Thursday, October 29, 2009

Islandistas (and one islandisto) in big NFL halftime show!


[caption id="attachment_1622" align="aligncenter" width="450" caption="Photo via Facebook"]Bajaninvasion[/caption]

Big things keep happening for island folk on the musical scene!

The latest major breakthrough is a huge performance opportunity for Barbadian singers Shontelle, Vita Chambers and Hal Linton and Guyanese-Canadian Melanie Fiona.

According to our sources, the four have been picked as part of a six-artiste performance at the halftime show of the Detroit Lions vs the Green Bay Packers. The performance is part of their label Universal Motown's 50th anniversary special.


[caption id="attachment_1623" align="aligncenter" width="450" caption="Photo via Facebook"]Baje and GT[/caption]

A few weeks back, Shontelle had tweeted that she was praying and hoping really hard for something that could be her biggest opportunity ever but she was mum about it.

NFL. Halftime show. Motown 50th anniversary.

Wunna understand that this is a reaaallll big deal?!

The audience at the game itself is going to be about 70, 000 people - as in about one-quarter of Barbados' population!

Then there will be another 20 million or so people watching it at home - because it's Thanksgiving. Thanksgiving and the NFL are as time honoured an American tradition as it gets!

And FOUR CARIBBEAN PEOPLE will be part of this major, huge show.

Hal commented on his FB page that he is set to sing the Marvin Gaye classic, 'I heard it through the Grapevine' - a perfect fit for him, since he is definitely in that 'soul man' mould and what better way to show off his chops than by performing a tribute to the ultimate soul man?!

No word yet on what Vita and Shontelle will be singing but we will keep you posted.

Wednesday, October 28, 2009

Please take our islandista readership survey!

We already know that islandistas embody and exude the spirit  and tempo of the Caribbean woman... but we'd like to learn more about our readers!

We'd appreciate if you took our short survey below so we can get a better idea of who you are, what you like and what we can do to make your islandista reading experience even better!

FYI It's completely anonymous - we only see the results, not the IP addresses, email addresses, nothing else but your answers! So please feel free to answer openly and candidly!

[polldaddy poll=2105990] [polldaddy poll=2105903] [polldaddy poll=2105976] [polldaddy poll=2105981] [polldaddy poll=2106187]

[polldaddy poll=2106114]

[polldaddy poll=2105910] [polldaddy poll=2105926] [polldaddy poll=2105967] [polldaddy poll=2106013]

[polldaddy poll=2106093]

 [polldaddy poll=2106199]

Tuesday, October 27, 2009

Islandista we love - June Ambrose

[caption id="attachment_1614" align="alignleft" width="270" caption="Photo credit: @juneambrose via twitpic"]June rocking it[/caption]

Jay-Z calls her his "secretary of style".


In addition to Jay, she has worked as a stylist for Mary J. Blige, P.Diddy and Janet Jackson - among others.

 She has crafted some of the hottest and most memorable looks in hip-hop - and that is no hyperbole.

Remember Missy Elliot's inflatable 'bag' suit in the music video for The Rain?

Or Puffy and Biggie's shiny suits in Mo Money, Mo Problems?

That was all the work of June Ambrose, hip-hop's ultimate stylist and style influencer.

Oh, and did we mention she's an island girl? That last name was a dead giveaway, wasn't it? Of course, she hails from Antigua.

Tuesday, October 20, 2009

Rihanna drops new single and teaser

So ... the wait is ova.

Rihanna dropped her promo and a teaser for her new album today ... and it seems she's going extra edgy.

The promo is dark as hell, with the look and feel of a horror movie. Check it out below.

She also released her first single today - Russian Roulette.

Hmm... is this a veiled reference to her domestic violence situation? Read the lyrics and tell me what you think.
Take a breath, take it deep
Calm yourself, he says to me
If you play, you play for keeps
Take a gun, and count to three
I’m sweating now, moving slow
No time to think, my turn to go

[Chorus --]
And you can see my heart beating
You can see it through my chest
And I’m terrified but I’m not leaving
Know that I must must pass this test

So just pull the trigger

Say a prayer to yourself
He says close your eyes
Sometimes it helps
And then I get a scary thought
That he’s here means he’s never lost


As my life flashes before my eyes
I’m wondering will I ever see another sunrise?
So many won’t get the chance to say goodbye
But it’s too late too pick up the value of my life


The lyrics certainly give us enough juicy analogies to mull over and keep the blogosphere analysing for days.

