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Carnival Conversations: London’s Notting Hill Carnival 2023

We caught up with one of our British mates to discuss London’s 2023 Notting Hill Carnival.  Check out what he had to say about it and his plans to attend future carnivals!

What country do you represent?

Nigeria & UK

Where are you based?

London

What you know about this Soka Tribe life? 😉 (i.e. what is your affiliation, how long, how did it start)

I’m new to this, I was contacted by a friend on the inside!!

What brought you to this particular carnival?

Notting Hill Carnival in West London is one of the biggest events in Europe, and as a Londoner myself, I never miss it and always have a great time whenever I go!

Have you played mas before? When and where?

Not yet, but don’t judge me… who knows what the future holds?

What carnivals would you rinse and repeat?

Apart from Notting Hill, I’d love to go abroad to Trinidad and Rio to sample different carnival traditions (as well as slightly more predictable weather!). My wife is half St Lucian and that is apparently another great carnival that we need to visit!

What do you wish you knew about this carnival before going?

The history of Notting Hill Carnival is pretty well documented in the UK but as someone of Nigerian descent, it would be interesting to hear if there was any African influence on the early days of the carnival (if any).

What would you say makes this carnival different from others?

I think the fusion of Black British culture with the authentically Caribbean culture makes Notting Hill different from other carnivals. Outside of the traditional soca, calypso, and reggae floats, we also have sound systems that have historically played UK Garage, Grime, Jungle, Drum and Bass, and more recently, Afrobeats and Amapiano. Nowadays, it’s a true melting pot of cultures, but has thankfully managed to maintain a strong Caribbean identity.

Soca Artist that you would want to fete with?

Father Philis’ tunes have me in a chokehold at the moment!

Anything else the Soka Tribe should know about you?

My wife is Caribbean and she and her family absolutely love Carnival and soca music. They call it Caribbean Christmas. I’m there to enjoy a little drink, a dance, and soak up the good vibes.

My social media handle is:

@lanrizzle

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