Stills from the record-breaking “Despacito” video

Pasito a pasito: Daddy Yankee and Luis Fonsi | Backstory

The Caribbean musical hit of 2017? That’s “Despacito”, the steamy song by Puerto Ricans Luis Fonsi and Daddy Yankee, which has been breaking records all year. Nazma Muller investigates its runaway success, and explains why “Despacito” has roused controversy for more than its lyrics.

Programmers, artists, and management of Coded-Arts at the company’s U-Start incubator offices in Caroni, Trinidad. Photo by Mark Lyndersay

The games are afoot | Snapshot

Video games aren’t just for teenagers to have fun — globally, they’re a highly lucrative business, requiring state-of-the-art technical know-how, creative flair, and significant investment. Mark Lyndersay meets the minds behind Couple Six and Coded-Arts, video game developers in Barbados and T&T, whose agenda includes creating games that reflect the culture of their home islands.

June Soomer. Photo by Damien Luk Pat courtesy ACS

June Soomer: a voice for all | Backstory

As head of the Association of Caribbean States, appointed in 2016, St Lucian June Soomer keeps regional integration high on the agenda. She tells Shelly-Ann Inniss how her career as historian and diplomat prepared her for this trailblazing new role.

Twisting Rhodes | On this day

Twisting Rhodes | On this day

It’s an irony of history that the legacy of arch-imperialist Cecil Rhodes includes the education of many Caribbean intellectuals — like Jamaican Rex Nettleford, who arrived in Oxford sixty years ago, writes James Ferguson.

Photo courtesy Arif Bulkan

Arif Bulkan: standing up for rights | Inspire

In the field of Caribbean human rights law, few have done more on behalf of the vulnerable than Guyanese Arif Bulkan. Raymond Ramcharitar learns about his work in indigenous and LGBT rights.

Photo courtesy Zahra Airall

The Antigua Dance Academy: it starts with the drum | Backstory

As the Antigua Dance Academy celebrates its twenty-fifth anniversary, it can boast of keeping traditional Afro-Caribbean dance and music alive, writes Joanne C. Hillhouse.

Jazz musician Etienne Charles. Photo by Maria Nunes

Etienne Charles: a head for jazz and a creole soul | Closeup

From his jaunty fedora to his bespoke suits, Trinidadian Etienne Charles looks like a jazzman — and he has the musical chops to back it up. A phenomenal talent with the trumpet, he’s also earned a reputation as a composer with a gift for merging traditional Caribbean genres with jazz, Nigel Campbell reports.

Chronixx (a.k.a. Jamar McNaughton) • Reggae artist • Jamaica, Born 1992. Photo by Nickii Kane

25 Caribbean achievers under 25

Caribbean Beat celebrates its 25th anniversary in 2017. But this isn’t only an opportunity to look back at our quarter century of publication: it’s also a moment to look ahead to the new generation of talented, determined Caribbean people who will shape the decades ahead. In this special feature, we introduce 25 remarkable young people aged 25 and under. Athletes and entrepreneurs, artists and scientists — they and their contemporaries are the future of our region.

Derek Walcott. Photo by Horst Tappe/Getty Images

Remembering Derek Walcott (1930–2017) | Icon

St Lucian poet, playwright, and Nobel laureate.

Illustration by Rohan Mitchell

Harry Belafonte: calypso with a conscience

A beloved musical icon since the 1950s, Harry Belafonte has an equally long reputation as a political activist. And the parallel themes of his public life, entertainment and activism, both have their roots in Belafonte’s childhood in Jamaica. James Ferguson finds out more.