Panorama 2023 heralds the first live Carnival since 2020—and Hadco Phase II Pan Groove's maestro Len “Boogsie” Sharpe is welcoming it with his own tune, We Come out to Party.
A media release said the song’s lyrics celebrate the end of the pandemic lockdowns and the return to free Carnival revelry on the streets.
Sharpe composed the melody and the song was developed by a dream team: arranger/producer Leston Paul, lyricist Christophe Grant and vocalist Aaron Duncan, the release said.
Sharpe often composes the tunes of choice for Phase II and has seven Panorama-winning melodies to his credit, with titles he composed and arranged for the band winning the festival in 1987, 1988, 2005, 2006, 2008, 2013 and 2014.
The release said during an interview with him at the band's panyard in early January, band members were already at work on his arrangement. "They were excited to hear the song," he said, adding, “The players enjoy how I do my own music.”
Vocalist Aaron Duncan is a young calypso and soca artiste who has dominated the Junior Calypso and Soca Monarch competitions and is poised to have a great career as an adult artist.
“I fell in love with his voice,” Sharpe said in the release.. Sharpe had never worked with Duncan before Paul recommended him for the project.
Duncan was thrilled to have this opportunity. “I feel honoured, collaborating with the legend himself, Boogsie Sharpe,” he said. “When he pitched it, I found it to be an amazing song and just knowing it would have been the featured song for Phase II, I immediately wanted to be a part of this project.”
Lyricist Christophe Grant is also a first-time collaborator with Sharpe, and was also brought to the project on the producer’s recommendation. Grant has written Calypso Monarch title-winning songs for several calypsonians, including the late Singing Sandra (Voices from the Ghetto) and Denyse Plummer (Nah Leaving). Paul asked him to keep this song light, Grant said.
“He thinks we need that sort of catharsis, that sigh of relief after the two-year lockdown, and people want to explode on the streets,” Grant said. “I didn’t hesitate to agree because Phase II is an institution and Boogsie is a cultural gift to this nation.”
Paul’s catalogue of party and pan hits is enormous, and he was keen to add this song to the list. The team collaborated on the song over WhatsApp chats, Paul said.
“After Boogsie sent me the melody he wanted most of all for the lyrics to have this friendly appeal to the average party-goer.” He added, “Working with the genius Boogsie himself, precision of notes and phrasing was of utmost importance.”
Preliminary Panorama judging of the Northern Region large conventional bands is scheduled to take place on January 31.
“This Carnival will be a boss Carnival, like we never witnessed in our lifetime,” Sharpe said. “Lockdown was hard for everybody. This year it will be nice. We have a beautiful song,” he said, humbly thanking the Father for his musical gift and adding his thanks to Paul, Grant and Duncan. He especially thanked HADCO’s co-CEO John Hadad for taking care of the band through the two years of lockdown. “This Carnival will be a bumper Carnival. You could imagine people missing Carnival for two years?”