Daria Primus, the Vincentian-born teaching artist with the Brooklyn-based Tropicalfete cultural organization, rocked the house during the group’s grand 2020 Finale last Sunday.
Primus, who earlier this year won the NYC Beatz Coronavirus Song Contest, served as Mistress of Ceremonies during which she serenaded the audience with her “beautiful voice with a 30-minute set,” Alton Aimable, Tropicalfete’s St. Lucian-born president and founder, told Caribbean Life.
“The second Daria started singing the comment box lighted up with comments like ‘lady can sing’; ‘nice voice’; ‘lovely, beautiful voice’; ‘always loves her voice’; and much more,” he said.
Aimable said some of the crowd favorites Primus belched out were “Killing Me Softly”; “I am not Afraid”; “One Drop”; “Cool it Down”; “Redemption Song”; “Funky Business”; “We Wanna Have Fun”; “Dear Promoter”; “What You Like”; and “Social Distancing.”
Primus had sung “Social Distancing” to win the NYC Beatz Coronavirus Song Contest among six finalists.
“The ‘Social Distancing’ extempo was to send a message to the audience, through song, to practice social distancing, wear your mask and practice good hygiene,” Aimable said.
The partial lyrics to “Social Distancing” are: “This coronavirus is a serious thing/left, right and center it just hitting/I never see a pandemic so/not even yuh (your) money could help yuh/yet we getting on schupidee (silly)/like we cyar (can’t) stay off ah (of) the streets/wash yuh (your) hands properly/and help stop the spread of COVID-19.”
In addition to solo performances, Primus said she has performed with bands, doing a variety of genres as a vocalist.
She said her powerful rendition of “Try Sleeping with a Broken Heart” has been heard “all around the world.”
Primus is also renowned to “rip the stage” with her back-up dancers.
She entertains fans and captivates her audience with her unique and versatile style.
Primus fuses the genres of soca, reggae, zouk and Hip Hop.
She said she has worked with Vincentian soca sensations, such as Lyrikal, Skinny Fabulous and Problem Child, and hopes to make “an indelible mark on the music industry.”
Taking the stage at the popular 40/40 Club in New York City, Primus said she was the first to bring soca to the club.
Primus said she has sung background vocals for, among others, Shurwayne Winchester (“Open the Gate”); Skinny Fabulous (“All of Yuh Body”); Bomani (“Till Morning Come”); Isasha (“Feel it”); Problem Child (“Life of the Party); and Ras Penco and Dainjamental (“Overcome”).
Tropicalfete’s Limbo Dance, Body of Vibration Dance and Theatre, Stilting Unit and Mas, Voices and Steelpan Ensemble were also showcased during Sunday’s grand finale, Aimable said.
“It takes years to build, and it was great to sit back and watch the fruits of our labor,” he said.
“Special thanks must go to all our teaching artist Ashley Murray, Ricardo Greenaway, Caitlyn Pierre, Roshumba Marcelle, Charles Watts, Daria Primus, Shaquille Flemming,” he added.
Aimable said Caribbean cultural pioneers, such as Trinidadians Yvette Rennie and Joyce Quamina, “gave their blessings to Tropicalfete with comments like ‘well done’, ‘passing on the culture’ and ‘the culture is in good hands’”.
Tropicalfete also paid tribute, video presentations, to persons involved in all forms of artistic expression who transitioned in 2020.
“They all had made a significant contribution to their genres and their community,” said Aimable, disclosing that the cultural group also lost “two close people to the organization in 2020”: Orchid Eccles Gonsalves, former Tropicalfete teaching artist and masquerader; and Savitri “Sunni” Ramanan, also known as Sunita, a Tropicalfete supporter.
“The annual end of year concert, the Finale, posed a unique challenge, as the COVID-19 rates started increasing,” he added. “Therefore, the board had to scale back on its initial plans.
“Nevertheless, this provided Tropicalfete an opportunity to reflect on what it has done throughout the year,” continued Aimable about the event that was streamed live on Facebook, YouTube, Twitch, Linked-in and Periscope.