After close to 1000 votes cast, Today In Bermuda is pleased to announce Lakai Robinson and Akil Darreell as our Biggest Soca Junkies. Our contest was sponsored by Burrows & Lightbourn Ltd.
As winners, both receive a case of Heineken, a bottle of Johnnie Walker scotch and a ticket to J’ouvert during Bermuda Heroes Weekend.
Lakai reacts to being voted as one of the winners: “To tell you the truth I didn't even know I was nominated for the contest. I didn't even know there was a contest. I saw a Facebook post by Akil and I was about to go and vote for him until I looked further down on the list and saw my name.
“I was shocked, so during the contest I saw people were saying Akil was the one to beat and no one could because his numbers because they were so high, so I wanted to make him sweat a bit and work for the win, so I started to ask my people to vote and my numbers started moving up and I gave him a bit of competition.
“At one point I was in the lead in the polls, not by much, but it was enough to light a fire under him and he passed me and ended up leading the pack to the end. So then to find out after all that I was still a winner was a complete surprise because really I just enjoyed watching him campaign his way to the top so to speak.
“But after all is said and done I am honoured that my friends thought enough of me to nominate me for being the biggest soca junkie in Bermuda and I will be proud to wear that title. SOCA GIVES ME LIFE!!!”
Lakai says she fell in love with soca 20 years ago when Machel Montano and Xtatik dropped the song Big Truck in 1997 and became Trinidad and Tobago's Road March winners the same year.
Initially a self-described ‘soca baby’, Lakai has moved on to bigger party boots: “Well these days I see myself more as a soca veteran having graduated from being a soca junkie! When I was three years old I wore my very first carnival costume in the Bermuda Day parade. The Hills had an entry in there for either Leopards Club or Ex-Artillery and my mother thought it would be a good idea to dress her daughter up as a stop light. Back in the day carnival costumes were more conservative. I've had soca in my blood for years.”
Lakai describes her favourite soca experience with Today In Bermuda.
“I would have to say happened when I was about 12 years old. The band Taxi along with Colin Lucas, Mr Dollar Wine himself, came to Bermuda for a show at Clayhouse Inn. My mom was good friends with the band’s manager at the time and he knew how upset I was that I couldn't attend the show that evening because I was underage, so he told my mom to bring me by to watch the band practice and I was able to dance the dollar wine with Colin Lucas. For a 12-year-old that moment changed my life!”
Listing J’Ouvert as her favourite event during the annual Bermuda Heroes Weekend celebrations, Lakai describes her experience on the first annual Ubersoca Cruise last November: “For me the Ubersoca cruise took soca and feting to another level. The experience was soooooo amazing I can't even begin to describe the vibes on that boat.
“I met so many people from different places like Belize and the Dominican and we all had a blast feting together. Also, to see the love and respect amongst the countless soca artists was amazing. I can't wait to see what Ubersoca has planned for us this year. What would I say to those who didn't go? POOR YOU...YOU MISSDED OUT!!!!!”
And she had this to say to those who think soca should only be plated in the summer: “Besides the obvious Christmas music how can you put a season to music? Does rap or reggae have a season?
“How about jazz or country music? I would love for someone to try and tell DJ Bernie Mac that the slow jams he plays every Thursday night are only to be played on Valentine’s Day. He would surely give them a piece of his mind. So tell me why should soca music be put in a box when clearly other genres of music aren't.”
Now if you know Akil Darrell, you know that the best way to capture him in his element is through video, so below he thanks everyone who voted for him.