MUSIC REVIEW: Mashing Up De Place

“Up in yuh face” Vanilla sings in her smash new 2017 Mashramani (Mash) song titled ‘Mash up de place’. Only a few weeks ago we were introduced to this song but we already can’t get the lyrics out of our system. It’s currently one of the most played Mashramani songs on local airways.  Could this be one of the best Mashramani songs for 2017 thus far? Just in case you wanted to ignore Vanilla this Mash she makes it crystal clear that she is not going anywhere.

The song starts strong with the dynamic chorus ‘mash up the place’ which already tells us that Vanilla isn’t playing games with this track. Throughout the entirety of ‘Mash up de place’, she attempts to get her listeners revved up with her up-tempo vocals and it’s evident that the only fights she is encouraging are dance battles out in the streets (during the Mash celebrations of course), “I come out to mash up the party…” she sings.  The bacchanal lyrics mixed with her soca vocals work well together and it’s quite safe to say that the lyrical content is in truly ‘carnival’ in nature. For the most part they strive to be catchy and easy to remember so persons can gyrate their bodies freely and sing along without putting too much thought into it.

Although the song isn’t packed with the usual heavy base drumming that Vanilla songs such as ‘Rage’ usually carry, it does have her signature sound, her vocals were the main focus of the song which was used as a substitute for ‘heavy drums in the background music. As for the instrumental, it’s not just your typical local soca beat, it has a dancehall/ hip-hop sound to it as well; especially at the beginning.

Produced by Burchmore Simon and directed by Black Majenta, the video for the song begins with Vanilla decked out in her bright neon colors and her makeup was stunning, she was definitely ‘up in we face’ with this one. The video escalates to her along with her entourage dancing. They set the mood of the video by all bringing their fierce attitudes whilst backballing and palancing around, however there was not a clear ‘carnival’ theme to it, if you mute the sound it would seem like just a group of friends out having fun on a normal weekend not necessarily a Mashramani weekend. They probably should have included at least one Mashramani costume, nothing directly represented ‘Mashramani per se. The quality of the video was definitely top notch; the scenes including green grass dazzling and Amerindian benabs made it seem truly ‘Guyanese’ for me and you could tell that they had a lot of fun during the production of the video (or it could just be good acting). The climax of the video included the group having fun playing J’ouvert which has now become a part of Guyanese culture like it or not.

Vanilla also released another song called ‘We run things’ but ‘Mash up de place’ definitely stole the spotlight for her songs this season. All in all both songs express how proud Vanilla is to be a Guyanese and she is one of the few artists we can count on for Mashramani music every year.

Have a look at the video here.

Written by: Tara Smith

Image Source: Kross Kolor Records

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