Queen of Soca Alison Hinds (FILE)
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Among Anthony ‘Mighty Gabby’ Carter, Stedson ‘Red Plastic Bag’ Wiltshire and Alison Hinds-Walcott, there is well over 50 years’ worth of musical experience, gained both at home and abroad.
For decades each of the trio has been unofficially ‘repping’ Barbados, introducing those near and far to our island’s culture.
Recently, the celebrated careers of these musical icons were put in the spotlight when they received their instruments of office and official designations as cultural ambassadors of Barbados for their outstanding work. It was an emotional night, full of memories and music and one that revealed parts of the artists the average fan would not ordinarily get to see on stage.
Soca Queen Alison Hinds-Walcott learnt from the two who went before her and has even benefited from RPB’s prize-winning pen.
Her performance style and charisma has been the template for young female soca performers all over the world, leading her fans to crown her the Soca Queen.
Just a year before Red Plastic Bag emerged on the scene, a then 11-year- old Alison Hinds moved to Barbados from her native England. By the time she was 17, she had entered the Richard Stoute Teen Talent contest, placing third.
However, her career really took off when she joined the band Square One as one of the lead vocalists. With them she recorded several albums and won multiple awards for hits like Ragamuffin, Twister and Faluma, which topped the charts in Guatemala for 46 weeks. She also won both the Party Monarch and Road March titles in 1997 with the smash hit, In The Meantime.
After a short break from the industry, she returned in 2005 with her own band and released the solo album Soca Queen which featured the power hit Roll It Gal.
Throughout the years, she has collaborated with other musical superstars, including Shaggy, Sean Paul, Jah Cure and Richie Spice.
She also won the Caribbean Song Contest in 1992, as she and John King took the title with Hold You in a Song.
Apart from her singing career, Alison has used her platform to advocate for HIV & AIDS awareness, the fights against breast cancer and world hunger.
She told the crowd at the Wildey Gymnasium, it meant a lot to her to receive such an honour.
“To be recognised for doing what I love. For representing this tiny, beautiful but strong island however I can and wherever I go,” she said.
Alison offered special thanks to her “brothers” in the band Square One who she said were instrumental in her career.
“I have to say thank you to my brothers, my family Square One. Without me being in that band and doing what we did, you would not see me here standing. Square One, I love you forever.”
She also offered heartfelt thank yous to others, saying she could not have done what she has without them.
“My mother has been a rock for me for those times when I felt like everyone was against me; she was the one who would always tell me get up and keep going and not to let anyone stop me.
“There are so many people who are instrumental to where I am today. So many people have passed through; some are still here, some I had to kick out. But the ones who have stayed, the ones I keep with me, those are the ones who keep me strong,” she declared.
Alison added, “To my family. To Barbados, to you the fans – I do what I do for you.” (DB)