And... maybe that's the point.

What do you think, islandistas?

Friday, October 16, 2009

UK music tidbits - Leona, Alexandra and Keisha

All kinds of things going on with our UK islandistas this week.

First, the follow-up to the shocking attack on Leona Lewis - apparently the attacker, 29 year old Peter Kowalczyk, was a bitter X-Factor reject.

His father told UK tabloid the Sun:

"He wants to be a singer. He went along and queued at X Factor. How far he got with it? Nowhere."

Apparently Kowalczyk waited FIVE HOURS in line at the book signing just so he could get at Leona.

Who is of course now terrified. The Sun quotes a source as saying she is terrified to go out, thinking the  next crazy attacker could have something more deadly than a fist.

In happier news, fellow X-factor winner Alexandra Burke is heading for number one with her first post- X-factor song - Bad Boys.

And she's beating Brit pop legend Robbie Williams handily in the race for number one too.

She has sold 89,384 copies so far as compared to 42,751 for Robbie's Bodies and her tune is number one on itunes.

Oh, and the tune is the fastest selling song for 2009 too.

Cos that's how we islandistas do it. Get um Alex!

And in more islandista news, Keisha Buchanan may well have the last laugh in the Sugababes war of 09.

She is in hot demand for collaborations and is already back in the studio, with Ne-Yo apparently on the list of would-be collaborators.

Meanwhile, Amelle Berabah, whose dramatic disappearance that wasn't, was the spur that forced Keisha out of the group she founded, has entered a clinic, suffering from severe nervous exhaustion.

Poor thing, apparently the stress of backraising Keisha and getting her own way in forcing her out, has been very 'traumatic'.

Hmm. Karma is a bee-atch.

Wednesday, October 14, 2009

Leona Lewis ATTACKED at book signing!

[caption id="attachment_1600" align="alignleft" width="315" caption="Photo credit: Xposure"]Photo credit: Xposure[/caption]

Well what the fecking feck?!


British singer (and islandista by descent) Leona Lewis was randomly slapped by a male 'fan' at a book signing today at a Waterstone's book store in London.

One eyewitness told the BBC:
"My brother saw the whole incident. He [the attacker] walked up there with the book, she signed it and, as she looked up, he just punched her."

Another said:
"She was running out with her hand over her eye and I just saw a man on the floor. Suddenly the security all jumped on him and they were trying to pull him out and he was just laughing, he thought it was funny.'

Obviously, the book signing did not continue as Leona was majorly shaken up, even if not too badly hurt (from initial reports).

Her management released a statement a short while ago saying:
'Leona was the victim of an unprovoked attack this afternoon at her book signing. The police were called immediately and medical attention has been sought.
'Leona is understandably shaken and apologises to the fans she was unable to meet and complete signings for.


Poor girl. Of all the celebs to get slapped, why Leona who is from all accounts, a really sweet girl?


I guess duppy really know who to frighten boy... bet he wouldn't have tried that on Naomi!

Friday, October 9, 2009

Trend alert: Guyanese-Canadian singers

[caption id="attachment_1581" align="aligncenter" width="450" caption="From left to right - Melanie Fiona, Anjulie and Rhea. (Photo at right from"]From left to right - Melanie Fiona, Anjulie and Rhea. (Photo at right from[/caption]



 No seriously!


 The old saying is 'three is a trend' right?

And in the last few months, we have seen three Guyanese-Canadian singers who are definitely on the rise in the international music scene. Shoot, they all hail from in or around Toronto too. It's a freaky but fabulous coincidence.

First up was Melanie Fiona, whose track Give It To Me Right made some waves. She opened for Kanye West on his European tour in 2008 before she had even released her debut album, The Bridge and she was one of BET's Rising Icons.

