By Makeida Antonio
A top soca artiste has expressed his discontent over being barred from having his band accompany him for certain Carnival events this year.
On his personal social media page on Sunday afternoon, “Baddest” singer Tian Winter outlined what appears to be his stance that he will not perform at events outside of those he is set to compete in, because of the stipulation that his Iconic band will not be able to accompany him.
In the post, which had over 1,000 reactions along with hundreds of comments and shares, Winter’s fans said he was justified in refusing to perform using a ‘house’ band instead of his renowned Iconic band.
Winter called for the same courtesy extended to international artistes who are invited to perform in Antigua and Barbuda and are allowed to travel with their bands, to be extended to local acts at events where a band is required.
Observer reached out to Winter’s manager and veteran promoter, Neil Cochrane, who also commented on the matter.
Cochrane said that while he understands both sides of the issue, the reality is that Winter has invested heavily into his craft and has worked hard to develop his band and his own brand.
“We understand that there are certain events and shows that cannot accommodate a band because of the number of patrons, the cover charge and things like that, but there are some events that definitely can, especially events where you have regional artistes and international artistes coming in,” he told Observer.
Cochrane also explained that Winter has spent countless hours rehearsing with the Iconic band in preparation for performances and to ensure that the product is “A class”.
“When it’s time for your top national artistes to shine, it is important to ensure that they are put in a position to give of their best, to bring out their best, and Tian believes that to give of his best, it has to be with his band, Iconic,” Cochrane said.
Amidst the hint that he may “leave yall’s competitions alone” while addressing the Ministry of Creative Industries, Winter also encouraged upcoming artistes to stand up for themselves and demand what is right.
The popular artiste is a finalist in both the Calypso and Soca monarch competitions during this Carnival season.