RKD & Associates’ contribution to Spicemas 2017 in the mas band section is a creation called “PLACES’
Band Leader Richardo Keen- Douglas said the very small mas band represents the different places in Grenada. It is comprised of four sections; three female and one male section. The places represented in the portrayal are the Annandale Waterfall, Caribs Leap, the African Slave Pen and the male aspect represents the Caribs and Arawaks.
Ricky, as he is popularly referred to, said that last year’s season was a very successful one for his band “Power of Colours”. RKD and Associates masqueraded five sections on the streets placing second overall and also won the Queen of the Band with the portrayal, Chandelier and placed second in the King of the Band category with the portrayal of The Golden Dragon.
Winning is nothing new to RKD & Associates, which on several occasions during its eleven years of existence has won Kings and Queen of the Band.
Ricky explained that people are drawn to his band displays because of the uniqueness that each section brings, though small in size. According to him, he tries to go back to the old time days where the costumes speak for themselves. He said it is not just about looking pretty but for persons to connect in a meaningful way on the streets.
Starting in 2006, Richardo Keens-Douglas is in his eleventh year as a mas band leader. He declared that with the economy hitting rock bottom, he caters for everyone’s pockets and sizes at a very reasonable cost that does not exceed five hundred dollars. On average there are thirty persons per section and they have a blast when they hit the streets.
He said having been in theatre and the film industry all his years; he went into carnival and became a mas band leader for the love of it. The poet and playwright believes there is a certain need for the types of costumes that he portrays.
According to Ricky, for the eleven years he has been involved in the mas band business it has been pretty successful in every way and is doing very well compared to other bands that have been in the business for much longer.
He said his only wish for carnival is for the creativity and telling of a story through the costumes come back. He noted that in the earlier days one could tell the difference in the various costumes that the mas bands displayed whereby in the present era one cannot identify which is which, as they all look similar.
He added that he sees carnival as party on the streets where person put on a pretty costume and have a good time. He said it’s easier and cheaper to just put some pretty-coloured feathers together that cost in the thousands of dollars for the package but doesn’t mean anything at the end of the day.
When asked what his winning moments feel like the mas band leader said that it’s certainly an excellent feeling as all the long hours and hard work pay off with reward.
One of the challenges he encounters he said, is in the area of sponsorship. He noted that putting a band together costs twenty-thirty thousand dollars and without sponsors very little can be done.
RKD indicated that some of his very loyal sponsors include True Blue Bay Resort, Geo. F. Huggins, Peg Enterprise, Johnny Hopkin, Body Image, Westerhall Rum and Renwick & Thompson.