Next to get our attention was Anjulie.

Again, she opened for a big name act - Jesse McCartney on his U.S. tour this time. Her debut single Boom reached number one on Billboard's US dance charts and her songs have been featured on several shows - The Hills, The City, the new Melrose Place and the Vampire Diaries, among others.

And now comes news that N.E.R.D. (aka Pharrell Williams and the not as cute guys) has added Guyanese-Canadian Rhea as the only female to their line-up.

And Pharrell and co. clearly have high expectations of Rhea. He told
"Musically, we're just somewhere else [with her].... The music is now very 3-D. It's something you have to hear. But you'll see. We're definitely somewhere else. I want to leave that impact moment for when you purchase your download and you purchase your CD.

... Now you have this little Tinkerbell that's just stepped in and has been amazing. ... It's made it a fun process. We can go in so many more directions, because we have the vocal support."

Whooooiiiiieeeee. No pressure, dread!

Of course, there's something more these (undeniably talented) chicks have in common than being Guyanese-Canadian warblers from T-dot.

Something that probably makes them more... marketable.

Not that we're being racial.  But we do call it as we see it. After all, we've observed something similar as increasing numbers of Barbadian singers have snagged record label contracts. Take a look at our collage below and see if you spot it. 


We're just saying...

[caption id="attachment_1568" align="aligncenter" width="450" caption="Clockwise from left - Rupee, Rihanna, Shontelle, Livvi Franc, Jaicko, Vita. In the center - Hal Linton"]Clockwise from left - Rupee, Rihanna, Shontelle, Livvi Franc, Jaicko, Vita. In the center - Hal Linton[/caption]


 Hums Sesame Street song (one of these things is not like the other...)

Tuesday, October 6, 2009

Preggers Jourdan Dunn walks for Jean Paul Gaultier

Even though she's six months' pregnant, Jourdan Dunn still made an appearance during Paris Fashion Week over the weekend - walking in the always hotly anticipated Jean Paul Gaultier show.

Dunn made an appearance in an outfit that was JPG-redux - a bronze conical bra a la Madonna in the 80s, but this time, updated with a belly pad for her  baby bump!

Check out the pics below.

[caption id="attachment_1562" align="aligncenter" width="320" caption="Photo credit:"]Photo credit:[/caption]

[caption id="attachment_1563" align="aligncenter" width="450" caption="Photo credit: Getty Images"]Photo credit: Getty Images[/caption]

Monday, October 5, 2009

Island folk honoured by Congressional Black Caucus


[caption id="attachment_1558" align="alignleft" width="293" caption="Sheryl Lee Ralph with her husband Pennsylvania State Senator Vincent Hughes. (Photo credit: Margot Jordon/Black Socialite)"]Sheryl Lee Ralph with her  husband Pennsylvania State Senator Vincent Hughes. (Photo credit: Margot Jordon/Black Socialite)[/caption]

Islandistas and islandistos were all up in the do two weekends ago when the Congressional Black Caucus Foundation held their annual Phoenix Awards and dinner in Washington D.C.


As ever, the event was a high-wattage gathering of true black star power and this year was topped off by an address by President Barack Obama.

Several island folk were honoured at this year's awards - Jamaican-born actress Sheryl Lee Ralph, Haitian-born musician and humanitarian Wyclef Jean were among the honorees, as were islandistas by descent Cicely Tyson (born to Nevisian parents) and Susan Rice (of Jamaican descent).

Bermudan Premier Ewart Brown also turned out for the event, as did former Essence head honch Susan L. Taylor (Kittitian and Trini through her parents).

Makes you proud to be from one of these little rocks, doesn't it? : )

Check The Black Socialite and Fab Empire for more pics and coverage!

Sunday, October 4, 2009

Rihanna rips the runway ... front row @ Paris Fashion Week

[caption id="" align="alignleft" width="200" caption="Tit tape and (please god) nude underwear at Gareth Pugh."]Using lots of tit tape and (please god) nude underwear at Gareth Pugh. And nice dark lippie too.[/caption]


Who send de red girl from Westbury Road fuh dem in Paree?

