Mical Teja makes Army Fete his ‘Home’

The content originally appeared on: Trinidad and Tobago Newsday

Patrons at Army Fete sing the lyrics to Mical Teja’s DNA word-for-word, at the Queen’s Park Savannah on February 2.- Photo by Jeff K Mayers

ARMY Fete is often used as a gauge to tell what songs are the hits for the Carnival season.

And while Nadia Batson, Lyrikal and Nailah Blackman all delivered great performances, when Mical Teja (Mical Williams) was introduced at 2.30 am at the Queen’s Park Savannah, the crowd ensured everyone knew his DNA was a huge hit.

DNA has taken the Carnival season by storm, and Teja who grow up in the nearby community of Gonzales, made it that the sound of the crowd singing the lyrics “No place like home, home, home,” could be heard in his neighbourhood.

The 2024 National Action Cultural Committee’s Young King did not spend too much time talking, and instead gave the thousands in attendance what they came for.

Patrice Roberts entertains the Army Fete crowd, at the Queen’s Park Savannah on February 2.  – Photo by Jeff K Mayers

His other songs, Runaway and Hall of Fame were also well delivered.

Earlier, patrons had enjoyed a full slate of artistes, despite a late start.

The show was carded to begin at 9 pm but patrons were not allowed in the general section until 10.30 pm.

Destra took to the stage at 11.15 pm, going through her hits over the years. Her 35-minute set included hits like Bonnie and Clyde, Fly and It’s Carnival which were all well received. Her more recent songs, though, did not make as much of an impact on patrons. She was eventually joined by Yung Bredda.

Yung Bredda performing at Army Fete, held at the Queen’s Park Savannah on February 2. – Photo by Jeff K Mayers

After a lull of 30 minutes, Lil Bits, and to a lesser extent, Jadel struggled to get the crowd moving.

Viking Ding Dong, though, was able to get patrons into a frenzy with songs like Drink and Party and We Outside.

He told Sunday Newsday, “For me the special thing about Army is the atmosphere and how safe it is…I just like to be a part of a big crowd.”

Farmer Nappy kept the tempo up with How ah Livin – a vibe that was maintained when he was joined by GBM Nutron on stage to sing their collaboration In the Centre.

Wadicks on the Army Fete stage, at the Queen’s Park Savannah on February 2. – Photo by Jeff K Mayers

Their performance was followed by a constant flow of artistes, among them Defence Force member Wadicks.

Wadicks, who has been dabbling in music for almost a decade, this year released Beat Rum Bad which he said addresses the issue of domestic violence.

“For the past nine years I have been doing music. Everybody says it is a breakthrough year, but once you are doing music you breakthrough already. It is just about finding the right song at the right time.

“We doh beat gyul, but we beat rum bad,” is one of the lines of the song.

Nailah Blackman and Lyrikal perform Best Self at Army Fete, held at the Queen’s Park Savannah on February 2. – Photo by Jeff K Mayers

Barbadian Alison Hinds came next, followed by Lyrikal and Nailah Blackman. Patrons went wild over Best Self.

Lyrikal told Sunday Newsday, “The reaction of the song is great…at the end of the day I just want to say much love to everyone who had something to do with this project.

“This is my first time being in the conversation of being a road march contender, so I am just happy to be a part of it.”

Nadia Batson delivers an electrifying performance at Army Fete, Queen’s Park Savannah on February 2. – Photo by Jeff K Mayers

Batson, who is having a strong season, had patrons in the palm of her hands with her offerings Market and Everytime.

Olatunji delights Army Fete patrons at the Queen’s Park Savannah on February 2.  – Photo by Jeff K Mayers

Olatunji and Patrice Roberts too delivered quality performances, and Bunji Garlin and Fay Ann Lyons-Alvarez closed the show with their hour-long set, going past 4 am.

One notable absence at Army Fete this year was Kes The Band.