In The Mix With Carnival Kicks

Farrah Chow-Quan

This podcast will take you on a behind the scenes journey of Caribbean Carnivals and global music festivals; we'll talk travel, music, food, fashion, business and more!

All Episodes

Dream big they say! Well, nothing seems too big or daunting for Carla Chan. While sitting at a bar with friends and family this native Trini had an idea for vodka infused with the local flavors of home. Her aha moment soon became real. This is no overnight success (as most businesses aren't). The struggle was real. Carla worked her daytime corporate job, handled the responsibilities of a single parent, and hustled her way to success, and this dream by-the-way started way back in 2016. The process was long, and there were lots to learn along the way, but as she says "Where there's a will, there's a way!"

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Jan 2020

28 min 48 sec

This guy has a lot to say, and he says it with a serious dose of reality mingled with jokes, mingled with some good ole' Trini picong. If you're new to Tana's log I'll pause right here so you can jump over to the log itself and immerse yourself in the satire.  Come back to us though because in this interview I find out what got this finance, and professionally-serious guy, to start typing up the jokes for the world on Tana's Log.

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Jan 2020

54 min 40 sec

For as long as I've been a masquerader living in the US, I've been able to rely on the content provided by www.trinidadadcarnivaldiary.com Where would we as returning expats turn to, or where would the carnival tourist seeking knowledge on this very foreign festival get the details of how to join a band, what to wear, where to go? If it wasn't for Saucy, the anonymous blogger bringing you all the deets, we would be lost! Listen in as we talk about getting started during the early days of blogging, maneuvering contentious content and growing beyond the blog to doing great things in this space that she's passionate about - Carnival!

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Jan 2020

56 min 4 sec

In this episode of In the Mix, we dig into the most popular, mainstream, pop-culture, carnival in the United States, that's right Mardi Gras! But even though this carnival has morphed over the years to mega floats, and throws it started just like any other carnival, a masquerade-type festival that was brought to these shores by French settlers.   My guest on this interview is Audra Allen, she is a choreographer who moved to New Orleans from Colorado to settle in the city of beads and Jazz to pursue her career in dance.   Audra discusses a bit of the history of this festival with me, but she also does a good job of explaining to this mardi gras neophyte what it's all about, how choreographed dance ties into the festivities and her work with the Nawlins Nymphs. We also discover just how similar this US festival and my Caribbean island carnival really is. 

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Jan 2020

37 min 52 sec

The Choo Quan brothers are the quintessential Carnival Ambassadors!  They have after all shared stories, videos and photos of carnivals around the world with the world...and they've been doing this for as long as I could remember. I got a chance to chat with Andre Choo Quan, you may know him as the face of Trini Jungle Juice (TJJ). TJJ has become synonymous with Carnivals around the world. No matter which carnival or fete you've attended in your lifetime I guarantee it was documented by the popular media house.  Andre is everyone's loveable host. In this episode, he shares with us how they got started, the story behind the name, and the growth and future of TJJ. We also get silly with a fun, not-so-rapid-fire drill of 10 questions with Dre.  Listen in and find out if this blondie has more fun, maybe it's the hair, or maybe it's just the "Dre effect".  

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Dec 2019

49 min 50 sec

Jessy's story, her journey, her path that led her to do what she does now is inspiring. It shows us to listen to our hearts, to follow our passions, what we may give up in comfort and security we gain in creative freedom, and overall happiness. Her lifelong pursuit of documenting and capturing content resonates in this modern age where "content is king". For the full show notes, click here

Dec 2019

45 min 20 sec

I got a chance to speak to Valmiki Maharaj one of the most visionary people I know currently working in the industry of Carnival. His creativity, his leadership, his passion for this business is game-changing.  We talked about everything, from his childhood and his involvement in music and the arts, to honing that creativity during his formative years in high school, to his career path leading up to his position as creative director of The Lost Tribe, to what it means to be fully inclusive and accepting of EVERYONE in not just our immediate societies but this big old world of ours.  Listen in as we kick off the road to pre-Lenten Carnivals around the world starting with my home of the greatest show of them all Trinidad & Tobago Carnival. Click here for the full show notes

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Dec 2019

40 min 4 sec

In this episode, I'll recap a recent speech I gave as a panelist at the Caribbean Women's Power Luncheon. The topic at hand was Empowerment, something I luckily never gave much thought about before having to speak on the topic. Take a listen to hear my thoughts on what it takes to feel empowered!

