The Barbados-based Caribbean Tourism Organization (CTO) says Vincentian soca artiste and Trinidad and Tobago carnival road march winner Skinny Fabulous will unleash the power of soca on “Rum & Rhythm” during CTO’s Caribbean Week New York (CWNY2019) in June.
CTO said on Monday that “Rum and Rhythm, the Ultimate Caribbean Food and Rum Experience,” will take place at Capitale, 130 Bowery in Manhattan, on Friday, June 7, from 6:30 pm – 11 pm.
“’Skinny’, whose real name is Gamal Doyle, will unleash his infectious energy and mesmerizing performance skills on ‘Rum & Rhythm’,” CTO said. “It is this same versatility, incredible talent and ability to create a perfect marriage between soca and dancehall that led him to create history by becoming the first non-Trinidadian to win the road march title in the twin-island republic.”
Sylma Brown, the Dominican-born CTO-USA director, said the organization is “honored to have Skinny Fabulous showcase the authentic, complex but complementary nature of the Caribbean at ‘Rum & Rhythm.’” “Skinny Fabulous’ music continues to motivate audiences throughout the Caribbean, and now, during Caribbean Week, in the spirit of festivals of the Caribbean, his artistry will inspire travel to our region.”
Glen Beache, chief executive officer of the St. Vincent and the Grenadines Tourism Authority (SVGTA), said that Skinny Fabulous is “an internationally- and regionally-acclaimed soca artiste, who has penned, produced and performed several hits, including the 2019 Trinidad carnival road march hit, ‘Famalay’”.
“Having him represent St. Vincent and the Grenadines at ‘Rum & Rhythm’ will enhance the mandate of the tourism authority of attracting increasing exposure to our destination,” the former tourism minister added. “Skinny’s presence as an official cultural ambassador will also serve to highlight a major component of our culture, namely our premiere festival ‘Vincy Mas,’ which takes place annually, culminating with two weeks of fun and frolic beginning the last Friday in June.”
CTO noted that Skinny Fabulous joined forces this year with Trinidadian soca titans Machel Montano and Bunji Garlin for the massively popular song “Famalay,” produced by Dominica’s Krishna ‘Dada’ Lawrence.
“This infectious song with its catchy phrasing has been ripping up the airwaves regionally and internationally,” CTO said. “It was the first soca track to ever hit No. 1 on the iTunes Reggae Charts.”
In addition to his many accolades as a singer, CTO said the skilled artiste has delved into philanthropy. He founded a scholarship for grade six students and masterminded a school’s talent search, which targeted young singers from secondary schools nationwide in St. Vincent and the Grenadines.
He has also launched “The Dazzle Magazine,” which provides exposure for young professionals, entrepreneurs as well as established businesses.
“‘Rum & Rhythm’ is an event where memorable experiences are made,” CTO said. “Recognized as the most exclusive and exquisite Caribbean food and rum affair in New York City, the event brings consumers, travel industry professionals and tourism officials on a magical cultural journey through the Caribbean by experiencing the eclectic cuisines, pulsating rhythms, camaraderie and quintessential experiences the region offers.”
While the “Rum & Rhythm” represents “the refined Caribbean cultural and gastronomic experience” that the region is renowned for, CTO said the event is also a major fundraiser for its Scholarship Foundation.
The foundation provides scholarships to Caribbean nationals desirous of pursuing studies in tourism and tourism-related subjects, “who, without this assistance, could not pursue their dream of a career in the tourism industry,” CTO said.