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Destra is queen of party

Destra Garcia is not known as the Queen of Bacchanal for nothing. Her fabulous style of soca is a winner whoever she performs to, always marked with the anthemic ‘It’s Carnival’, a duet she recorded with the king of soca, Machel Montana in 2003. Every soca party includes that tune and even though it’s now 15 years old, no one tires of hearing it.

Destra was born 39 years ago in Trinidad. She has Spanish, Venezuelan, Vincentian, Barbadian and Grenadian ancestry. The eldest of four siblings, Destra was raised in Laventille in eastern Port of Spain, and attended Woodbrook government secondary school and St James Secondary School where she discovered her passion for singing and music. She not only won her school's Calypso Monarch title for five consecutive years, she composed every song. Her musical roots came from her grandfather the late Frankie Garcia, a jazz musician. Her father Lloyd Garcia is an accomplished guitarist.

She joined a quartet called Psyke which disbanded after a year. Destra attended the School of Business and Management earning a diploma in sales management.

In 1999 Roy Cape All-Stars took notice of her single ‘Ah Have A Man Already’ with Third Bass and invited her to join the Roy Cape All-Stars band as one of the lead vocalists. She pursued a solo career briefly, but eventually joined the band Atlantik in 2002. She remains the frontline singer for Atlantik and has forged a successful songwriting partnership with Kernal Roberts churning out hits such as ‘Whe Yuh Want’, ‘Negative Vibes’ and ‘Bonnie & Clyde’.

In 2003 Destra released her first album Red, White, Black which included her sensational duet ‘It's Carnival’. The song is an international floor filler.

Destra won the Road March title in 2003 at the Labour Day Carnival in Brooklyn, and also placed second in the Trinidad and Tobago Soca Monarch competition that year.

She is yet to win either the Carnival Road March or Soca Monarch title in Trinidad although she has come close in the Road March race, placing second in 2003, 2004 and 2009. Nevertheless, she has become successful in the local music industry, specialising in pop-sounding soca compositions as well as fusion music encompassing aspects of  Indian culture.

In 2006, the Digicel mobile telecommunications group named Destra as its spokesperson in a two-year endorsement deal.

Destra is also known for having an alter ego named Lucy who is supposed to personify her more sexual aspect. In her song released in 2017, ‘Destra vs. Lucy’, one of the lines tells listeners that Lucy is the sexual ego and Destra is the singing one. More detail on Destra’s personalities can be heard on a comedic interview with the ego ‘Lucy’ herself on a radio show called Breakfast Party.

Destra is famous for her style. Due to her radical clothing choices consisting primarily of revealing clothing such as tight, short pants, and low-cut bra tops, she has captivated audiences during her performances. On stage, Destra is wild and explosive in her movements and vocals, sometimes seemingly performing in her own world. She has expressed her music and fashion choices as a merger between American punk rock and soca. This mix is evident in the instruments used in Destra's music, as she frequently fuses rock guitar acoustics with underlying soca rhythms.

She is very active on the social media scene, with a Twitter, Instagram and Facebook account. She said: “Everybody is experimenting to see if we could take soca to another level. I think soca is already good, I’ve decided to see if I can make it more marketable.”

Destra’s activity on social media has certainly allowed her to not only connect more with her fanbase but also cultivate a community around her music.

Her second CD, Laventille pre-release which featured her Bonnie and Clyde hit song, was released in 2004. Some of her later popular releases are ‘Come Beta’ (featuring Shurwayne Winchester), and 2005 singles ‘Fly’ and ‘We Say So’. She also paid tribute to her home town in 2005 with a track entitled ‘The Hammer Revisited’, a duet with calypso veteran David Rudder. In 2006, Destra contributed her vocals to the song ‘Aur Chale’ in conjunction with the band Dil E Nadan, and released popular songs such as ‘Max It Up’ and ‘Independent Ladies’. She also released a song called ‘Jumpin'’ later that year for her album ‘Independent Lady’ which seemed to have signalled the start for women's shout for independence. ‘I Dare You’ is another song that gets regular rotation.

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