Rihanna chose Paris Fashion - the most elite of the fashion seasons to kill. it. with her all-black everything fashion game. Not to mention she's hitting several of the other hot new trends for the  season- sporting dark lipstick again at Gareth Pugh and over the knee boots at Vivienne Westwood (please Lord, do not let this trend make it to the Caribbean - I will slap the fool I see in knee highs in this heat).

No lie - we don't agree with every one of the choices but yuh gotta give  her points for effort. She has the paparazzi and fashion folk in Europe going mad with her style choices - popping up at the hottest shows in outfits that put the rest of the front row (what front row?) to shame.

Check out some of the looks from Rihanna's Runway below.

Alexandra Burke in mum v. daughter row?

Marie Claire- Alex BurkeAwoah!

Fame ent always sweet.

Just ask Alexandra Burke.

The islandista winner of Britain's X-Factor is the cover girl in this month's issue of British Marie Claire. It's a major coup and she looks stunning, as the pics below show.

[caption id="attachment_1540" align="aligncenter" width="186" caption="Photo credit: Marie Claire"]Photo credit: Marie Claire[/caption]

But she has also revealed that her new found fame (and there ain't no fame like British fame - the tabloids there are cra-zee) has taken a major toll on her family.
Marie Claire- Alex Burke2

One, it has caused some tension or rather renewed tension (she left home at 16) between her and her mum Melissa Bell, former lead singer of Soul II Soul.

According to Alexandra:
"She had Soul II Soul but it didn't last as long as she wanted it to last.

'Then I get this big new show, I win it, and it's weird for her to see this.

'Although she's proud, it's like she wants to rewind time to when she was younger, when she didn't have kids. 

'I've never talked about this by the way. We're not a perfect family. Things p*** me off.'


Mumma Melissa ent tekking dat. She struck back today, saying that Alex isn't even a success yet and explaining why Alex had to leave home when she was 16.

She told the Sunday Mirror:
"It's all very upsetting. And she's not even a success herself yet. I hope she is, but we don't even know how her follow-up single is going to do."

On the claims that Alexandra was put out when she was 16, Melissa says she had to lay down the law and that hard ears you won't hear, own way yuh gine feel.
"I have certain rules. In Caribbean families you have to respect your parents. She needed to experience life, to see if the grass is greener - and she did. I don't know where she went but the door was always open."

She doesn't entirely blame her girl for the shock interview though and puts some of the blame on the publicity machine.
"It's upsetting. I think her PR people are responsible. It's about getting sympathy votes."

Saturday, October 3, 2009

*UPDATED* Milan Fashion Week ... Lyndsey on her own


[caption id="attachment_1527" align="alignright" width="267" caption="--> Except this one. Lyndsey Scott walking for Gucci. (Photo credit:"]<--- Except this one. Lyndsey Scott walking for Gucci. (Photo credit:[/caption]


UPDATE: Turns out our hunch on Lyndsey Scott's islandistaness was spot on! She responded to our email query today, confirming that her mother is from Trinidad. Our islandista-spotting instincts are on point!

We're loathe to paraphrase Kanye West (especially since he ent really in style nowadays) but ... Milan Fashion Week don't like black people.

We nearly get snow blindness reviewing de pics of Milan's recently ended Fashion Week on - is so de runways did white-white.

Very few black models and of course by extension, even fewer islandista models made it onto the runways of Milan and walked very few shows.

The one major exception to the rule was suspected Trini islandista Lyndsey Scott. Now our only evidence of her islandista-ness thus far is her New York Magazine profile earlier this year when she was the first black model to score an exclusive with Calvin Klein and random Trini-sounding aunts and uncles jump on New York Magazine's website to big up dey girl. But that works for us for now.

Lyndsey got lots of love from the Milanese, walking in six different shows, including big names like Gucci and Prada. Arlenis Sosa and Rose Cordero also walked in a few shows but Lyndsey definitely got the lion's share last week.

Check out more of her pics after the jump.