The Virgin Islands has lost a local legend. Nicholas "Nick" Friday, better known to the Jam Band Massive by his stage name "Daddy Friday", passed away today in Roy Lester Schneider hospital from complications resulting from diabetes. His death immediately sent shock waves throughout the Virgin Islands community and will undoubtedly result in weeks of mourning. (St. Thomas isn't big enough to hold this funeral!) Simply put, Friday was a musical genius whose popularity transcended generations. But more than just a muician, he was a cultural icon. He is as popular today in the Virgin Islands as he was 20 years ago. He still does mek the young girls wuk up and the old ladies sing along!
As a Virgin Islander who went to college on the mainland, I can attest that nothing made us swell up more with V.I. pride than Jam Band in concert. I saw them perform in Washington D.C. in 1996 and again in Miami in 2000 and they were every bit the musical ambassadors for the Virgin Islands. Small island bands have always had difficulty competing for popularity with big island bands like Square One, Krosfyah, and Xtatic, but Jam Band always holds its own and represents for the V.I. Massive. They just won the Soca Band Legend Award at the 3rd Annual Soca Awards ceremony in Trinidad this past Sunday. Virgin Islanders are very hard to please but we have always supported Daddy Friday and the Awesome Jam Band to the fullest. They commanded loyalty and we reciprocated.
The musical landscape is forever changed in the Virgin Islands. Suddenly the big band for jouvert is a question mark. Who else could have gotten Nu Vybes, Small Axe, and Byron Lee to try test on jouvert morning? Who else could have led the 20 time Road March Kings of St. Thomas? Who else could have made people do the Horse Chip or try to Kill the Rabbit? Who else could have ordered Governor Farrelly to call off the curfew?
They say a prophet has no honor in his own land, but that was not the case with Daddy Friday. His people loved him and he loved his people.
Rest peacefully Nicholas Friday. May the love and admiration of your fans follow you wherever you may journey.