Though he was battling a cold and seasonal allergies, Vincentian soca star, Kevin Lyttle on Saturday “turned on” and drove soca and reggae fans and other concert-goers “crazy,” as he headlined the 22nd Annual South Jersey Caribbean Festival at Wiggins Park in Camden, NJ.
Singing his signature “Turn Me On,” Lyttle – who, a few hours before, flew from St. Vincent and the Grenadines to his Miami residence, then on to nearby Philadelphia, across the Delaware River from Camden — brought the house down on the six-hour festival at the New Jersey Waterfront, next to Adventure Aquarium.
He injected reggae, dance hall and R&B with soca vibes, touching on Wayne Wonder’s “No Letting Go,” Rupee’s “Tempted to Touch” and Chris Brown’s “Question,” adding “MAMACITA” to the delight of his ecstatic fans, who trekked from the surrounding areas.
His numbers also included “Last Drop,” “Fyah,” “Home for Carnival,” “Losing Control” and “I Love My Life.”
“Because I do so much shows, I’m always excited to perform,” Lyttle told Caribbean Life shortly after performing for the very first time at the Annual South Jersey Caribbean Festival, organized by the South Jersey Caribbean Cultural and Development Organization (SJCCDO). “I was feeling sick all week; I have a cold. Anytime allergies and cold get me, I don’t perform as well.
“I still did well. That’s what the fans say,” he added, however. “I know the full potential that I can really do. I wanted to make the show interesting.
“I was excited, and it was a plus to see my hardcore fans come out as well in strong support,” continued Lyttle, who had performed previously in Newark and other parts of New Jersey, as well as in Philadelphia.
Other artistes and performers at the 22nd Annual South Jersey Caribbean Festival included New Jersey-based LA Orchestra 95 Latin Band, Jewel Dance Team, Gifty G, Soca Sakita Fitness, the Bronx-based Lisanigu Bodoma Garifuna Youth Culture Band, Mzs Quanny, Brooklyn-based Tropicalfete Steel Orchestra and Stilt Dancers, and Camden’s own Universal African Dance and Drum Ensemble.
Caribbean American Kylla Herbert, SJCCDO president — whose late father, Nkem Tshombe, who hailed from Nevis and was president and founder of the festival — told Caribbean Life that she was delighted that patrons experienced “the flavors and vibrant colors of the Caribbean,” including traditional Caribbean cuisine, including curry shrimp, roti, empanadas, jerk chicken, fried chicken and fish, oxtail and Jamaican patty.
“The 22nd Annual South Jersey Caribbean Festival is the premier cultural event that brings Caribbean culture, dance, food and a live concert to the South Jersey and Philadelphia region,” she said, adding that the free multi-cultural family festival also had children’s activities, community information, health resources and giveaways.
Camden City Mayor, Vic Carstarphen also presented Herbert with a proclamation.