By Pamela Diaz
Born into the music industry and a new kid on the block in the calypso scene in the federation of St. Kitts and Nevis, Ta-Michea ‘Lady Destiny’ Esdaille has one message to her Nevisian people. Be more supportive of your own, stop fighting down each other and “Stop grudge people, jealousy is a sin.”
The revelation was made by the singer in an exclusive interview on From the Vinyard shortly after her participation in the female calypso competition in St. Kitts. She confessed that Kittitians are more receptive to Nevisian talent than Nevisians are.
“St. Kitts people love me more than up here [Nevis]. They love me down there. The support down there is very strong, they welcomed me with open arms, I have a lot of fans up here, but I was surprised when I went St Kitts and they showed me the love down there,” she said.
“There are a few people in Nevis that rally behind me but in St. Kitts, I felt the love,” she said. She confessed that she has considered returning to St. Kitts to sing and promised that she will participate in the St. Kitts carnival in 2020 to sing for the female calypso contest.
Do you think we have any opportunities in Nevis?
“We don’t have any opportunities here, they fight down people here, they don’t give people chances here. For instance, for me, just coming into the arena, you know you get a little hiccup or a little blunder instead of pushing you and tell you to try again, they shut you out, they don’t want to hear it. If it wasn’t for some of the calypsonians…I wouldn’t have been in St Kitts…other people in Nevis, man they criticise you, they bash you…we have some loyal supporters, like fans and so forth but majority of them it’s just not good” she said.
What are some of the challenges you and other calypsonians in the industry face?
“If you want to go overseas, if you want to further your career, the beneficial part of it is not there. If you go to people and ask them for sponsor, they would tell you come back, but when you go and you ask them, it’s just a shut down. I don’t think you could reach far in calypso here in Nevis.”
What advice would you give to Nevisians so they can support the art form?
“They need to stop criticise people, give people a chance, encourage people like talk to them. Even if they make a mistake, or you do something wrong, instead of calling you out, talk to you tell you what you did wrong and tell you what you could do to make it better instead of calling you down or bringing you down. Just support your own, the fight down is real in Nevis. They don’t like to see black people strive, in Nevis, our own fight us down and they need to stop it, build us up, encourage us, push us.
“You bring an artist here they run and they go and they spend their money to see the artist but if we want to put on a local show, you get 10 or 20 persons to come out to support you but if they bring a soca artist, hundred, thousands of people come out and they support. They could charge 100 dollars and they come out and we the local charge 20 and they say it’s too much.
“They need to stop grudge people, that’s the only way you can break it, cause if you jealous somebody, they not going to support you, jealousy is a big problem here in Nevis.”
The multitalented singer also serves as a dancer and has been in the art for over ten years. In 2002 she had her own dance group, Dynamic Survivors but discontinued the group to focus on her children. Esdaille now contributes to the dancing industry while working at the Nevis Cultural Development Foundation (NCDF) where she teaches dance, specialising in the clowns.
“I still contribute in the field by teaching, I think that we need more dance programmes because some of the children are not interested but they force the children to dance. I think we need to make it more fun, carry them out so they can experience showcasing their talent,” she said.
She also clarified that while she is having a difficult time in Nevis with the support, she will always perform and continue molding her artform as she loves calypso and sees herself participating in many more competitions, locally, regionally and internationally.
The full episode of From the Vinyard featuring Ta-Michea ‘Lady Destiny’ Esdaille will be aired on Facebook, follow YESSKN to view the full interview.