Usually behind her screen streaming Sims gameplay to her Twitch followers, Dazed 100 alum Danielle Udogaranya – better known as Ebonix – swapped simulation for IRL happenings at last weekend’s 2023 edition of Notting Hill Carnival. A personal tradition since she was 14, follow her as she reps her Bajan heritage while “chip, chip, chippin’ down de road” for this annual pilgrimage to London’s biggest celebration of Caribbean culture, joining Mas band Island Mas for bank holiday Monday.
While last year marked a particularly long-anticipated return of the event post-pandemic, the build-up to carnival festivities is palpable every year, with warm-up events getting millions in the spirit to hear soca blasting through the streets of West London. As Dani’s friend Jaide says, “Soca has to be involved. It‘s the core of carnival, in my opinion.” There are activities in the area all weekend – from the Saturday and J’Ouvert carnival on the Sunday that is more family-oriented – but Monday is by far the main attraction, with 84 Mas bands decked out in colourful costumes following the route with crowds of people dancing on either side.
Constrained by the good ol’ “cozzy livs”, Ebonix forewent the elaborate full costume this year that can cost upwards of £700, but retained the spirit of carnival in matching pink looks and sparkling face gems with her friend. Above all else after all, Notting Hill Carnival is a combination of “vibes, good people, good drinking, good whining”, a chance to feel “free” in joyous celebration of her identity and the wider Black diaspora in Britain.
Watch what happened in our Dazed POV above and explore more from this year’s carnival in the gallery.