Now that normal life has resumed after Carnival Season, the Out ’n About caught up with Brandon Joseph for a Hot Seat, and asked about his experiences this year.
First, a little introduction. Brandon is a fun loving, hardworking, caring, straightforward, yet considerate guy that enjoys hiking, dancing and is also an admitted professional beach bum. He’s also a Taurus, dog lover, family guy and known to his friends as the go-to guy. He was born in Dominica but has called St. Maarten “home” for most of his life.
Some may recognise him from his job as a bookkeeper, and many will remember him from his banking days, or from his former career as a professional dancer. This year in particular, you may have seen him front and centre in the carnival grand parade – in fact, we doubt you could have missed him!
You recently graced our front page when you won Best Individual Costume for the carnival parade. What can you tell us about the experience, costume and troupe?
Yes I did, Shockingly! I never go with a competitive spirit, this was all for fun but I'm very grateful, and accept it with grace! The costume was a rainbow based piece created by Jasmine Philips of the Survivors Foundation. I’ve thankfully been with them for most of my carnival experience at the grand parades.
How many times have you played mas, and what has that experience been like?
I think I first played Mas in 2011, and only missed four years ever since. I started as part of Anais Dance Fusion with Hillianthe Lynch-Simon. We had the task of creating the choreography for the front line to perform in the Survivors troupe.
The first year, I was completely frightened and very shy, wondering what the crowd would think. Now, I know people look out for me so I make sure to give a show and could care less about people’s opinions. I make it interesting for those watching, I don’t care for a boring parade.
Top three carnival songs to jam to, of all time?
1. Lucy by Destra (My wife!!)
2. Run wid it by Mr. Killa
3. Pirates by Explosion band (Old school lover)
Not including the parade, what was your favourite event this year?
My favourite event was “Caribbean Flag Fest” – that was an experience! A close second was “Night of the Hit Makers.”
Favourite food and drink at the Village this year?
Favourite food: anything Yolanda cooked at Eden. Shout out to Lisette as well! Favourite drink: everyone will tell you, I always have a Heineken. My drink of choice.
Did you go to J’ouvert? If so, did you dress up as anything specific?
I went with my brother and one of my best friends, we wore black and purple as the theme. Usually, every year we pick a colour and find an outfit to match.
When it comes to this year’s shows and concerts, did you have any favourite singers/ bands/ dancers that really stood out to you as a favourite? If so, who and why?
For the shows and concerts “Just a Rose” Fabi deserves all the praise! I was very impressed with that talent from someone local. Of course TG brought the vibe and Destra… “Night of the Hit Makers”, people can complain till the end of time, Destra will always give you your money’s worth!