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Dec 2019

26 min 32 sec

From the sidelines I've seen her grow in her industry.  I was so inspired by seeing her growth that I asked her to share her story on this podcast. And what a story it is, one of perseverance, commitment, risk-taking, growth and drive. Roxy Romeo is currently a morning show host on the Philadelphia's Hip Hop and R&B station Power 99. Her story takes us from growing up in Miami to stumbling into a radio gig during college, to working up through the ranks and taking risks and making calculated moves which over many, many years landed her a coveted spot as a morning host! This is truly a story about dedication and the journey. I hope you'll take a listen and be inspired by this amazing woman.

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Nov 2019

38 min 56 sec

I continue my conversation with globe-trotter Kristel Kouly. We get into an interesting conversation about Carnival, and how it was actually this festival that helped uncover her love for content creation! She started off as a carnival-hopper then she took off to explore the rest of our beautiful planet.  I really enjoyed this chat and it got me really thinking about the power of passion, how having these strong desires can fuel our career paths and even lead us to our spouses and so much more. Get the full show notes here.

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Nov 2019

44 min 23 sec

Kristel Kouly has big travel dreams, she wants to explore all the nooks and crannies of the earth. In this episode, she shares with me all the tricks she uses to make her dream of affordable and extensive travel into reality.  As I type this she is on a 9-day cruise from Dubai to Mumbai. This is work-related travel, she talks about how she landed this dream job as we chat on this podcast about fulfilling your travel dreams! Check out the full show notes here.

Nov 2019

41 min 38 sec

Columnist, TV Host, Publicist, Marketing professional and everything in-between, Rogan Smith is a media maven that found she still needed a different outlet to channel her creativity outside the confines of "the job". When the idea sparked she started a blog "This Bahamian Gyal", she uses the blog as an outlet, her public diary, as she calls it.  She shares her point of view on current events, talks to her followers about pop culture, and just about anything that can come up in general conversation amongst friends. Read the full show notes here

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Nov 2019

43 min 8 sec

Stephanie Stanford's Bio reads...Divine Connector; New Life Guider; Action Inspirer; Mind, Body and Soul Coach. Those are a lot of identifiers, but the one that stuck with me most after speaking with her is "Action Inspirer". This vibrant, effervescent, enigmatic lady does not seem to me to be the person you'd associate with divine connection and soul searching, because to me that sounds sleepy and Stephanie is alive, in your face, and exciting! She’s a spiritual badass who is spunky, curse-y, loves animals and the ocean. She’s a wife and mom who’s also a carnival-a-holic and a hip hop head. And she gets you to take action!   Read more here

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Oct 2019

39 min 8 sec

Husband and wife team - yup that's us! Before we were even married I told my then-boyfriend this idea that I had to put on a games-day so our friends can do something different (you know clubbing is great and all but you do enough of it and...yawn!) So with his help we put on the first-ever FrenOlympics event in his parents backyard. Never thinking at the time that we would be here 8 years later growing this event and making it better and better every year...together. Read more

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Oct 2019

44 min 13 sec

We wind down from Miami Carnival, but guess what, the party does not stop!  We are at it again, exploring the festivals around the world, and today's chat takes us to the desert, out West, to Las Vegas. I chat with Cindy Leonie Blackshire, founder and President of the Las Vegas Latin Caribbean Festival Inc. I'm curious as to what LVCaribFest is all about, what made her want to create a cultural festival in Las Vegas in the first place and what really is the driving force, her passion to pursue such a feat! Turns out I may have to add Las Vegas on my travel itinerary soon! Connect with Las Vegas CaribFest Instagram: LasVegasCaribFest Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/LasVegasLatinCaribfest/ Website: https://www.lvcaribfest.com

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Oct 2019

35 min

When I sat down to talk to this media maven it was suddenly overwhelming because there was soooo much that she has done, and is doing that I wondered how could we cover it all. Imagine, I was stressing about just talking about it all...but imagine having to actually DO it all! This is Vanessa James, she is a big personality, with big goals and dreams and the biggest go-getter attitude I've ever witnessed. For the complete show notes, click here

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Oct 2019

50 min 49 sec

Asa Sealy, aka that branding guy. He divulges why telling your story is so important for your brand and how he's using his skills in marketing, creating partnerships and creating bigger better brands to get Miami Carnival on to a different level of fabulousness.   For the full show notes, click here.

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Oct 2019

38 min 37 sec

When asked to describe what we love about Carnival, the word "Euphoria" is usually the adjective of choice to describe that heady feeling we get. So the aptly named band for Miami Carnival, Euphoria Mas, joins me to give me some behind the scenes info on what makes their mas so Euphoric. Read the full show notes here!

