Roseau, Dominica: Funatik MAS BAND with Ron Abraham Jr, known as DJ Stallion, represented the Nature Isle, Dominica, in the Notting Hill Carnival 2023 held in London. DJ Stallion with the Funatik MAS BAND gave a sensational performance.
DJ Stallion portrayed the picture of Dominica’s culture in Notting Hill Carnival 2023.
Funatik MAS BAND is a team of talented, passionate and fun-loving individuals who have come together to provide a premium, consistent, secure, high-quality, all-inclusive band experience in London.
Collectively, the team has a carnival experience (music and costuming) spanning 30+ years in countries such as Trinidad and Tobago, Barbados and the UK.
Dominica’s culture has two major aspects, which are music and dance. The annual independence celebrations show an outburst of traditional song and dance preceded since 1997 by weeks of Creole expressions such as “Creole in the Park” and the “World Creole Music Festival”.
Dominica gained importance on the international music stage when Gordon Henderson founded the group “Exile One”, an original music genre that he coined “Cadence-lypso”, which opened the way for modern Creole music.
Chante mas (masquerade song) and LapoKabwit is a form of Carnival music of Dominica. It is performed by masquerading partygoers in a two-day parade, in a call-and-response format called “lavwe”, with a lead female singer or “chantwel” dancing backwards in front of the drummer on a tambou lele.
The Carnival has African and French roots and is otherwise known as Mas Dominik, considered to be the most original Carnival in the Caribbean. Dominica’s Carnival is known to be the most authentic and least money-oriented Carnival, giving the Carnival it’s name, the original mas.
The Chante mas tradition started to become dominated by imported Calypso and Steel Pan music in the early 1960s. The traditional Carnival was banned after a fire which occurred in 1963, though calypso and steelpan continued to grow in popularity.
Carnival partygoers liked calypso because the lyrical focus of it was on local news and gossip, which was similar to that of chante mas, even after a rhythmic pattern and instrumentation that contrasted sharply with traditional Dominican Mas Domnik music.
Though the traditional Chante mas and Lapo kabrit declined in popularity due to imported calypso and steel pan music, several villages in Dominica, such as Grand Bay, has preserved the unique Dominican Tradition. In modern Dominica, Chante mas and Lapo Kabrit have become a part of Bouyon music.
The Catholic Carnival is a main festival that Dominicans celebrate each year for three days before Ash Wednesday. Due to the country’s French heritage, the majority of citizens are catholic, but many non-Catholics also celebrate Carnival.
Activities include the Calypso Monarch Competition, Carnival Queen Pageant and Carnival parades and parties.