DJ Ana has become a powerhouse in the entertainment circuit.
Known for her energetic and vibes-filled music countdowns and “Glam Jam Vlogs”, DJ Ana continues to put a smile on many faces.
Real name Ana Ramnarine, DJ Ana is a Canadian born and raised in Trinidad. She has been a DJ since the age of ten and on the radio since she was 16.
For the second year, DJ Ana and Ultra Simmo will present their J’Ouvert band Glam Jam J’Ouvert (GJJ), in San Fernando.
“We’re blessed to be on course for a 50 per cent increase in masqueraders this year,” she said.
“I’ve been doing soca and Carnival events since I was a child, and during the pandemic, we made the decision to contribute to the development of San Fernando Carnival by starting a J’Ouvert band.
“The aim is to use the ideas and popularity of myself and Ultra Simmo to encourage more people to participate in San Fernando Carnival.”
Both DJ Ana and Ultra Simmo have been fully supportive of women in their initiatives.
“In planning, promotion and execution, we have a number of women that are essential in making us who we are,” DJ Ana said.
“My Mom, Seeta Sinanan-Ramnarine, has been doing heroic work assisting us with the overall coordination. Shelly Ann Ramlochan has been doing a lot of our administrative and technical work. Gabrielle Legendre is our logistics manager and she oversees our executions.
“Our Celebrity Hairstylist Candice Mohan is ever present and keeps hair on point. Karah Ramnarine of LaCara Makeup does faces for our photo shoots. Colleen Ramlogan of The Beauty Basement by Colleen does amazing work as a partner, sponsor and registration point. Rena Gobindass of Stitches By Rena is our head seamstress for monokinis.
“There are also our phenomenal models like Aaliyah, Dinelle, Ivana.”
The J’Ouvert band leader also works with many women suppliers such as Marissa of Family Taste Catering who does corn soup and Aileen Cooper of Frozen Bar who provides frozen treats.
“This year I wanted to ensure that at least one other female DJ is in the band with me, so all the way from Canada we’re having DJ Steph Honey with us this year, and last year to cross the stage we had Nailah Blackman and she’ll be with us again.”
Safety for masqueraders is paramount for DJ Ana and her organising team.
“Both the actual ability to experience Carnival and life without incidents and the perception of safety, so that you can enjoy life and Carnival freely,” she said.
“We don’t cut corners in anything with regards to safety. We also brief our masqueraders on what behaviour to expect and what we don’t accept.
“For example, we have different chits on your wristband for food, and drinks but also for a ‘jam’ so you can present it to a fellow masquerader and once they agree you give them a dance. So it’s a very fun and interactive vibe with consent also being key.”
The band has grown, and its security presence will be higher this year, with rope handlers, extraction squad, plain-clothes police and personal bodyguards.
Secured parking will be provided at Skinner Park with a shuttle service to Irving Park where the band gathers and ends.
DJ Ana said the aim was to create a hassle-free experience from beginning to end for the masqueraders.
“Our costumes have been designed for both the modest and those who wish to be a bit more daring on the road and the registration and distribution systems have also been improved for everyone, with online and in-person systems and quick feedback loops,” she said.
“At Irving Park and on the road we’ll have our own media to capture our ladies at their best and preserve the memories. Last year we had many extra goodies at distribution and on the road and our masqueraders can look forward to more this year.”
Her advice for women on the road for Carnival 2024 is to find a balance between really embracing the Carnival experience and being very safe.
“There’s power in sticking with your group and setting up emergency and contingency plans,” she added.
“Carnival is a beautiful festival which is meant to be a celebration of culture and diversity. It’s also a celebration of our women so we should definitely celebrate each other and maximise the festivities.”