Discover Series: A virtual taste of Tobago


I'll never forget my first trip to Tobago. The picturesque beaches, the lush greenery, but most of all, the warmth of the people. Tobagonians are beautiful, resilient and creative people. This is something I've always known, but after encountering the Discover Series, I can say hands down that Tobago is home to some of the most brilliant creatives I've ever come across. But what is the Discover Series?

The Discover Series project is a virtual concert series that showcases established and upcoming artistes from across the sister isle. Now don't get it twisted, while T&T may be known for the creation of soca, the music from these artistes range from reggae, evolutionary soul, R&B, gospel to soca, and parang soca. There is a genre for everyone. 

As an initiative of the Tobago Festivals Commission Limited, the series also aims to promote the beauty of the island of Tobago, and the many natural, picturesque sites it possesses. So if you love local music, nature and want to dive head first into what Tobago has to offer, this is definitely something you want to check out. So let's dive in. 

Stephanie Joseph


I see heaven! Rather, what I hear is heavenly. Stephanie's powerful yet soothing vocals hit me right in the feels. Her flawless execution of such beautiful and soulful music will have you swaying in your partner's arms on a Sunday evening. Stephanie explained that she has been singing as far back as she can remember. She started singing at home then at church her vocal gift was developed. Well, her voice is truly a gift that keeps on giving because you will never want to stop listening to her performance.

TooReal


Is it Christmas already? It sure feels like it, with TooReal's Soca Parang offerings. Music is not a new passion for TooReal. After singing his first soca at a primary school competition, TooReal started writing songs at the tender age of 10. Having landed the coveted position of front-line singer with the band Blue Ventures in 2001, life took him on many adventures within the U.S., and throughout the Caribbean. But parang soca isn't his only forte. TooReal switched things up a bit in his set and I'm still dancing. 

Shantal Lindsay


Shantal Lindsay is a gospel minister, artiste, musician, and creative hailing from the village of Buccoo, Tobago. She fell in love with music at an early age when her creative side and love for music emerged and was pursued. Listen, her songs have been on REPEAT. Shantal's powerful voice and uplifting lyrics will snatch your attention away from whatever it is you're doing. She is on a mission, and I am right there with her. If you think Gospel music is boring, think again! 

Pernell Winchester


If you're a Reggae lover, then we have someone in the line up just for you. Pernell Winchester aka Kabasi is a singer/songwriter who pays special attention to Reggae music which he describes as his passion and how he mainly expresses himself. His music will make you smile, dance, and add a little romance. You can't go wrong. 

Leah-Sophia Richards


Leah-Sophia Richards is a singer-songwriter, and producer, most strongly associated with the pop-urban genre but she is capable of mastering all genres. Born to a family of musicians, Leah grew up influenced by the sound and artistry of the musical traditions of Soca and Calypso, Reggae, R&B, Classical, and Pop sounds. Her unique vocals really lend beautifully to the song choices in her set floated between RnB and Pop selections seamlessly. 

Adana


Speaking of voices that can lend themselves well any any genre, Adana is one of those singers who can literally sing any and everything! I will never forget the first time I head her sing in a Soca Monarch semi-final. Her voice is one that resonates, that you will never forget. Adana began singing professionally at age 15 and has been a staple in entertainment circles in Tobago. Outside of the genres of Soca and Calypso which originated in Trinidad and Tobago, her love for Reggae, RnB, Jazz and Soul is endless.

Xavier Edwardz


Xavier Edwardz is a soulful and evolutionary artist; seamlessly fusing elements of Neo-Soul, Jazz, and Caribbean instrumentation to complement his lyrical mastery. I first heard him at Fro Fest in 2019 and fell in love with his music ever since. His original compositions are nothing short of melodic poetry, perfect for the day you just want to relax and unwind. 

Gardah Knight


With years of experience producing versatile songs, Christopher Joseph aka Gardah Knight is an exciting, natural-born entertainer with his energetic stage performances and vibrant vocals. His well-rounded musical style ranges from reggae to soca to dancehall and more. He is a multi-talented musical artist, vocalist, and songwriter known for his fiery stage presence and catchy lyrics.

The Original Qua Qua


Performer and Vocalist, Aniqua Richards-Lafeuillee; aka Qua; aka The Original Qua Qua hails from Tobago's Government House Road in Scarborough.  The British-born singer, who grew up and still resides on the jewel Caribbean island, was nursed to strength in a plethora of musical arenas, most notably, the church. As a child, through participation in various choirs and youth groups, she would learn the rudiments of harmonic and solo performances, giving her voice and ear that edge whenever the time came to render. 

Franz Job


Franz Job is British born, with a German name and Caribbean parentage. His grandparents raised him up in their native, Charlotteville - the place where he would learn to recite poems and play the guitar. Like a host of other things in his life, Franz broke out into singing later, after producing and playing on countless recordings with friends in London.

See? I told you! The talent of the people of Tobago is beyond what many may envision it to be. There is so much to explore when it comes to Tobago, and the music is merely one facet of it. Not only does the Discover Series project feature talented artistes from across Tobago, but it also features other players within Tobago’s orange economy; cinematographers, photographers, sound engineers, musicians, stylists, designers, and makeup artists. 

With restrictions due to Covid, why not seize the opportunity to enjoy the beauty of Tobago virtually? For more information on the Discover Series and to learn more about the artistes you can follow the Tobago Festivals Commission on Facebook and Instagram

Now I'm off to have a listen to these amazing artistes again. Let me know who's your favourite. 


Regards,
Tshenelle aka Nelly B. 

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