Nica, Carnival Queen
Updated: Mar 23, 2018
Carnival is an celebration of life that takes place every year in many caribbean countries. Our Flyy Girl of the week has a serious obsession with Carnival, and she wants you to drink the kool-aid as well!
Q: Tell us about your background, who is Nica?
A: Let's see... lol I was born in Hollywood FL, I was raised in Nicaragua (Not by choice LOL) I come from a very large family with a crazy extensive cultural background. I am mixed with Nicaraguan Jamaican and Japanese but I rep Nicaragua most of all. Oh yea, and I am slightly obsessed with Carnival!
Q: So I see you were raised in a Caribbean home, were you raised to be a Carnival lover, or is this a new found obsession?
Ummm well my family loves Soca and Reggae music but was never really involved in carnival. I got introduced in my teens and it became and obsession from there. Now you can’t tell me I can’t play mas lol !!!
Q: The Huffington Post says , "Playing Mas means you’ve chosen a masquerade band to participate with and you’ll be chippin (a march/shuffle/dance combo step) alongside mas goers with similar costumes ". What does "Playing Mas" mean to you mean?
A: Playing Mas for me has always been more than just whining in the streets and the beautiful costumes. It is being a part of a deeper celebration of FREEDOM, CULTURE and MUSIC! I love playing with a band because everytime I go it's like I am being introduced to something new- new music, new vibes and I always meet new people.
Q: So exactly how many carnivals total have you been to so far?
A: I started going to carnival in Nicaragua when I was 16 years old. Nicaragua has 2 per year and I went for two years in a row religiously. I have been going to Miami Carnival since 2009 so that’s nine more to add. I also did carnival in San Francisco and LA so that’s another two. I have been to Grand Cayman & of course TRINI carnival, Batabano once, Orlando once and Key West once. Sooo in total I have been to about 18-20 that I can actually remember.
Q: Wow, I see why they call you the Carnival Queen! What differences did you notice as you played Mas/ experiences Carnival in different places?
A: I have been playing with bands every year since 2011. I can say Nicaragua, San Fran and Miami have more of a choreographed carnival scene going on. I never really played in Nicaragua, I was just a spectator- which was just as fun! I do play every year in Miami, and although it is more on the serious side I really enjoy it! I took my own costumes to Orlando and Key West and I did a t-shirt band in Cayman as these were a little more laid back.
Q: I popped my Carnival cherry last year in Miami, but I didn't play with a band. What band are you playing with this year? I might have come and buss a whine with yal!!
Yassss please do!!! I play with EUPHORIA MAS! For me I have a certain loyalty to my band they have went above and beyond to make me feel like family our band leader Cassy is our “Mas Mom”!!! A lot of ppl I know go to different bands for costumes or DJ’S I LOVE MY BAND so I am good where I am at!!! Plus I customize my costumes anyways!!
Q: What would you say to the plus-sized girl that has always wanted to participate in Carnival but is scared to put herself out there like that?
If you love seeing or being in costume, if you love being on the road, dancing up with your friends without a care in the world- JUST DO IT! YOU WILL NOT REGRET IT! Now for your first time around, the costumes might be a little daunting and you might feel like you need something to feel more comfortable. If this is the case for you, customization is always the best way to go! I get nearly all my costumes altered for me by a Miami based designer named Shidor- she even has embellishments and accessories available! Just because a costume may be designed for a skinny mini does not mean it can’t be altered for a plus size queen!
Q: So now that you have convinced us ALL to come to Carnival, what are three tips that you would give to a new mas player?
I can't stress this enough, COMFORTABLE SHOES! This is not a sprint people, this is a marathon!! Be kind to your feet and they will be kind to you!!!! I got my Carnival boots from J&D Carnival Boots on IG. You can DM them for pricing.
Great friends to share the experience with, not saying you can't play by yourself but it's always nice to have friends who share your same passion and to take some good pictures of you getting on bad lol
Do not let anything ruin your carnival day, mistakes happen everything does not always go perfectly let all of that go once you get on the ROAD and live your best LIFE!!!
Q: You look so fearless and sure of yourself in your Carnival photos! Were you always this confident?
Nope! To be honest, I still am not- I have great friends though and they always make me feel like I am the baddest bish on the road. They yell things like, “YASSSSS BIHHH, SLAYY” that really get me feelin' myself... I mean what else friends are for!?!
Q: Moving into the travel portion of this interview, what are some of the places you have been? As a kid a I travelled with school so I don't know if that would count lol, but I use to live in San Francisco & Nicaragua. I have travelled for fun to Costa Rica, Panama, Colombia Honduras, Mexico, Jamaica, Cayman Islands & Trinidad and Tobago :)
Q: What has been your favorite trip so far and why? T R I N I D A D for Carnival- there is absolutely nothing like it in this world. If you are wondering- OF COURSE I PLAYED IN TRINIDAD! You can’t go to Trini Carnival and not play MAS! Trinidad by FAR was my ABSOLUTE FAVORITE TRIP THAT I HAVE BEEN ON IN LIFE!!!!!! CAN'T WAIT TIL NEXT YEAR!!
Q: What are your upcoming travel plans?
A: Cayman Islands in May for CayMas, Nicaragua some part of the summer & Orlando for Carnival (I don't think that counts since I live in Florida lol) & Trinidad for 2019 Carnival.
Q: Sounds like some exciting travel plans, you just might see me in Trini in 2019! As I wrap up, can you tell me one thing about you now that would make your younger self happy?
A: That I give no f@#%'s! As a kid, I was always very self conscious, shy, in a box, quite never did anything without approval from peers... That's not who I am anymore! I do ME. Whether it be fun and outgoing or boring and lonesome, I am going to do whatever I feel like without anyone's approval or opinion.
Q: You are super badass Chile! What would you say to someone reading this post that aspires to be as fearless and confident as you?
A: You don't want to be like me!! BE THE BEST VERSION OF YOURSELF! For all we know that's even better lol :)
Thank you so much for your time Nica, I look forward to whining on de road with you soon! Click here to follow the Carnival Queen!
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