Soca artist Ms Desire talks celebrating Notting Hill Carnival


THIS YEAR’S Notting Hill Carnival will be like no other. The COVID-19 outbreak has forced the festivities off the streets but it hasn’t stopped the showcase of Caribbean culture altogether. The vibes cyan dun and so with a virtual version of Europe’s biggest street party, we’ll be celebrating in our homes – or at any of the COVID-19 safety compliant events taking place across the weekend. While it won’t be the same, dedicated carnivalists are set on making sure it’s still special.

We caught up with British-Bajan soca artist and mas band section leader and designer Ms Desire who is usually getting ready for the road at this time of the year to talk carnival memories and how she’ll be marking it this year.

Tell us about one of your favourite Notting Hill Carnival memories

One of my favourite Notting Hill Carnival memories was in 2014, the first year my section Infinite Mas went on the road. I will never forget the feeling of joy I had when I watched my masqueraders in the costumes I designed and made go across the judging point. It was magical. I felt so proud!

TRUE TO THIS: Ms Desire’s love of carnival has been consistent since childhood

What will you miss most about Notting Hill Carnival this year?

I will miss the vibe! I can’t really describe it, but Carnival day and the run up to it creates the vibe, a buzz in the year! It’s almost like that feeling you get when you’re going on holiday and you’re in the airport waiting to get on the flight. You’re just in a constant stat of happiness for the whole week. That’s what I’m going to miss the most! 

IN HER SECTION: Ms Desire at last year’s Notting Hill Carnival in one of the costume’s she designed

How do you plan to celebrate it this year?

I am going to be watching the virtual Notting Hill Carnival with my friends! I took part and done loads of filming, so my friends and I are going to watch it together over food and drinks! If you want to watch it, you can register for the stream here.

What songs do you have to have on your carnival playlist?

I definitely have my songs on rotation and also will be listening to the Carnival Sounds Spotify playlist this weekend!

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