Sunday 8 December, 2019

It's Brittany-RAAAEEE! Meet Carnival Queen Kandi King

(Image: Courtesy of Kandi King)

(Image: Courtesy of Kandi King)

Today I sat down with the Carnival Queen Kandi King herself, what a beautiful soul she is. We spoke about all things Carnival! The dos and the don'ts, and how she became the “Carnival persona” and a Carnival director… can we say major “boss babe”!

I got right into a Q&A asking her some questions that will get us down the road looking good and palancing while the Soca runs through our veins. Ladies, here’s all you need to know from the Carnival Queen’s mouth herself!       

B-Rae: What would you say you love most about Carnival that made you become this Carnival persona and director?

Kandi: So the thing that I love most about Carnival is that it unites people of all ages, that’s one of the reasons why I fell in with love it. It’s also really, really fun and a good experience. I always encourage people to do Trinidad at least once in their life - if not, Jamaica Carnival is a must!

How I became a director? Xaymaca is actually the brainchild of Andrew Bellamy, he invited us on board to become directors. Prior to that I was in the Carnival industry - I have a Carnival concierge company “Karnival by Kandi” and I create packages to help people get to Carnival around the Caribbean region. I now service five Carnivals in the Caribbean.

Of course last year we started Xaymaca: myself and six other directors brought to us by Andrew Bellamy. And it has been an incredible journey being a part of Xaymaca. It’s my biggest project to date and I am putting my whole heart and soul into it! We are passionate about it and we love to unite people, and that’s why we are in this industry because we love to see people come together and enjoy Carnival the way we like to!

B-Rae: What are your three Carnival must-haves for the road?

Kandi:  My three Carnival must-haves for the road… definitely fishnet stockings - I really love them! It gives you an extra layer of protection (I mean you're wine-ing down on people all day, lol c’mon...) and of course it camouflages all imperfections. Two, I always have a little pouch for my phone, lip gloss, whatever I need. Third thing, I guess I would have to say sunblock because trust me the sun is beating down on you and you don't even feel it!

(Image courtesy of Kandi King)

B-Rae: What are three absolute don'ts for the road?

Kandi: Don’t take anything seriously, don't do the drama! Break in your shoes - do not wear your shoes on the road without breaking them in! Lastly ladies, do not wear your hair down! I recommend putting your hair up for Carnival! I swear every year it rains for Jamaica Carnival. Putting your hair up ensures you will stay snatched down the road!

B-Rae: What shoes do you feel are the trend for the road this season?

Kandi: Go with sneakers, guys! Sneakers are trending right now and there are so many looks and colours to choose from. You can even bejewel your sneakers - trust me when I say boots are 2012 and not as comfortable as sneakers. Even the sneaker wedges are comfortable but you just have to make sure to break them in.

B-Rae: For our feters on a budget, what are the four must-go-to parties to make sure they’ve had the best Carnival weekend?

Kandi: My four must-go-to events are Wednesday night (I LOVE SOCA); Thursday night (Tribe Ignite with Kes); Saturday (Breakfast party) and Saturday night (PM Fete).

B-Rae: What is your Carnival pet peeve that you see on the road that you would rather not?

Kandi: My pet peeve is when I see girls putting their stockings or fishnets above the line of their panties… Girls, that’s not a thing!! Major tip: stitch your stockings to the top of your panties. Stitch it along the lines of the top so it's not visible.

B-Rae: Give some advice for our first-time jumpers... five tips on how to survive the road like a Carnival queen?

Kandi: My first tip is definitely to sip water in between drinks, don't go hard and drink back to back drinks. Two is definitely wear sunblock like I said, and three make sure you eat breakfast (Xaymaca provides breakfast, lunch and dinner). Also, girls, leave your behaviour at home please! Don't come to Xaymaca with your stush behaviour (DWL) - we are not that band! Lastly, breaking in your shoes before you touch road!

B-Rae: Workout tips for the Carnival body?

Kandi: So I recently discovered sprinting. Sprinting is a great way to blast some fat! Of course do your regular squats and healthy diet. SPRINT! SPRINT! SPRINT!

(Image courtesy of Kandi King)

B-Rae: How do foreigners purchase fete tickets when they’re overseas?

Kandi: So a lot of the fetes have tickets online or you can go to Eventbrite or Ticketpal to purchase some of them. Another option, you could use a concierge service like Carnival by Kandi and you just simply send an email to us and details of all the events you want to attend and we will customise a package for you. Our email is: info@karnivalbykandi.com

B-Rae: What is Monday wear and is that a thing in Jamaica? Do we have somewhere to wear Monday wear to?

Kandi: Monday wear is a term that’s coming from Trinidad Carnival. It has since transcended Trinidad Carnival. So, in Trinidad there’s two days of Carnival - Monday and Tuesday. Tuesday is “pretty mas" when you wear your costume, “Monday wear” is typically a nice embellished swimwear with little to no feathers. There’s a party called “PM fete” and we are pushing that ladies come out in their “Monday wear” - almost making that party like a second day of mas.

B-Rae: Where is the go-to glam spot for Carnival this year?

Kandi: I would have to say the GlamHub that’s going on at Pegasus featuring some of the top MUAs and hairstylists (Brittany-Rae will also be doing hair at that Carnival one-stop Glam PopUP) taking the earliest appointments from 03:00AM.

B-Rae: Where do we need to go to listen to all the Soca music that we will be chipping down the road to?

Kandi: The Soca bible is DJ Private Ryan “Soca brainwash 2018” on SoundCloud - everyone must know that whole playlist!

(Brittany-Rae (PHOTO: O’Neil @og.mediagroup))

B-Rae: For our last-minute people, how do they get sorted out with a costume? What are some options for them? Especially if they’re overseas?

Kandi: Xaymaca International was sold out so we decided to put out three additional sections and those are still available on our website. Also we have the option for T-shirts that we sell up to the very last minute and the T-shirt has to be worn.

B-Rae: How do you feel about safety in Carnival this year? And what are some safety tips for the road?

Kandi: My band is working with the police, we have security in uniform and security out of uniform. We also have marshals manning the ropes on the side. But of course as you should do the same as anywhere - do not stay by yourself, stay in groups, keep your electronics close and be aware.

B-Rae: Jumping with a boyfriend Carnival advice?

Kandi: Leave the drama at home. There’s a term we use in Carnival called “tief a wine”. It’s not that serious BUT if dem ah tief a wine with the same person more than once… well then, now it becomes a problem. So let’s be clear: the rule is you can tief a one dance but the same girl can’t get a wine twice!

There you have it, ladies: the DOs and the DON'Ts from Carnival Queen Kandi King. She pretty much broke down the Carnival Bible! Thank me later for this guide to the perfect Carnival experience.

Remember Carnival is all about the glam, so make sure you remember to book with the GlamHub to get all your beauty necessities done at one stop! Get those appointments in, ladies, because my slots are filling up! Below I’ll leave GlamHub info for my Carnival queens!!! RAAAEEEE wi ready fi di road!!! Remember stay tuned into LOOP Jamaica under lifestyle to keep up with “It’s Brittany-Raeee”. RAEEEE! 

To follow or contact Brittany, follow her on Instagram @hairbybrittanyrae_ and @­_brittanyrae_ or email Brae.b@me.com

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