Kaios International Sounds launched its band at D’Savannah Lounge in Flatbush, Brooklyn on Saturday, June 11 under the theme “Savage Beauty” which celebrates the power, sensuality and significance of women of color.
Band leader Mark Mclean in explaining the concept behind the theme said, “I thought about what black women have been through from the dawn of time until now and I thought about how black women have been our engine to make us fly, anchors to hold us steady and the roots to make us grow. So with this said, Kaios wanted to showcase how beautiful the black woman really is.”
Last year, Kaios International Sounds, won first place win for medium size band at the West Indian American Day Carnival. The band came with artistry and craftsmanship that brought to life some awesome costumes. Mclean also admittedly stepped up where organization was concerned; introducing our portrayal, our sections, bringing everyone together. The idea of team work, was a lesson he learned well and it paid off in dividends.
This year he has once again gotten together and collaborated with some of the most talented designers in carnival mas and has also allowed some new designers to explore their creativity. One of those new designers is Blazin Vybes of Envy Vybes whose section is named “Ravenous Beauty.” “Usually, I just take pictures for launches and DJ on the road. I was encouraged and helped by my friends and fellow designers. I decided to try my hand at designing this year. I had a few ideas, took some old frames, had them cut and used them to create something on my own,” said Vybes.
Other designers include Tamara George-Khalifa of Diamond Class Mas Section Name with section “Maasai Uprising”; From the United Kingdom, Martin and Richard Andell-Jack of M&R Designs with sections “Black Widow” and “Venom”; Hayden John & Ramon Bailey of L&H Creative Designs with sections “Juma Tribe” and “Scorpion Sting;” Keisha Kydd George of Town Girls Mas with section “Scorpion Sting” and Drillz of Drillz International with section “Iroquois Warrior.”
Mclean talked about how this collaboration came about again this year. “Well, I think this year a lot of the designers picked us, knowing how Kaios views their designers as family and not just a payday. As for the new designers in particular, I remember how I started and had no one to help me or show me, so with that said, I always feel the need to give an up and coming designer a platform to learn the craft of mas and this is also where the veteran designers come into play.”
One of those veteran designers, Martin Andell-Jack of M&R Designs from the United Kingdom, spoke of the benefits of collaboration between designers within bands. “When a group of designers work together as a team it strengthens the growth of creativity. Each designer has his or her own vision of mas from the bikini and beads to using fabrics or sometimes using the most simplest materials in designing any presentation that is chosen by the bands. I see mas as a freedom of expression and movement where a group of people or I should say designers come together under one umbrella working together with each other creating a spectacular show for everyone to see. Each person has their own skill set; we are all creative in our own way. Working together in collaboration is always best in any mas band.”