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Sep 2019

41 min 31 sec

Who, What is K-Paya?! Well, I had the same question. K-Paya is an expressive word/phrase coined by the team that is bringing a band of the same name to Miami Carnival, touching the road for the first time in 2019. I wanted to know what makes them unique, and what makes them think they can deliver and satisfy groups of party-savvy masqueraders. So I sat down with one of the band's founders, Junior Jangalee and he told me. Read the full show notes here.

Sep 2019

46 min 55 sec

Lila Nikole became a breakout star of swimsuit designs before she knew what hit her!  Her edge, her unique aesthetic and her grit and gutso has propelled her stardom in the world of swimwear, and now she's here to turn the Carnival world on its head! Read full show notes here.

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Sep 2019

35 min 36 sec

Continuing our Miami Carnival series we enter the realm of music. There is no carnival with the DJ's that make our bodies move to the sweet sound of soca music.  I am quite familiar with what Doctor Esan prescribes, he's been a DJ and MC at our annual FrenOlympics Games and he always brings the VIBES! Show notes continued...

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Sep 2019

40 min 58 sec

Our Miami Carnival segment continues with legacy band Generation X. Matthew Waddell, a director for the big band GenX had a sit down me as we chatted about the direction the band is taking in 2019, the changes, the vision, the rejuvenation! For almost 20 years Generation X - or GenX as it most affectionately called - has been a major player for Miami Carnival. Matthew gave us some behind-the-scenes of what it takes to position a big band like GenX for even more growth as they continue to be a band to be reckoned with on the Miami 'road'. Click here for the full show notes.

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Sep 2019

45 min 28 sec

Yep, I spelled it right, "How to travel like a DEEVA"! Our guest today goes by @Deevatheexplorer. She's kinda like Dora, but grown and sexy! Okay, so her real name is Denise Weekes, and she takes globetrotting to a whole other level. Denise and I chat about which destination gave her the travel bug, where she's going and just how she does ALL of this while holding down a pretty serious job. Click here for the full show notes

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Aug 2019

40 min 39 sec

In this episode, I chat with the super talented Laura Ferreira.  Laura honed her natural talent to become a very successful, self-taught Fine Art Portrait Photographer. We talk about how she got started, how she has landed some of her hugest clients to-date (Sony Records and local Carnival juggernaut Tribe Carnival). Full Show Notes

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Aug 2019

32 min 50 sec

Dive into the world of fashion with this beautiful gem, Chandra Maharaj.  In this episode, Chandra and I go way back to when WE go way back as friends. How our stories and our beginnings intertwine and how she has since launched a very impressive business as a fashion designer of this lifestyle brand. Chandra talks about how she likes to give back to where she's from by providing business opportunities for those in her homelands. We also touch on her transition into costume designing for the big band Bliss! Check out her latest section design Jasmine. Be on the lookout for her next POP-UP shop right here in my neck of the woods, Miami! And yes, you will see Carnival Kicks there as well! Chandra has graciously extended 10% off your purchase when you shop at ChandraMaharajDesigns.com between now and August 31, 2019. Use the coupon code CKMix at checkout!  

Aug 2019

32 min 13 sec

There are two individuals that planted the seed for this podcast which is fast becoming my new obsession! So to honor them I've dedicated the first two interviews to showcase their stories. Up first is my dear friend Meiling Bansee, as you'll hear in this episode Meiling took her hobby of making handcrafted jewelry and turned it into her full-time career. This busy mom of two didn't stop there, she continues to pursue her other creative talents of photography and dance and will soon be kicking off Zumba classes in South Florida, something I know many of us are eagerly anticipating!  Follow her journey as a newly inducted member of the ZIN (Zumba Instructor Network) community on her Instagram page: @Meiling.Banz Her beautiful handcrafted jewelry pieces can be purchased at www.plumflowercreations.com Find her on Instagram: @plumflowercreations Meiling was so gracious to extend listeners of In The Mix with a coupon code to receive 10% off her beautiful creations. Use coupon code MixCK or click here. Listen in on the full episode and hear what kind of "FRIEND" Meiling and I are to each other :) It's a fun and intimate chat between two good friends, I know you'll enjoy!

Aug 2019

29 min 28 sec

In this introductory episode, I'll tell you a little about myself, wife/ mom/ entrepreneur; a little about the "why" behind this podcast; and a sneak peek of what's to come! I'm thrilled to embark on this journey with you my listeners! Some of the questions I've received when this episode aired are all surrounding that book that I read on the beach! Well here it is, if you grab a copy, let me know how it's impacted you!

Jul 2019

11 min 26 sec