major events such as this Friday’s upcoming Army Fete will certainly be instrumental in influencing the final outcome. In the end, it’s still up to the DJs on those massive music trucks to play what they think the people want to hear whilst crossing Carnival stages around the country.

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Trinidad Carnival 2023 | Content Powered By @tobago_gold

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