Last year, “Caribbean Sickness” took over Antoine International’s Labor Day presentation. This year, “Veer Paradys, or feather explosion, envelopes the mas band, says band leader Trinidadian Kenneth Antoine.
Antoine told Caribbean Life, in an interview at the mas camp Monday evening, that “Veer Paradys, an African derivative, is reflective of the band’s all-encompassing feature.
“Last year, my theme surrounded wire; so, this year, I decided to do feathers,” he said.
The Belmont, Port-of-Spain-born veteran mas man said “Veer Paradys” will compete in the large-band category, unlike “Caribbean Sickness,” which vied for a top spot in medium-sized bands. “Caribbean Sickness” placed third in Brooklyn’s West Indian American Day Carnival Parade.
“Veer Paradys’s” all-inclusive, male and female sections comprise: Ice Magic, Phoenix, Peacock, Flamingo, Nature’s Beauty, Mystical Beauty, Kachina Doll, Purple Rain, Rove de Minuit, Sun Tropix and Azadah.
Antoine — who has been producing mas for the carnival parade on Brooklyn’s Eastern Parkway for the past 26 years — said masqueraders this year can “look for a band of total difference, compared to previous years.
“The band will be depicting a lot of glamor and richness in our culture,” said Antoine, who, overall, has been producing mas for 35-odd years. “We have stepped up to the plate by adding a lot of exotic stones and sequins to make it rich.
“This year, we’re using a lot of strong body suits, because we build ourselves to stand with the other top bands out there,” he added. “We come out to compete.”
He said the 350-375-strong band will not only compete but “guaranteed to win.
“We’re looking towards that,” he stressed, giving a reporter a stern look. “The band is nice; the band is very nice.”
He said registration has been progressing well, adding: “That’s why I know the band will be big.”
Antoine said masqueraders will sway to the beat of three top DJs.
And while masqueraders, revelers and on-lookers are having fun, the president of the Brooklyn-based Carnival Band Leaders Association urged: “I’ll like us to have a very safe carnival.”
The mas camp is located at 245 East, 34th St., between Church and Snyder avenues in Brooklyn.
Antoine can be reached at (347) 303-7857.