Yes, New York City has an annual West Indian–American Day Carnival/Parade every Labor Day and Toronto has their
Scotiabank Toronto Caribbean Carnival Caribana throughout July and August, but for one who wants to experience a real (read: non-North American) version of those celebrations they must travel to Trinidad and Tobago. I attended a Trini Carnival a few years ago, and to this day it has remained as one of my most memorable life experiences. It was there where I also discovered Machel Montano (because California has essentially turned its back on Caribbean music years ago, the genre is nearly nonexistent in the state), one of the most popular Soca artists of all time. Commonly referred to as the “King of Soca,” practically his entire discography – which spans over 30 years! – was the soundtrack of Carnival, and his live performances are unforgettable.
With this Labor Day Weekend being New York’s West Indian–American Day Carnival/Parade Machel teams with Jamaican dancehall veteran Sean Paul – as well as Diplo‘s misfit outfit Major Lazer – for a song which aims to be the soundtrack for the weekend. As it was theme music for Trinidad’s 2015 Carnival, the trio attempt to bring their high-energy vibes stateside with this electronically-fueled new single. Listen to it below.