Podcast: Nailah Blackman on (re)defining soca, rejuvenating Trinidad Carnival

Soca royalty Nailah Blackman and her producer Anson Soverall think Trinidad Carnival 2023 is going to be “the mother of all carnivals.” They’re feeling the anticipation in the air and already seeing people unleashing that pent-up, two years in lockdown energy at all the little year-round events.

“It can be Sharon from down the street throwing a little a bazaar, there’s like 10,000 people there,” says Blackman, speaking to NOW on a Zoom call alongside Soverall. “Everybody is just hungry to get it. That’s a great thing. I think people needed that. They needed a break from the same old, same old to appreciate or even to inspire new creativity or reinvent the same old.”

“Prior to the pandemic we were sort of becoming the bougie crowd,” says Soverall, describing the reset brought on by the pandemic. “We don’t really party, we just come out, dress up, pull our camera phones out. I feel like people now are so hungry for it. Every event is just packed. People just coming out in the thousands, not just in Trinidad. All the islands. Everything is just super successful.”

“Everybody and their mother and their grandmother is going to be [at Trinidad Carnival] as if this is going to officially be the biggest carnival to the point where Tobago has its own carnival this time, for the first time around, which is crazy. The festivities have already started for summer and is going to continue all the way into Trinidad Carnival. People are going to be burnt out. We might need another pandemic after this kind of just to reset again.”

Blackman and Soverall are speaking to NOW before they arrive for the Toronto Caribbean Carnival. Blackman is performing at Soca Village and will be making an appearance at the Grand Parade.

Blackman’s also gearing up to release a new album featuring music she and Soverall have been working on during the pandemic. They joined the NOW What podcast to discuss where they want to go with the new album, making world music that tests the boundaries of soca and trying out a little pop, Afrobeat and dancehall but staying true to their roots.

Listen to the whole conversation with Blackman and Soverall on the NOW What podcast available on Apple PodcastsSpotify or the player below.


Read More:

Podcast: Soca in the backyard with Kes the Band

Nailah Blackman is the most exciting voice in soca in years

Toronto Caribbean Carnival: On the road again

Toronto Carnival Guide 2022: Fetes, shows, pop-ups and a parade

In photos: The road to Toronto Caribbean Carnival 2022

Stay In The Know with Now Toronto

Be the first to know about new and exclusive content