One mas camp, five sections for NHC 2019. Vybz Mas’ much-anticipated 2019 band launch was held by bandleader Lloyd Bedeau on 23 March this year, and this will be the first time on the road for one of their sections: Masanova is the inspired name of this new band on the block. I had a chat with their manager and bandleader Wayne, who can’t wait to get the whole show on the actual road.
Wayne has been involved in carnival since 1987, and has a wealth of experience with sound systems; he played with the popular Dynamic Sounds for around ten years in the ‘90s. He currently has his own system, West Indian Connections, which has been around for a few years playing for different mas camps, clubs and events.
From a Grenadian background, Wayne says that carnival and soca are his ultimate passions, hence his dream of one day having his own mas band. And here we are, this dream now a reality; Wayne greatly thanks Vybz Mas for giving him the opportunity.
On Sunday, the band will have T-shirts on the road, and on Monday there will be T-shirts, fun mas and three different full mas sections, with the theme of Delirium. The fun mas section, entitled Spice, has the men in a red, gold and green diamanté decorated black T-shirt with the Delirium logo across the chest, and matching decorated shades. Women will wear a black leotard with the same coloured diamanté theme as the men, but with a tiara and leg and arm pieces. For the T-shirt section, shirts are either white or yellow, with the Delirium, Masanova and Vybz Mas logo’s in black, red and white writing.
Wayne relayed to me that he’s chosen famous icons to represent the theme in the costume sections. We have Demeanor section by designer Diamontee-Made, with an extremely colourful costume, crazy and funky with psychedelic colours, representing rap artist Missy Elliott. This is sure to be a hit on the road.
Designer Jodie of Confident Curves presents the Gaga section, inspired by Lady Gaga. It’s all about wildness and wackiness reflected through print. Costumes for both men and women carry a background of zebra print with vibrant orange, purple and gold complimentary colours, as well as matching feathers and plenty of gold sequins giving life to the whole Delirium theme.
Ashantix Kweyol brings the section Grace, consisting of three different lines including a bling option. The colours are mainly a rich aquamarine blue and black with matching feathers, tiaras and other body pieces; a very powerful look.
Vybz Mas’ main theme is Enchanted Gardens, designed by Atalya James with sections Starlight, Pixie Dust, Fairies and Elves. Pixie Dust is an array of beautiful pinks, aquamarine on a sequinned leotard or bikini with tiara and feathers. Fairies is a similar design, although created with beautiful shades of eye-catching greens.
I managed to have a brief chat with Jodie (of the Gaga section) and Atalya (Enchanted Gardens). It’s Atalya’s first time designing for the road, and I’m sure it won’t be her last. She says she’s very excited, and has loved not being restricted with her designs. Playing mas for the first time last year inspired her to bring her designing talents to life. Jodie is a little more experienced; she’s been designing for five years and has won competitions with her costumes. Vybz Mas is a big project for her, and she says that everyone is like one big family, which has made it all the more fantastic for her. This band launch featured unique, colourful, retro costumes and hit soca tunes all night; the perfect recipe for what should, in turn, mean a perfect time on the road this year.