SINT MAARTEN (PHILIPSBURG) - “Carnival Baby” Minister Omar Ottley, otherwise known as O-Ezy of the TG Band, was praised over the weekend by the St. Maarten Carnival Development Foundation (SCDF) for understanding that cooperation and active, constructive involvement in Carnival only helps the festival to grow.
“While some people frowned on his participation last year, we can attest to the fact that he has been as strict on the SCDF as anyone, while still managing to be a Carnival lover and participant. He loves Carnival and believes in its potential to bring people together and celebrate our culture. There is nothing wrong with that,” the SCDF said.
The foundation explained that due to a chaotic end of Carnival 2022, it did not manage to thank the Minister sufficiently for being the driving force behind the re-start of Carnival at the tail-end of the pandemic.
SCDF explained that the Minister took a huge personal risk by vouching for the festival and implemented strict protocols to ensure public health safety. The result was a Carnival in 2022 with two recorded positive COVID tests and no spike in infections during or after Carnival 2022. “We realize and appreciate that it was a massive risk for the Minister. Had we not adhered to his protocols, it could have been a disaster for him and us, so he trusted us to do the job as well,” the SCDF said.
The foundation said it is refreshing this year to see that the Minister still holds true to his Carnival roots and in his own way explains how much he loves the festival though his new hit song “Carnival Baby”. O-Ezy, as he is popularly known, explains in the song why he can’t let Carnival go and why Carnival will “always be my baby.” Taking a sample from Maria Carey’s hit song “Always Be My Baby”, the jam song featuring his daughter Mychie singing the chorus, took the Causeway Jump-Up by storm on Saturday night.
“Carnival is for all of us and the more of us that participates the better for Carnival. St. Maarten is a special place where we call our politicians by their first names anywhere we meet them. If an elected official can take part in a parade which they have been doing for decades, why should there be anything wrong with them singing in a band? It’s genuine and it’s constructive and it’s Carnival. A time when politics is put aside and we come together to celebrate our culture and who we are. O-Ezy is a Carnival baby who likes to move people on the road. As a community we are better off for it,” the SCDF concluded.