Words by Marcha M. Johnson
Trinidad Carnival is all about soca music, but one of the breakout stars of the season in T&T has been a veteran pop singer and songwriter known for penning one of the biggest worldwide hits of the last decade. Angela Hunte, Machel Montano‘s partner on the EDM-infused soca anthem “Party Done,” has collaborated with Snoop, Britney and Puffy, but she’s best known for co-writing “Empire State of Mind” for Jay-Z and Alicia Keys. And now the Trini gyul from NYC has a bonafide soca hit on her hands, too.
A sleeper amidst Machel’s annual avalanche of soca hits, “Party Done” has attained anthem status during the Carnival home stretch, as the duo have sheled down fete after fete with their collaboration; their performance of the track at last wek’s Machel Monday concert lead to an appearance on the cover of Trinidad’s Guardian newspaper last week following Monday’s Machel Monday concert. Just in time for the start of Carnival on Sunday night, they’ve released an appropriately memorable video for the tune.
In a welcome deviance from the usual soca video template, the artists themselves are not the focal point of “Party Done.” (Though Hunte, styled by Anya Ayoung Chee, looks radiant in white in her cameo appearances). Instead, the clip, which feels more like a short film, follows three young women making rounds in the Woodbrook area of Port of Spain (for those of you who know your way around POS) before eventually taking on Ariapita Avenue and nightspot Aria, and ending their night in Maracas Bay.
Director Jerome Guiot (the filmmaker behind last year’s Pan! Our Musical Odyssey) delves into the bonds between these young ladies as they embark on a wild night out in Trinidad, bringing a whole new dimension to the track with seemingly candid footage. The overall creative direction, from the cinematography down to the editing, puts it in the running for one of the season’s best visuals.
Though her credits are largely within the realm of pop and R&B, Hunte is no stranger to Caribbean music: she’s released several reggae tracks, and was a featured songwriter on Snoop Lion’s Reincarnated project, singing on “Here Comes the King.” She also wrote and featured on Gyptian’s 2013 single “Vixen.” As a Trini, it was only a matter of time before she dabbled in soca music, and it’s safe to say her talents transcend the genre. Party Done!