Sat | May 25, 2019

Xaymaca Babes Feting with Flair

Published:Monday | April 22, 2019 | 12:18 AMKrysta Anderson - Gleaner Writer
Narda Stephenson
Narda Stephenson
Davina Laylor-Haynes
Davina Laylor-Haynes
Davina Laylor-Haynes
Renee Bryan
Renee Bryan
Renee Bryan
Renee Bryan
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Who's ready for the road? With only days to go before the long awaited carnival season reaches its euphoric climax, revellers are already gearing up for a jam packed week of wining and wuking up a sweat to the sweet sounds of soca. Where else would you be jumping this year than with the big and bad band, Xaymaca International?

 

Feting with Flair decided to do things a little differently this year by introducing not one, not two, but three of our very own Xaymaca Babes: Davina Laylor-Haynes. Renee Bryan and Narda Stephenson. Here, we have trekked down their personal paths to soca, sharing their high hopes for Xaymaca Road March 2019. So, without further ado, let’s meet them, shall we?

 

Name: Renee Bryan

Age: 27

What do you do for fun?

I love watching travel and food vlogs, as well as wining to soca music!

 

What’s your favourite 2019 soca song?

This year one song hasn’t stood out to be an overall favourite. So I have three I favour: Savannah Grass by Kes, Soca Land by Jamesy P and Party Start by Swappi

 

When did your love affair with soca start?

My love for soca started from I think the night of my sweet 16 when I saw my mother getting down to a song by Alison Hinds. It just looked so invigorating and carefree. I was sold.

 

Who is your favourite soca artiste and why?

Bunji Garlin, he really gets my soca vibe and he doesn’t even know me.

 

What's your favourite soca song of all time?

Differentology & Red Light District - Bunji Garlin

 

What to date has been your best and/or worst carnival experience? December 2016 I love Soca was such an amazing night. It was my boyfriend’s first soca event and I got so drunk and threw up during the party but the vibe was so lit we went right back to partying after.

 

My worst experience was more of a disappointment. It was the year when I think there was a ban on importing chicken and there was a shortage of feathers. So our backpacks were much smaller.

 

If you could describe yourself as a soca song, what would it be and why?

 

Issa Snack - Nessa Preppy because as the song says ‘Real gyal wining, real woman wining’ and it’s all real here, no GMO (genetically modified organism) lol. I may not be the thickest, but when I touch the road ‘Issa Issa scene’.

 

Physically fit: how have you been preparing for this year's road march?

I try to get into the gym at least 3 times per week. It all depends on how hectic work is.

 

Which Xaymaca costume speaks to you the most and why?

Victress! From the first time, I saw it I knew it was the one for me. The colors and the backpack were right up my alley and I also thought it was suitable to my physique.

 

Which Xaymaca events will you be attending leading up to carnival?

I Love Soca, of course. I have been to every staging this year. I won’t miss this one.

 

What are you looking forward to for Xaymaca Road March 2019?

The vibe and feting with my ‘Famalay’. Soca is an amazing feeling and I just know with the Xaymaca package it will be an amazing experience.

 

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Name: Davina Laylor-Haynes

Age: 29

 

What do you do for fun?

Beach days are win days. I also love shopping for house decor.

 

 

What’s your favourite 2019 soca song? :

Famalay by Machel Montano.

 

 

When did your love affair with soca start?

Mine started in 2015 when I was asked to be The Gleaner’s carnival babe. I was a complete newbie to the soca scene.

 

 

Who is your favourite soca artiste and why?

I’ll have to say Machel because he’s been consistent with hits after hits.

 

 

What's your favourite soca song of all time?

Lucy for sure.

 

 

If you could describe yourself as a soca song, what would it be and why?

Lucy because I think it perfectly depicts my journey into the soca world.

 

 

What to date has been your best and/or worst carnival experience?

My best carnival experience was jumping with Xaymaca in 2017. Lunch break was absolute luxury, plus I was on the road with my Gleaner family.

 

 

Physically fit: how have you been preparing for this year's road march?

I’ve decided the road will get whatever body I give it. So whatever I look like on carnival morning is what road march will get.

 

 

Which Xaymaca costume speaks to you the most and why?

My costume is Bohemian, and what I love about it is that is boho chic (free-flowing to wine in) meets fete (still very sexy and true to soca). The hue of blue is also very beautiful!

 

Counting down, which Xaymaca events will you be attending leading up to carnival?

I Love Soca is definitely a must-go. I love the soca parties leading up to the road march because it is truly a euphoric experience: the rum, the people, the music, the energy. I just love it.

 

 

What are you looking forward to for Xaymaca Road March 2019?

Lunch break for sure. The food is always good and you’re pampered and refreshed by the time you’re ready to hit the road again.

 

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Name: Narda Stephenson

Age: 32

What do you do for fun?: Go to the beach/river, and random road trips throughout the island.

 

What's your favourite 2019 soca song?

Famalay! It embodies the spirit of unity that is soca.

 

When did your love affair with soca start?

I’ve been listening to soca since I was in prep school, and too young to really comprehend the lyrics, lol. When I was in grade six, my friends and I choreographed a dance to Byron Lee & The Dragonaires’ Ragga Ragga for a school concert.

 

Who is your favourite soca artiste?

Kes the Band because they constantly and consistently deliver. Their lyrical content and melody really draw me in. Plus, Kees (the lead singer) is so handsome.

 

What's your favourite soca song of all time?

This is a tough one. It’s a toss-up between Turn Me On by Kevin Lyttle and Passion by Militant (classic).

 

What to date has been your best and/or worst carnival experience?

I haven’t had any bad carnival experiences. The best was when I played mas for the first time with my sister.

 

If you could describe yourself as a soca song, what would it be and why?

Lucy, because it’s the one time of year that I let loose.

 

Physically fit: How have you been preparing for this year's road march?

I try to go to the gym at least three times a week but my work schedule doesn’t always allow. I also cut back on my pastry/cheese cake eating (I have a huge sweet tooth). I recently started drinking apple cider vinegar (with water, of course) in the mornings.

 

What do you love about the costume you will be wearing for Xaymaca?

Dancehall Queen: I grew up listening to a lot of dancehall, so dancehall in soca – great mix. I love the colours, the ‘rude-girl vibe’, and the smaller backpack allows for easier movement.

 

Which Xaymaca events will you be attending leading up to Road March?

Pop-Up Street Lyme (already passed), and Tribe Ignite (upcoming).

 

What are you looking forward to for Xaymaca Road March?

Sweet soca! Kes, Machel, Mr Killa, plenty vibes with my sisters and friends, Caribbean people coming together in Jamaica, and a safe time on the road.