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Sunday, March 26, 2006

Scene Stealer: Alison Hinds

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What has not been said about Alison Hinds? She's been called the Soca Queen of the Caribbean; the Soca Diva of the last decade; Barbados' hottest star; the sexiest stage sensation in the region; the list goes on and on.

Her infectious soca lyrics, dangerous curves and signature 'raggamuffin style' which is characterized by a hold-nothing-back, Soca-crazy, energizing performance, fashioned her for regional and international fame and as we continue to watch her Alison keeps bringing home the goods.

Since the release of her single, "Roll it" at Crop Over last July, it has been rolling for Alison and the star opened up about how it's been going when she sat down with The Scene for a few minutes on Thursday night.

"What a great song, it was written with me in mind by a young Barbadian writer named Shauntel and women of all races, all classes have been identifying with it ever since," Alison said. "It has become an anthem and I am happy because it is a women's empowerment song. Women who work, whether it is [in the home or out] can identify with it and just keeping things rolling positively."

The moment she heard the song, Alison said, she fell in love with it and when it all came together: the melody, arrangement and so on, she just owned it. "Roll it" announced her arrival back on the scene after a two-and-a-half year hiatus and it became an instant hit in the Caribbean. Now it is all over the world.

No matter where she goes, Alison said, women would just walk up to her and say what the song has done for them. She said a young woman even confessed that she plays "Roll it" before she leaves for work in the morning just so she could go in feeling stronger as a woman and she also plays the song at night before she goes to bed so she could rest feeling good about herself.

Born in London, England to a Barbadian mother, Alison went to live in Barbados at the age of 11 after her parents divorced. Five years later, while at secondary school where she had already discovered that she had a love for French and singing, the shy teenager entered a teen talent contest. Before long, she was a member of Square One.

In 1996 the single "Ragamuffin" landed Hinds the title of Barbados's Road March queen. The next year Square One came out with another hit "In the Meantime" which earned a second consecutive title.

But it was the catchy "Faluma", the biggest Soca hit of 1999-2000 in the Caribbean region, for which Alison Hinds and Square One became best known.

Alison parted company with Square One early last year and is now a steamy solo act. But before she left the band, Alison had also left the frontline for a while.

In the time that she spent away from the stage, Alison Hinds gave birth to daughter Saharan and married husband, Edward Walcott. She says it's the best thing that ever happened to her since the world got to know her as Square One's leading lady.

"I love my life right now. I am back performing and I have a family. My work is being fixed around my home life very nicely so that I could be home more often but still get to put in shows," Alison said. "My daughter has a birthday coming up pretty soon and I am going to be home to celebrate with my baby."

And for a woman who was at 300 pounds peak during her pregnancy, Alison looks amazing. Her figure doesn't look any different; in fact, the curves have only become more dangerous. And her pregnancy did come with the added bonus of providing Alison's face with that glow you only see on a woman who is either pregnant or just given birth.

Since she has been back, Alison has been busy. She was the talk of Crop Over last year and when she turned up in Trinidad and Tobago for Carnival this year, it was crazy. It was as if her fans were just waiting to hear that she was back.

When asked about this, the star smiled and said she really had good time over there. She said it felt good being on stage and the people gave her nothing but positive feedback. She now has her own band and according to her, Trinidad received them well.

Alison is also working on a new album and many other shows are lined up.

"It is just amazing. My management has changed, I am working with my own band, I am loving solo and I am working on so many things right now. People just have to stay tuned because big things are going to be happening." She has a new song called, "Love Affair" that is blowing up right now.

Alison is in Guyana for the weekend for a three-day concert to launch the new Impulse Energy drink.

She is the headlining act in a line-up that includes D'Hitman, X2 (Jomo and Adrian), the Sugarcake Girls, the Kai dancers and Michelle 'Big Red' King among others for the highly anticipated Impulsive Show.

Though she has been to Guyana a few times, this time is really special. She is headlining a strong field of performers and she is singing solo for the first time over here. Alison said she was honoured to be asked to headline the show.

She intends to give nothing but her best all weekend. She said Guyanese have been appreciative of her music so she loves being here. Alison feels that she has to bring her best to show her appreciation to her fans base in Guyana.

Over the years, Alison Hinds has given us some of the best soca tunes, "Champion Bubbler", "Raggamuffin" and now "Roll It". She is far finishing what she started with Square One close to a decade ago. We continue to watch and be amazed at the woman, her music, her stage performances and that figure she keeps so well.

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Posted by jebratt :: Sunday, March 26, 2006 :: 0 comments

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