“I’m a creative body and I feel like artists should not limit themselves.” This is the reasoning behind Shivonne “Lil Bitts” Churche-Isaacs’ expansion of her creativity into other spheres, with soca releases, a section in Ronnie and Caro’s mas band and performances with the National Theatre Arts Company of T&T.
Churche-Isaacs has released two soca songs so far, both written by herself and Kit Israel of Advokit Productions. “The first song is Good Times, produced by Mega Mick and Advokit Productions. It’s a departure from the wine and jam, wassy sassy kind of music people usually expect from me. It’s different because it’s not smutty or rude. It’s just about how I’m feeling at the moment. It’s about having good vibes, good energies and really calling out to the Universe to say you want good things to happen for you and those around you. I feel in Trinidad there’s always a focus on the negative, so it was just so important to me to bring positive music for once to the people to start the Carnival and have that as my first release.”
Her second song is a return to her usual style of music. “It’s a double entendre song called Short and Sweet, playing on the fact that I’m short and sweet, and I went down the Lil Bitts vein that people like. This song is very sassy and saucy and it’s basically letting the fellas know, hear what, all this set of long talk that you want to be putting in my ears for the Carnival, before you ask me for a wine, you ain’t need to give all that set of talk, just give me the wine. Keep the talking short and sweet and give me the wine. I also have another song coming out soon, but I can’t release any details about that yet other than to say it’s on a rhythm and it’s a Power Soca.”
Speaking of power soca, Churche-Isaacs said while she has no plans on entering the 2019 International Soca Monarch competition, she is excited by the latest developments in the event. “I haven’t been in Soca Monarch for the last three or four years because the quality of the show wasn’t the best. I didn’t know that Fayann was going to take over the competition, and that has me really excited. I think it’s an excellent idea putting someone who has done both Groovy and Power, because I think it’s important to actually have people who are in charge that actually know about and have been a part of the competition. They know all the advantages and disadvantages that artists usually face, so hopefully she would be able to fix those things, probably not all in one year, because it will take some time, so I’m really looking forward to this year. I’ve been very reserved when it comes to the whole competition thing, I just have not been in that mindset.”
Along with her husband, Seon Isaacs, Churche-Isaacs will also be bringing out a section with the Ronnie and Caro Carnival Band, entitled Cocrico, in keeping with the band’s 2019 theme Let’s Go Tobago. This is her second venture into Carnival mas-making, as last year she brought out the section Negasi Rebels with Paparazzi Carnival. “We made the switch to Ronnie and Caro because they’ve won Large Band of the Year for the last few years, so why not go with a winning band? In addition, Ronnie is a fellow soca artist and it’s nice working with him at that level. He has been teaching me a lot about business, mas production and the best way to go about making money with the mas. We chose the cocrico because it’s a bird that gets shunned all the time and is almost considered a pest, but I went online, because I thought the colours were like brown or black, and I realized the pictures were olive green and orange, and I was like wow, I wonder if people ever really paid attention and realized that this bird has these colours in it? And I took those two colours and used them for the section and the green against the orange looks so beautiful.”
She said the section, which was all made locally, has been sold out for some time. “I’m very thankful about that and excited for this new venture. I feel you could do anything you want to do and I do do Carnival, in terms of I do sing, I do write, and that is being creative, so why not use my hands as well?”
Churche-Isaacs has also been a member of the National Theatre Arts Company of T&T for the last four years. All their shows are free to the public and she’s currently preparing for another show in February.
For more information on Shivonne “Lil’ Bitts” Churche, find her on Facebook at Shivonne “LIL’ BITTS” Churche and Instagram on officiallilbitts.