In asking the simple question, “Who are We?,” the Brooklyn-based Kaios International Mas Band hopes to be a strong contender in this year’s West Indian American Day Carnival Parade.
“We are portraying ‘Who are We’ — a duality of both pleasure and the sweat of hard work to bring it all together,” said co-producer Heather Greenidge in a Caribbean Life interview.
“The name we have chosen reminds all of the hard work involved in preparing for the parade,” she added. “It’s all just fun and games, and colors and music and dancing.
“It’s truck-building, sound-checking, making costumes and filling last minute orders, staying available at mas camp to be visible for long hours, in addition to our lives aside from carnival,” Greenidge continued.
“We expect the continued enjoyment of culture, increasing our family and, of course, impressing the judges,” she said.
Greenidge said, “Who are We” comprises 10 sections, split evenly among males and females.
Among the sections, Fantasy is presented by Crystal Isaac; Temptation and Empress by Kaylona Arthur; Forbidden by Crystal Isaac; Goddess of Carnival by Martin (last name not given); Life of Carnival and Night Star by Hayden John; and Passion by Boston-based Errol (last name not given).
Led by band leader Trinidadian Mark McClean, Greenidge said several friends and family assist in producing the costumes.
“What we began as in 2003 was in response to the ill-treatment masqueraders were given and obnoxious costs levied to participate,” she said. “The band evolved into Kaios via the chaos it took to bring it into being.”
Over the years, Greenidge said not only has Kaios International been able to enjoy the festivities and embrace masqueraders as family, but “we have also been able to place on a few occasions as well.”
“We placed third twice and even second,” she said. “So, to be clear, Kaios is a real contender on the road now as well.
“As always, we hope to spread the joy of Caribbean carnival and culture, and grow in positive ways all the time,” she added.
Greenidge said the Kaios family hails from throughout the Caribbean, as well as from “non-West Indian heritage participants, born and raised right here in the U.S.”
In-house DJ’s, The Franchise, or TF Entertainment, will provide soca music to gyrating masqueraders and revelers, Greenidge said.
“The crowd will truly enjoy what they bring,” she said.
The mas camp is located at 1523 St. John’s Pl., between Rochester and Buffalo avenues.
Greenidge can be reached at (646) 441-889, and McClean at M.Mclea