Ann G, Lyrikal, Keshav And Private Ryan Celebrate 60 Years Of Japan T&T Ties

Home*Cover Story*Culture

Ann G, Lyrikal, Keshav And Private Ryan Celebrate 60 Years Of Japan T&T Ties

 J-pop crossover soca star Ann G (Angella Giustini) is joining the Japan-T&T Friendship 60th Anniversary Executive Committee (JT60), as well as the Embassy of Japan in Trinidad and Tobago on the frontline of celebrations for the 60th anniversary of diplomatic relations between Japan and the Republic of Trinidad and Tobago. 

The Niigata, Japan-born singer/songwriter and T&T-based Gold Point Entertainment has teamed with soca star Lyrikal (Devon Martin), music producer/super DJ Private Ryan (Ryan Alexander) and co-producer/singer/songwriter Keshav (Keshav Chandradath Singh) to create the celebratory track “Oideyo (The Island)”. 

The track, an initiative of JT60 as part of this year’s celebrations, will be officially released within the next few weeks as the theme song for this year’s 60th anniversary of diplomatic relations.

It will be prominently featured during a Japanese cultural event, which will be held from September 20 to 23, 2024, at Queen’s Hall, St. Ann’s, Port of Spain. 

“Oideyo (The Island)” will subsequently be used in Japan to promote travel to T&T and the wider Caribbean.

 “Oideyo is the Japanese word for come to or come over. So, we are saying to the people of Japan come over and experience Trinidad and Tobago, meet its people, taste the food and share in the culture,” explained Ann G, who arrived in T&T on Friday morning.

 

A once in a lifetime experience 

Ann G is no stranger to T&T. The bubbly singer has been coming to T&T annually for Carnival for the past decade and has previously competed in the International Soca Monarch final and semi-final rounds. 

“I always tell anyone that will listen in Japan that you must go and experience Trinidad Carnival at least once in your lifetime. It’s unlike anything they have seen before. Yes, we have Trinidad Carnival culture growing in Japan, but nothing beats having the original as a reference point,” Ann G said. 

The song’s producer Keshav said he purposely blended traditional instruments from Japan and T&T into the music to create a percussive meld of both cultures.

Keshav has a familial connection to Japan.

His father Chandradath Singh served as Ambassador of T&T to the nation from 2011-2014. 

Private Ryan, meanwhile, called working remotely with Ann G and Lyrikal on such a significant cultural exchange a true blessing.

 Lyrikal concurred.

The New York-based Belmont, Trinidad-born hitmaker said collaborating with the Japanese artiste, Private Ryan and Keshav “is a fantastic opportunity to promote T&T culture and elevate soca music” 

About the 60th Anniversary Celebration

 2024 marks the 60th anniversary of the establishment of diplomatic relations between Japan and the Republic of Trinidad and Tobago.

It has been declared the Japan-CARICOM Friendship Year 2024 by the Government of Japan. 

Since the establishment of diplomatic relations in 1964, the two countries have collaborated bilaterally in areas such as education, culture, business and economic co-operation.

Cooperation has also extended to the multilateral sphere within an international framework, including the United Nations System, to address common issues such as disaster prevention, climate change, the environment and sanitation. 

In May 2023, former Japanese Minister for Foreign Affairs, HAYASHI Yoshimasa, visited T&T and met with Senator the Honourable Dr. Amery Browne, Minister of Foreign and CARICOM Affairs of the Republic of Trinidad and Tobago.

The two countries agreed to expand and deepen bilateral exchanges and friendship and to further strengthen dialogue and cooperation between Japan and the Caribbean Community. 

 A