Custom Search 1

Seani B wraps up a scorching Carnival weekend

CARNIVAL WEEKEND: Seani B had numerous gigs and festivals to DJ at before the big day

OVER THE last few columns I’ve been building up to the biggest black music event of the year, the Notting Hill Carnival.

Over one million people in the streets of west London absorbed and soaked up the Caribbean vibe and culture.

However, what this means for me is work, and not just Carnival work. My Carnival week always starts off with meeting the deadline of my annual remix mash-up CD. I spend a week in the lab constructing an eclectic mashup mix of all the hottest tunes and sounds for the year.

Once that headache is out of the way, it’s prep time for my weekly Thursday night dancehall show on 1Xtra.

After a few days of DM-ing, and going through my WhatsApp list to make the necessary links to create this show, Thursday night became more than a party. The line-up of Tony Matterhorn, new dancehall sensations I Waata and Intense, Trinidad’s DJ Salty, Xyclone, The Kemist, Big Zeeks, Romzy and IQ gave the BBC security team extra work.

Even Radio 1 and new Strictly Come Dancing contestant and long-time friend and colleague Dev came through to be part of this Carnival kick-off.

This was only Thursday night, and by Friday morning I was back in the Beeb buildings to link up who are now known as The Avengers of soca. Machel Montano, Bunji Garlin, Skinny Fabulous, Mr Killa, Teddyson John and Motto were all in the country for the event ‘One Famalay’.
It was incredible to see all these artists together living in unity just in the way the monster record suggests. It was even better seeing them perform the record on DJ Ace’s show. Look out for a crazy freestyle on my show from all of them this week.

I’ve known Machel for over 20 years and meeting up with him is always a journey down memory lane. I reminded him about his vision of seeing soca music on some of the biggest stages. He told me: “Seani, you see what is going on now, but we still have more work to do.”

He was so correct in that, as it was only Friday morning and the weekend was still bearing down on us, with a whole heap of work to do. With record temperatures stated for the weekend, the key word in my build-up was “pace”.

SO SPECIAL: You can’t beat the colour and camaraderie of Carnival

With numerous gigs and festivals before my touchdown in Carnival on Monday, I had to go easy with the voice and body.

Friday night saw me shut down Boxpark Croydon, south London, for our annual BrukOut Carnival party, then it was on to 1Xtra Levels in north London.

Saturday night I was show DJ for Agent Sasco at the Boiler Room Party. All day Sunday I was at SW4 Festival with a set on the Return II Jungle Stage with Chase n Status and Kabaka Pyramid, then straight to Ipswich for a quick shellings at Revolution.

The question I ask a dumb Seani B is why did you drink a bottle of champagne the night before Carnival Monday? I woke up pretty hurt and feeling like a Carnival novice!

Monday was scorching hot as predicated, with no escape from the sun! Plus, I was running slightly late, which didn’t help. When you get flustered the sweat has a funny way of making an appearance.

I was scheduled at 2.30pm for my first booking at the notorious Rampage Sound. It was early, but it was rammed. Climbing the scaffolding to get to the DJ booth, then seeing the crowd stretch back to the end of the road always pleases me.

FAMALAY:The Avengers of soca. Machel Montano, Bunji Garlin, Skinny Fabulous, Mr Killa, Teddyson John and Motto were all in the country for the event

Even if you wanna SHELL SHELL SHELL this road you gotta be responsible as a DJ, so I had my moments. But just leading into the Grenfell Tribute at 3pm, I played Bob Marley’s One Love, hearing the whole street singing gave me goose bumps.

Moments later I was joined by my special guests Agent Sasco and Kranium, who both gave good performances and both seemed like they never wanted to exit the Rampage towers.

My next set was on-board the 1Xtra Float. How the hell do I find that on the route now?

The tracker wasn’t working and phone reception was intermittent. Somehow I made contact and was on the way to the fire station on Ladbroke Grove Road. But the route chosen was not the wisest!

As a Carnival veteran, going out on the Ladbroke Road under the bridge was another dumb move. We were stuck there forever.

After some smart diverting, I finally made it to the truck. Time for the shelling to begin.

Looking out at the thousands behind the truck is truly an amazing sight.

Watching the whining and the partying from a bird’s eye view for a cheeky selector like me is great, pure material to chat a bagga tings!

I saw ladies whining on buses giving them a polish. Even a crazy Carnival reveller climbing the bridge at the top of Ladbroke Grove Road. I feared for his life as he didn’t look like he had skills like Spiderman.

The one thing I would never get used to, though, is the long walk home after all the madness. Can we hire a scooter next year?

Every year I gwan like I’m not interested in Carnival, and every year Carnival shows me why I love her even more. Roll on 2020.

Listen to my Carnival MIX CD via Seani B Soundcloud Page. Time for some sleep…

Subscribe to The Voice database!

We'd like to keep in touch with you regarding our daily newsletter, Voice competitions, promotions and marketing material and to further increase our reach with The Voice readers.

If interested, please click the below button to complete the subscription form.

We will never sell your data and will keep it safe and secure.

For further details visit our privacy policy.

You have the right to withdraw at any time, by clicking 'Unsubscribe'.