The Big Bad XP Band has big plans and is all set to heat things up for the biggest event in St. Maarten for this year – Carnival 50.
"We plan to ensure that our supporters at home are in no way lacking our attention and love. We aim to please each and every music lover as well as participate in every major competition there is whilst honing our craft," stated band leader and bass guitar/productions specialist Darnel "MixX!E" York
"It is also our aim to raise the level of our performance, musicianship, showmanship, quality of our music and the marketing of not only ourselves. but also of the island and culture. By accomplishing this, we will have an easier path to the international music scene and market as pioneers of St. Maarten/St. Martin music."
MixX!E said the band always opens the year with a "big and bad" release. This year was no different as the band released "Family Family" which he described as "a nostalgic blend of guitars, exquisite horns, melodic harmonies, grooving bass-lines centred on a percussive drive, accompanied by pulsating drums and held together by diction and clarity of vocals."
He said "Family Family" pays homage to the past 50 years and "all its splendour and beauty. We went back and picked up a piece of every aspect of our music from every decade and made this project a reality."
The band plans to release a few more songs leading up to Carnival 50 and says the public can expect an album that will include hits, such as "Santo" "How Come" "Distance" "Stepping Out" and "Perfect" as well as their latest projects and "a little surprise."
Da BiG BaD XP band will be performing for the opening of French St. Martin Carnival and will also grace the streets of Marigot. "After that, we head into Carnival 50 in Dutch St. Maarten starting with the highly anticipated Unity Jump followed by Band Clash where we aim to capture the Band Clash title once again. We will then head into the opening jump up, Jouvert Morning, Grand and Labour Day parades, the return of Machel Montano Show and the closing of carnival jump up, where we will have as our goal to re-capture the Band of the Year title. We are also in negotiations with various promoters on both sides of the island in hopes of finalizing some more shows and road events."
The band is super excited about carnival this year. "Last year, we wowed the entire Carnival Village at Band Clash where we secured our third straight Band Clash title by orchestrating 15 local songs in 30 minutes, which is a feat unheard of in a competition of such magnitude. We also thrilled the audience of more than 6,000 at Caribbean Flag Fest by keeping patrons in the air, on the ground and on their toes with an almost entirely local set list. We added the sugar, cherry and ice cream on the top when I jumped into the crowd along with my bodyguard (Fat Boy) and as I moved at the command of the lead singers, so did the crowd in unison. Jouvert Morning was also a grand spectacle as we led the early morning parade with one of the larger crowds for the third straight year. Every single year, we try to out-do ourselves from previous years and this year will be no different as we have plans to raise the level of our performance whilst further mastering our musicianship and showmanship," MixX!E said.
The group is grateful to be given a chance to perform with Trinidadian soca singer Machel Montano during this year's carnival. "It is an honour to perform in one of the biggest shows to come to St. Maarten in a long time. Opening for Machel, who has been on the top of the soca charts for a lengthy period, is beyond an honour for us as he is an artist that exemplifies what it takes to be a true master of your craft. Getting the call for this show also shows that our hard work and dedication over the years haven't gone unnoticed and that is also very humbling," he said, thanking the promoters and sponsors of the show for their confidence in the band.
Asked how the band plans to hype the crowd leading into Machel's performance, MixX!E said, "We just plan to be the best that we can be and the rest is up to God and our XP KraZ!Ez."
The band has performed alongside and opened for top notch performers such as Destra, Edwin Yearwood, Alison Hinds, Onyan, Carimi, Third World, Kassav, WCK, Small AxE Band, Grandmasters Band, Triple K, Respeck Band, Xplosion Band, Red Eye Crew, Rick Ross, French Montana, Youth Waves, Burning Flames and JamBand amongst others.
Da BiG BaD XP was formed by MixX!E and keyboards, drum machine, arranger Desmond "Daddy Dez" Cane. The duo saw and felt the need for a new creation that would assist in elevating and maintaining the level of musicianship, professionalism, showmanship and love of culture, craft, people and music that St. Maarten/St. Martin has been known for. It is an all-around show band that provides "X-hilarating, X-citing X-ceptional and X-treme Performances" Its energetic front line consists of crowd favorites Dwayne "Dwayne E" York and Allencio "Clio" Felix, who bring energy, showmanship and vocal power. Backing this hard core duo are stick-twirling Fred York on drums, the six string assassins Marvin "SFM" Rodney and Ali "Sweet Frenchie" Burnett on the guitars; the smooth operating Daddy Dez with pulsating riddims and sensual keyboards; soldiers Yves Maccow, Glen "Sassa" Hazel and Steve Brown manning the horn section, KraZ!E wig-wearing MixX!E on the bass guitar and Earl "Churchie" York, "whose ear needs no Q-tips," ensuring pristine sounds.
MixX!E, who says his job is the best in the world, had a message for the band's fans. "Always put God first and everything will fall into place. Hard work and dedication, while remaining humble, grateful, thankful and respectful, will always conquer all else. We... humbly thank each and every one of you for always standing firm with us on our journey as many times we have felt the road get hard and the words of encouragement, prayers and displays of love have pulled us through some of the roughest times. We love and appreciate each and every one of you from the top, bottom and four corners of our hearts because, without God and you all, there would be no us."
The original article can be found here: https://www.thedailyherald.sx/supplements/out-n-about/84716-da-big-bad-xp-band-ready-to-heat-up-carnival-50