Monday, July 8, 2013

Carolina Carnivals Highlight Antigua with Performances from Kenne Blessin and Fucha Kid

Fucha Kid brings energy to the stage in Charlotte, NC for Caribbean Carnival.

By Arthia Nixon, for VPJ Consulting

(Charlotte, North Carolina)… As Antiguans anxiously waited to see who would advance to the semi-finals of its prestigious Soca Monarch contest, Kenne Blessin and Fucha Kid, two of the island’s well known recording artists were unofficially representing the nation as headliners of North Carolina’s Caribbean Carnival. Kenne Blessin also took part in this year’s changing of the flag, taking the stage with this year’s Carnival queen winner, who also happens to be originally from Antigua. Their performances are being documented in an online reality show/documentary series entitled Antigua Crossover Tour.

            According to Linda Brown, president of the North Carolina Carnival, their contribution helped take the event to a whole new level.

“It was great,” Brown stated. “I know I had a really great experience. The band and the stage performers were a real treat because we usually don’t have a band. The crowd has been enthusiastic. It was so good to have them here so it was definitely electrifying.”

Brown further explained that with the festival being used as a learning tool, this year, they focused on educating attendees about Antigua, complete with mock street signs from the island.

“Some of us are born in America but come from parents who are of Caribbean descent,” explained Brown. “We have the opportunity to learn about the island, the flag and the people. We get to see the national pride and get to see people really celebrate their islands. It enhances our festival and we chose to do it every year. Next year, we will be focusing on the US Virgin Islands but this year it was all about Antigua.”

Fucha Kid (right) and Kenne Blessin (left) greet fellow Antiguan artist Supa Mario following their Charlotte, NC performances at this year’s Caribbean Carnival.

The stellar performances in Charlotte came a week after Fucha Kid and Kenne Blessin took the stage at the Charleston Carifest in South Carolina. President Lorna Beck expressed similar sentiments, noting that they both kept the festive atmosphere lively.

“They were very well received and the crowd enjoyed them very much,” Beck said. “We were very delighted they were able to join us.”

“Definitely a lot of love from Carolina,” said Kenne Blessin after his performance. “Plenty of good vibes and that made the performance even better. I really enjoyed the hospitality there and it was real good to see so many Antiguan flags waving in the air. Caribbean pride is strong in Carolina and it’s an honor to take part in that.”

For Fucha Kid, who visited the Carolinas for the first time, it was a “memorable” experience.

Charlotte, NC Carnival queens flank Kenne Blessin as he performs during the changing of the Antigua flag in the closing ceremony. 

“It’s good to travel to the US and meet people who know who you are and dance to your music,” he said. “Whether it was a club or Carnival event, so far in the journey, I have to say it’s been a great experience going from city to city to meet fans and supporters and share the music. Antigua is a small country but it is making a big impact, especially through music, in the US.”

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View video for a teaser of ‘Antigua Crossover Tour’ and links to some episodes.