Leonce Taylor is a fighter. Already, she’s proven that; and although her name may still be unfamiliar to most in the soca music landscape, 2017 may be a turning point for the US-based frontline sweetheart of New York’s Request Band.
Settling in at home in Trinidad these days, Leonce, whose single, Addicted, has been receiving nods of approval wherever she goes, plans on enjoying her place of birth for Carnival. Outside of touring throughout the US with the Request Band, she focuses on bettering her craft.
Having looked up to artistes of the golden days such as Ella Andall, Singing Sandra, Denyse Plummer and others, Leonce’s style of delivery when she touches the microphone is powerful and resoundingly clear. She speaks the language of music even in conversation, and although she’s lived in New York for the better part of her adult life, her Trini roots are distinguishably clear.
With that natural inclination to represent home, an innate part of her existence, Leonce admits to being overwhelmed by the spike in criminal activity in T&T. “It’s really sad what’s happening in Trinidad. The thing is, we still say ‘sweet T&T’—all of us, who are out there, in the States,” she admitted. She’s a part of a unique soca fraternity in the US, standing firmly alongside artistes like Lyrikal, Patch, Yankey Boy and GBM Nutron, who’ve remained connected despite being thousands of miles away
“It’s been a pleasure, an honour for me,” said Leonce, “to stand up on stages around the world and represent soca music. People at home in T&T need to understand what we have here. There’s no place in the world that’s like T&T.
wThe atmosphere, the vibe of our people, the music, the culture—we are special and while I know there are many factors that can lead a person to commit crime, I also believe that if we hold on to what’s good about us, we can change things and we’ll fix this,” she said optimistically.
In recent days, there’s been a public outcry in T&T—this as a 31-year-old woman was killed in what appeared to be a domestic situation. The incident took place near the woman’s workplace at MovieTowne, Invader’s Bay. Taylor said about it: “As a woman, it hurts. This woman will never see the beauty of life again. She will never smile again and her friends and family will never feel her strength again.
I am pleading with all men, to please, stop hurting our women. Women are beautiful. We bear your children. We nurture your families and take care of your homes. Please walk away. Just walk away from situations that incite anger in you. That could never be asking too much.”
The entertainer says she has seen and heard of numerous incidents of abuse meted out to females, both in the US and here. “Anger is something that some people simply cannot control, but we’ve got to put systems in place to help people manage their frustrations.
The thing is, people deal with things differently and as citizens in any society, we all have a part to play in helping those around us cope,” she said.
Leonce will be making the rounds at events and throughout Carnival. “Just as I pray for my safety and that of my family members, I pray for the safety of all women who’ll be out there this Carnival season, having fun and expressing their right to liberty. Nobody deserves to be murdered; nobody deserves to be hurt, whether physically, verbally or otherwise. It’s time to stop this,” she said.
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