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Christian calypso

two from experience tent heading to pic-o-de-crop semis

The two Christian Pic-O-De-Crop semi-finalists hailing from the Experience Calypso Tent have put forward contrasting positions as to what winning the monarchy would mean to them.

Enobong, whose real name Margaret Holder, was of the view that it would be a shock to her, for three reasons, if she were to capture the crown on August 3.

“There is the woman issue; then from the Christian view and there is also little old me winning in a short space of time,” pointed out Enobong, who has been as far as the finals previously.

She felt it would be a good thing for a woman to finally win again after all these years and would open doors for other young females.

“It would also be a good thing as Christian to be calypso monarch. I would big up God every time. It would inspire other Christians to take up calypso as well and bring something wholesome back,” added the dynamic artiste who had taken a three-year break from competition.

In summarising the story behind the two songs that earned her a place in this year’s semis, Enobong said the song Pressure related to an issue with which everybody could identify, especially in these difficult times. She noted that it affected young and old. The Christian calypsonian explained, too, that the song dealt with several social matters, referring to some 26 issues addressed in three verses.

The other selection she planned to take the semi-finals next Friday is Must Take Control.

“This song hits home to people to take control of their lives no matter what others may say about you,” she asserted.

Enobong recalled that when she performed this song people told her it had hit home to them.

“I was surprised it had affected people in that way,” the artiste confessed.

Both songs were written and arranged by Marlon Proverbs based on her concept. She told High Note she was confident of reaching this stage of the Pic-O-De-Crop competition because the compositions were strong, real and down to earth and spoke to situations with which everyone could relate.

However, the kaiso woman added that while she was filled with confidence, she always had issues with the judging since you could never be sure what the judges were looking for.

Enobong is encouraging young people, particularly Christians who may have doubts about getting involved in singing calypso, to disregard any notion that there was anything wrong with this art form.

“Don’t let calypso die. When Christians get involved they can shift some of the emphasis from just party, party and wuk up and send people a message that can make them laugh and bring them out of their sorrow. When I first started, I couldn’t see myself being here. But I saw the importance of our culture and identity, which is rich and beautiful and worthy of exposure,” assured Enobong, a name†that means God’s gift, which she†got from a Nigerian friend.

She already has “a few songs” for next year’s Pic-O-De-Crop contest.

The other Experience Tent semi-finalist, Kennedy The Doctor Springer, has not even given a thought to the finals. The Doctor told us he was taking things one step at a time. He claimed he was not surprised being chosen for the semi-finals since he figured his songs were good enough. However, he believed winning the calypso monarchy would be “something else”.

He will be performing Troubled World and Everyone Is An Authority next Friday at the Garfield Sobers Gymnasium. He explained that Everyone Is An Authority was inspired by the kinds of responses persons were giving to the moderators on the call-in programmes when it came to religion and the Bible.

“Everybody spoke as though they were professionals who had been trained in biblical doctrine, but who had not,” said The Doctor.

The other song Troubled World, was inspired by an incident he witnessed on the ABC Highway.

“I saw a guy spit out his car window and it fell on the windscreen of another guy’s car. So the guy followed him to the car park in Haggatt Hall and spit on his car. And the two of these men went at it. I said to myself, there was so much trouble in this world and everybody feel they can fix it without God.”

He indicated that he did not see the need for the way the “victim” retaliated, believing he could fix the problem himself.

The Doctor, who got his stage name as a youngster while working at a veterinarian’s clinic, is encouraging anyone to sing calypso. He is suggesting that it was one of the fora through which persons had a voice to present their message. He felt it could even become a career to pursue.

This singer and song writer starting in the kaiso arena in 2005 at his Convenant Life Teaching Centre after composing a song for one of the participants of an in-house contest, which he did not use. He said he therefore took that same song and entered the competition the following year. The Doc won the contest for four consecutive years since that time.

Soon afterwards Dave Weekes of Praise Academy of Dance and Ronnie Cumberbatch introduced him to the Experience Calypso Tent. It is the first time The Doc was going to the Pic-O-De-Crop semi-finals. Interestingly enough, he has some experience in pubic performances, having been a singer in two secular bands in the land of his birth, Trinidad in the 1980s.

This artiste, who has been living in Barbados for the past 20 years, preferred to sing slower type of songs and has little or no intention of doing party, even though he liked listening to the faster up tempo selections. A third Christian calypsonian from the Experience Tent, who was chosen by the judges, but for the Party Monarch finals, is James Slim Jim Leacock. Slim Jim, who is on a diet to “come down” to 180 pounds for his birthday in November, has so far been making steady progress, having moved from 270 pounds to his current 239.

Slim Jim said he felt great to have achieved one of his goals for Crop-Over competitions, that of reaching the semis of the Pic-O-De-Crop and the finals of the Party Monarch.

“I did not get through to the Pic-O-De-Crop, but at least I got into the Party, and I feel great that I can have an opportunity to lead the nation into worshiping Yahweh,” which is the title of his party song.

How did he get his stage name? One of his workmates, who knew he was on the diet, would constantly blurt out, Slim Jim, on recognising he was losing weight.

“I lost that gut. I lost 31 pounds. I want to reinvent myself. I started to see results,” he boasted.

He admitted he was going up against very experienced party performers, but was comforted in the feed back he had been receiving to his selection, which he had been told, was captivating, melodic and simple. All the best to the Experience Calypso Tent trio.††

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