Omari Harrigan of Chosen Sounds has – with collaborators Neil Cochrane and Kevin Hosam – put together a star-studded line-up for the upcoming Nautical Festival.
Introduced last year as a Sailing Week after-after party at Abracadabra, Harrigan said, “it came off so well (as) a climax to the whole season,” it has been expanded into a two-day event.
Fresh from The Voice and more recently the White House, powerhouse Jamaican vocalist Tessanne Chin is in the mix, Reggae artistes Barrington Levy and Christopher Martin, and Jillionaire and Walshy Fire of Major Lazer.
The latter, Harrigan said, “bend the genres of music …soca and dancehall with electronic” and, he added, “fill stadiums all over the world.”
The events are scheduled for Friday, May 2, at Abracadabra and Saturday, May 3, at Splash.
“Two days, one awesome experience,” Harrigan said.
The May 2nd event is an all DJ affair, much like last year, with the likes of Jime, Miks, Merchy, and from Major Lazer, Walshy Fire.
The following night, meanwhile, will be jam-packed with talent, including, from Antigua, Kutting Edge, Jamal Gordon, Tian Winter, and Logiq; and the named regional and international artistes.
Logiq has been making moves on the local hip-hop scene for 10 years or more and is currently making waves with international outfit Sweetbox, most recently the hot duet with Asher Otto, All 4 Love; and no doubt anticipation will be high as it always is for new music from popular soca star Tian Winter.
Then there is Jamal, being groomed and managed by Dr Noel Howell for international success, and the soulful combo Kutting Edge, which brings some steel pan to the stage.
As was the case last year, when a companion CD of music with an international flavour by local artists set sail in the ASW post-season and the festival’s wake, fans can expect new music with featured artistes available as singles for download.
In this digital age, these kinds of collaborations are not limited by geographic boundaries, Harrigan reminded, hinting that new music is in fact already in the works.
A hot topic during our chat with Harrigan was Chin, who recently signed a major deal on the heels of her success as the first artiste from the Caribbean to use the top rated American show to cross over.
They managed to get her for Nautical just before she became impossible to get, as she is likely to be in demand going forward.
Harrigan, who described Chin as the Caribbean’s sweetheart, a reference no doubt to the way the Caribbean rallied behind her win and to the grace she demonstrated throughout the competition’s run and since, said since her last performance in Antigua during her Hideaway phase, “her voice and personality have matured so much”.
And, he said, she’s likely to appeal to a wide cross-section.
Asked about the prospects of an Antiguan vocalist taking the same path to international success, while not denying that the talent is there, Harrigan stressed the importance of practice, professionalism and consistency.
“Victory loves preparation and Tessanne was properly prepared.” To do it, he said, we’d have to be “willing to go through what it takes to get there.”
The producer/promoter continues to prove that for his part, he has what it takes to put on quite the show, at least the promising line-up raises hopes that the two-night affair will deliver an entertaining time. And it’s his feeling that it will also add value to the season.
Harrigan urges picking up those early bird tickets and advertises that there will be a sweepstakes, the prize of which is an opportunity to meet Chin. Media, meanwhile, are also encouraged to register early with Chosen Sounds for accreditation for the event.