HDD and Friends Carnival Anthems

Here’s HDD’s list of the best Carnival Anthems recommended by our favourite djs, producers and bloggers.

Dan Bean (DJ/The Heatwave)

Impossible to choose of all time, but certain forwards and crowd reactions will cement a tune in my head for years. But this year from the soca world I’d pick this year’s Groovy Soca Monarch winner ; Kes The Band – Wotless. Surefire to be a carnival hit, can’t get enough of this tune¬† and one of the best to come out of the West Indies in years. From dancehall, If I hear Vybz Kartel – Real Badman, I’ll lose it and just chuck rum everywhere.

Gabriel Heatwave (DJ)

This year it’s got to be Kartel’s Summer Time. For my personal all time anthems I can’t pick between Pon Di River, Row Like A Boat and Mamacita. Or about fifty other tunes haha.

Schlachthofbronx (DJs/Producers)


HDD DJs Kazabon & Hootie Who

Hootie who – aladji. I still don’t know who made this pulsating African tribal carnival anthem but it’s great. The repetitive chorus and those breakdowns are so alluring that you cant help yourself when it comes on.
It was the most popular song at calabar festival in Nigeria 3 years ago, and last I heard it was massive all over Africa. We still dont know where this originate from, it’s almost as if it’s magic.

Kazabon – last night by mavado, there’s something about this tune that brings me back to carnival, I’m not usually a big fan of gun tunes but mavado’s voice is haunting and I find myself moving away from the gun lyrics and remembering fun times with friends at carnival.

Palance – a hdd favourite, we palanced so much last year there were even palace-related injuries

Smutlee (DJ/Yo Yo)

I guess there’s loads, I’d say pon de floor has been a massive crossover tune, ideal for carnival, although maybe overplayed now…. I had ms dynamite & dynamite mc jump on my set when I dropped it 2 years ago and we had about 6 reloads.

Rob Pursey (DJ/Southern Hospitality)

I think just because 2005 was one of the carnivals I enjoyed most I have to say T.O.K. ‘Footprints’ as it reminds me so much of that. Or maybe Roll It Gal’

Steakhouse Records

So many to choose from! For this year, it has to be Advantage. That tune has been growing on me since the first time I head it. Its all about that big euphoric chorus. Hyped to see him at Calo later in the year.
All time Carnival anthem has got to be Timmy – Bumpa Catch A Fire. I have never seen anyone stay still when this tune is on. Its impossible. It could make the dead dance!

So Shify (DJs/Producers)

Destra & Machel – it’s carnival (road mix)

Mr Veeeeee (MC)

Rice n peas/Fill up mi portion” yeeeeeeeaaaahhhhh!

Famous Eno (DJ/Producer)

i know its cheesy, but anthem has to be welcome to jamrock

Can You Felix (DJ/Heads High)

This year’s Carnival Anthem is Kartel – Summertime without doubt.
Last year had to be Palance. One song that always smashes a carnival
party for me is Vegas – Heads High.

The Large (DJ/Shimmy Shimmy/Style & Swagger)

PALANCE! this year it might be wotless.

Lukey (DJ/Stooki/Superflexx)

When I think of carnival I immediately thing of Soca so I’m going to say Soca Boys – one cent, five cent, ten cent, dollar’. I remember the year Alison Hinds – Roll it gal’ came out though, and Beenie Man – Who Am I’ will shut down any sound system it’s played at.

Calvin (Hi Def/ Superflexx)

“Follow the leader” probably being an obvious all time choice.

Wholesick (DJ/Producer)

Tough to pick just one Carnival Anthem, in recent years Ms Dynamite – Booo! has been sounding heavy wherever I’ve heard it.

Steve Shaw (DJ/Wavy/Wifey)

Patch – Pipe probably. Though beginning of Nasty Luv’s sets always has the little ‘uns rinsing out the dub, which is great to get the early Red Stripes in to.

Unknown Soulja (DJ)

All time carnival anthem would have to be So Special just because it was the biggest tune at my best carnival (2008 i think). Tek Weh Yuself by Vegas is an enduring favourite as well cos its an upful tune that reminds me of another great carnival. This year i think Pepper and Summertime will be the standout anthems.

Clubb Rock (DJs/Producers)

Anthem this yr? Take your pick from any one of 3 or 4 Kartel tunes, failing that Black & Yellow!

Checan (DJ/Producer)

This year it’s looking to be Adele’s Rolling in the Heat (Heatwave Refix) Expecting it to be a bit of a hands in the air one.

Tropical Waste (NTS)

Not an anthem, but a sound: UK funky. I remember reading all about this sound being played in clubs and these new dancemoves, or skanks, that all the kids were doing to accompany it. I liked the sound but didn’t really believe in these skanks. I thought it was all a bit silly. How conservative of me. I was at Tubby’s a few years ago and they started playing UK funky, which was great. Stuff like the Migrane Skank, and suddenly all these kids were doing the moves. Then out of nowhere a tune dropped and everyone started daggering – literally hundreds of youths going at it. And then it hit me! I thought ‘OH! Now I get it…’ The energy of it all blew my mind a little! I like how UK funky is the perfect mix of dancehall and house and it sounds great on the street too. It’s real party music!

 Wrongtom (Producer/DJ)

There’s been too many, for some reason Bandelero by Pinchers conjures some of the best memories. And even though I can’t remember the last time I went to Good Times, De La Soul “Saturday” makes me a bit misty eyed thinking about friends I haven’t seen in years.

Alex Macpherson (Journalist)

if I was at carnival the song I’d go nuts if I heard is ce’cile and kc jockey’s “gwaan hype” a long time personal fav of mine that never got the attention it deserved…

4 Responses to HDD and Friends Carnival Anthems

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