Saturday, March 27, 2010

Where was Destra?

I have been a Destra fan for a very long time. I remember when I first saw her perform Tremble it at a Spektakula show I attended with my family. Days later my brother could not stop talking about how good she looked in the nude body suit she wore and that he was in love. Since that night, I've looked forward to seeing her perform at my favourite fetes. Even when there were reports of her "diva" attitude throughout the years, I still remained loyal to my Dee. I felt that her songs offered more than the typical jump and wave but they were more about the emotions and passion that we all attach to carnival. I was proud when I came to Jamaica and saw how much they worshipped her.

Last year, I saw her perform twice and was very disappointed to see that there was a lot of lip syncing involved in her set. There was a clear change in her style to incorporate more of the "Beyonce type" dancing and singing which I did not appreciate since I believed she did not need those antics. What happened to days where artistes just focused on delivering their songs? I know that you are doing a show but never forget the primary focus should be your songs.

I know that it's difficult for women in the soca industry especially those who are wives and mothers. Male artistes just like other men in society are not subjected to the double burden of a career and a family. Destra made a huge sacrifice to her income when she took time off to have her daughter. So I understand the need for her to get back into the game as soon as possible.

Last night everyone was excited to see the return of their carnival diva. After a performance by Busy Signal (big steups), Destra came on the stage in one of her usual leotard type outfits which looked pretty good. She also had on some serious heels which I initially felt contributed to her energy lacking performance to the first couple of songs. She then went backstage to change into her Dereon boots (I guess that Beyonce is really one of her role models) and I expected a change in the pace of the performance...there was no change. It's the same performance I've been seeing for the last 3 years minus the energy...dutty wining and all...can you say yawn? If I ever have to see the bit that she does to I dare you ever again..... She calls a groups of guys and girls on the stage and asks them to demonstrate their best wine and then they wine one each other and the crowd decides which pair was the best yada yada yada....Moving on....since Denise Belfon and Alison Hinds weren't there, she wanted some volunteers to help her sing Obsessive winers...guess what? no volunteers after much begging and pleading. And I also need to mention the mini destras whose dancing I guess was supposed to give the set some kind of excitement. After about 3-4 costume changes...it became a distraction...bigger yawn.

But all was not bad because Destra did get support from her loyal fans especially when she gave them their favourites:Tremble it , Rag in de Air, Max it up, It's Carnival and Bacchanal. These last 2 songs were really the highlights of the performance and I did sweat a little at that point. She also performed for over an hour so the patrons got their money's worth.

I am not going to agree with persons who say, "It wasn't that bad, remember she just had a baby". She is in a profession where people are paying money to see her perform (and sing) so you need to ensure that what you put out is top notch. I am not trying to be unsympathetic but if you are not ready for the stage, take some more time off and perfect your craft. If you cannot give the audience the same fast paced performance then change your entire style; give us something new...reinvent yourself. Please don't use pregnancy as an excuse...it's not an illness...it's just a new phase of life..I'm not sure how empowering that statement is :)

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