THE EVOLUTION OF NADIA BATSON

We have known her over the years to have numerous titles- from Sass Queen, to singer, songwriter, producer and even lead vocalist for Kes The Band but, Nadia Batson is so much more.

Nadia Batson was born on December 7 in Port of Spain and raised in Barataria. Singing and writing since the age of eight, Batson started singing Quseedas, Muslim ballads, while attending the St Joseph TML Primary School. As a teenager, she became part of an all-girls group called Silhouette, which won the popular Party Time show with an acapella version of En Vogue’s remake of the Beatle’s “Yesterday”. Moving on to secondary school, Nadia attended St. George’s College during which time Batson began mastering her craft and started singing professionally at the age of 17.

As a vocalist, her style is unlike any other entertainer and her pitch resoundingly her own. She owns her territory when she hits any stage and with a collection of amazing soca anthems over the years that include, ‘My Posse, ‘My Land’, ‘One Island’, ‘No Pressure’, ‘Caribbean Girl’, ‘More Nadie’ ‘ Manager’ and among her latest contenders, ‘Replace’, Batson remains a force in the Soca music industry.

Nadia had the honour of being mentored by the late, great, Andre Tanker – a Caribbean musician she calls one of her top influencers. She had been a part of Tanker’s One World Contraband where she remained up until his death in 2003. She subsequently became a magical element of Kes The Band, singing female frontline vocals alongside the band’s star, Kees Dieffenthaller. In 2011, after years with Kes, Nadia took the plunge, forming her own band she called, SASS. It would be an all-female band, the first all-female soca band in the Caribbean and perhaps the world.

The Sass Queen also contested the 2007 International Soca Monarch – She competed in the Groovy category with her song “Caribbean Girl” and in the Power category with her song “My Land” alongside Kees Dieffenthaller, placing 2nd in the Power category behind Iwer George and 3rd in the Groovy category. Nadia was also a finalist in the 2012 and 2014 competition in the Power category. She would have also competed as a finalist at the 2015 Chutney Soca Monarch. In 2015, Batson decided not to enter competitions such as Soca Monarch anymore, because she believed she had already become a staple in the Carnival season and felt the time had come to make room for other artistes to compete.

Photography- Sancho Francisco Nadia’s Outfit & Boots – Designed by Ryan Chan Hair – Teion Sealey Make up – Maegan Gonzales-Brown

More than just a female Soca vocalist, Nadia Batson is one of the best songwriters in the Caribbean. Her client list is long and her songs are always hits. In fact, many would remember the songs ‘Sleeping in My Bed’ and ‘Go Ahead’ sung by Michelle Sylvester. Batson penned both those. Her credits also include Machel Montano’s Pop Ah Bottle and Farmer Nappy and Destra’s ‘Technically’ catapulting the singer to Caribbean-wide recognition.

Batson’s musical content is cleverly written, with melodies and hooks that are instantly memorable. Instead of simply chanting the regular cliché “jump, wine, wave and split” like many of her peers, she constructs impressive arrangements that appeal to both mature and younger audiences. Of course, she also sounds amazing singing them with her recognizable powerful voice!

For me the hardest part is always concept. I always say, especially for female artistes, let us try not to only sing about wining. It is easy to go that route, but I always try not to- and in soca overall-, we should expand our range, just in terms of what we sing. There are so many other things we can sing about and make it palatable.

Nadia Batson is and continues to be one of the most sought after vocalists when it comes to doing background vocals as well. The Digicel brand – a global telecoms brand, has undoubtedly observed Batson’s ability as a stakeholder of the music industry. In 2014, she was recruited by the company’s Trinidad and Tobago arm to form part of the judges’ panel for the eighth season of Digicel Rising Star- Trinidad and Tobago. Her contract was subsequently renewed for the ninth season in 2015.

In 2016, Nadia Batson branched out into another territory, in the realm of fashion, creating her signature line of Carnival Monday wear for Trinidad and Tobago’s 2017 Carnival. She called it HIMAYA and immediately created a stir of positive reviews, as it was immediately clear that her line, collaboratively created with designer David Dewer, would be accommodating to all size types and body shapes. HIMAYA offered five options and were an instant hit by carnival mas lovers. Again, Batson proved that her attitude and commitment to entertainment and its varying facets are strong.

Even though over the years Nadia been having successful Carnival seasons and is respected in the Soca fraternity for her past powerful hits, in 2019 the brilliant songwriter, Batson is finally tasting a level of success, which she has never had before and deservingly so, with her song ‘So Long’. So Long was written by Nadia, Erikkson George, Mike Hulsmeier, Scott Galt and Daryll Henry. The song has become the most requested Groovy soca song on the radio frequencies for the Carnival 2019 season thus far.

So Long is so popular that since its YouTube video release in November 2018, the video has had more than 4.7 million views on social media and over 24,000 liking the video along with hundreds of positive feedback in the comments section.

She is also responsible for penning another 2019 hit, ‘Hookin Meh’ by Farmer Nappy. A humble Baston said she is genuinely happy for the love she is getting this year. She feels gratitude at Trinidad Tobago’s response to it.

I am excited. I am happy about what is happening and how many people like the songs…I am just so grateful.

Apart from Nadia being musically gifted, she is also bookworm! In an interview, she said she loves to read and her favourite book is “Conversations with God” by American author Donald Walsch. She is a natural in the kitchen and loves to cook. Nadia believes the best things in life is being Trini and she wrote “So long” with that in mind, saying, “It’s how we talk and interact, that’s why it resonates with so many people.”

Nadia Batson has proven herself to her fans, peers and the entertainment industry time after time. We look forward to seeing what more Nadia has in store for us – it seems very promising and definitely exciting – she has not disappointed us in the past and seems there no stopping her momentum and success any time soon.

 

Brian has a passion for everything fashion and public relations. With a resume spanning over 10 years of experience, he has worked with a number of brands, talent and personalities. Brian is professionally qualified in Public Relations and Events Management and his name in the local fashion fraternity, is synonymous with styling, creative direction and model management. He enjoys writing and sharing his thought on fashion, entertainment, lifestyle and beauty.

 

 

 

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