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Carnival Conversations: St. Lucia Carnival 2023

NYC resident Darren Bankss shares his experience at the St. Lucia Carnival 2023!

What country do you represent?


Where are you based?


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

I’ve crossed paths with Soka Tribe on various occasions and I love what they stand for! Unfortunately, I’m unaware of the full logistics of how it started but I know that it’s ran by an outstanding couple.

What brought you to this particular carnival?

I’ve been to St. Lucia Carnival a total of three times. This visit in particular was through a band that i’ve worked with previously— they asked me to come on as a promotional ambassador.

Have you played mas before? When and where?

Yes! I started playing Mas in 2018 with Labor Day. Then played in Miami, Atlanta, as well as St. Lucia. I’m grateful to experience any carnival throughout the years.

What carnivals would you rinse and repeat?

Miami Carnival for sure!

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

First and foremost, I wish I knew how much of an expense carnival is. Also, I wish I knew of a hub that can resolve all my questions as it relates to international carnivals— for example- accommodation, fetes to attend, and costume bands. As someone who was not exposed to the culture directly growing up, information can be hard to find or lost at times.

What would you say makes this carnival different from others?

I think this carnival in comparison to others has huge participation from the locals, especially the younger generation— it’s something that’s not frowned upon. In addition. I would say this carnival is number 2 on the list of carnivals with a large outsider presence.

Soca Artist that you would want to fete with?

Imani Ray!

Anything else the Soka Tribe should know about you?

Many may know me from the party scene but a lot may not know I dance professionally with 2 Dance companies here in NYC as well as run my own dance network— Bankss & Co. I’m proud of my impact within the community and the culture as a whole. I will always continue to move in the right path with pure intent. I encourage everyone to support your Caribbean Ambassadors, regardless of Gender, we’re all here for one thing— to keep the culture alive! Thank you Soka Tribe!

My social media handle is:



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