New York State senator Jesse Hamilton (20th State District) and the West Indian American Day Carnival Association team has just recognised Grenadian soca artist Skinny Banton as a cultural ambassador. Born in Trinidad but with roots in Carriacou, one of the sister isles of the tri-island state of Grenada, Carriacou and Petite Martinique, Shirlan George has been flying the flag high for Grenada’s culture over the past few years. Already recognised in 2016 by the Ministry of Carriacou and Petite Martinique Affairs, as ‘Outstanding in the Performing Arts’, this new award goes even further.
Skinny Banton was appreciated at home as the Carriacou People’s Choice Soca Monarch King for three years running, from 2011 to 2013. Shortly afterwards, he began to attract attention across the region with classic Jab Jab numbers such as Soak it Good in 2015, and African Inna We in 2016. His songs for the 2018 Carriacou / Trinidad carnival season included Aye (on the Gwada Riddim), Place Get Mad and Till Morning Come. For this year’s Spice Mas in August he dropped We Band Bad with Elkanah, Damage It, Show Dem, In D Road and Badda Dan Dem. Not only has Skinny Banton been firmly keeping the Jab Jab tradition alive in Grenada, but he’s been bringing it to the world, too.