Lewis 'euphoric' at being Carnival King...again
The 2022 Carnival King Joseph Lewis said performing in the King of Carnival competition is the pinnacle of his experience as a performer. His winning presentation this year was Kreegorseth – Mystic Guardian of the Amazons.
“For me it’s pure bliss to perform as a king. being someone that has always been active in performing arts and culture from young. This is a culmination of my expression as a Trinidadian, and just being on that stage as a Trinidadian, as a performer, as a Carnival baby, as we like to call ourselves – nothing can beat that feeling. It’s something I look forward to every year.
“The feeling of being on stage is euphoric. There’s no other word that can encapsulate the feeling when I’m crossing the stage, especially when the crowd responds to the costume as you hope they would. I’m showcasing all the hard work myself, the other team members, friends and family would have put in.”
This is Lewis’s fifth year performing in mas competitions. He began in 2017, when he won the conventional male individual of the year with the costume The Sea Demon. Then in 2018 he made it to the king finals as Lux Venisicus the Bearer of Light. In 2019, he won with the costume Ghelgath the Demon Lord of Ice, and in 2020 he portrayed Zharvakko the Vodun King of Death, placing second.
Lewis performs with Antourage Productions, led by Varma Leo Lakhan, who is also the designer of the band. The Sangre Grange band usually presents two kings and two queens.
Lewis said the design and building process begins in June or July.
“We start early and continue to build up to competition time, with things getting more and more hectic the closer we get.
"I’m 100 per cent involved in building my costume. Once Lakhan explains the concept he’s aiming for, I help with building, and I do the detail work.
“It’s almost a spiritual thing, as I feed off the energy that goes into the process. I often say they speak to me, and this energy feeds into creating and naming the costume and coming up with the backstory and synopsis. The designer gives me the liberty to do these things, as he knows for me this process is one of total immersion.”
Lewis said the journey to Carnival 2022 was emotional, as there was so much uncertainty leading up to the announcement.
“We thought it was a possibility, then heard it wasn’t, then it was confirmed.
"It was good that they spoke to major stakeholders to have the competition, even though we knew that parading wouldn’t happen. "The timeline was a challenge to the mas fraternity, as we were given barely a month. " Speaking ahead of the competition, he said, "Some people I was looking forward to seeing have said they’re not going to come out, but I look forward to seeing who enters this year.
“I’m looking forward to the competition and to Carnival. We’ve all been in the pandemic for a while, and lots of people are worried about job security, overwhelmed, and stressed. It would be nice to bring forward positive energy and light in a dark situation, and I think Carnival will be good to do that.
"Lewis ‘euphoric’ at being Carnival King…again"