Lil’ Rick a semi-finalist
Bajan entertainer Lil’ Rick is among the 30 Power Soca Monarch semi-finalists in this year’s competition.
Performing Cyah Bother We, he will be going up against artists such as Tallpree, Skinny Fabulous, Fay Ann Lyons, Kerwin Du Bois, Shurwayne Winchester, Superblue, Chris Garcia, and Fya Empress during the event which will be held on January 20 at the Arima Velodrome in Trinidad.
On the website www.socamonarch.net, Executive Chairman William Munro talks about the history of International Soca Monarch Competition, how the idea came about, the trials that he faced during the 21 years and the people who helped make it into what it is today.
We share an edited version of that story as well as names of the 60 semi-finalists for both the International Groovy Soca and Power Soca Monarch competitions which were announced yesterday evening.
Great stories are always worth a re-wind.
Looking back into the reflective mirror — the International Soca Monarch Competition fits magnificently into the mould of a continuing great saga.
Soca Monarch is now a four syllable word that we all delight in hearing over and over again.
Coming under the marquee Fantastic Friday — the starting point of TnT’s Carnival — the final stage of the International Soca Monarch Competition is the showpiece event, it is a cosmos of incandescent memories, speckled with the biggest, bankable names in Soca.
In a nutshell, the International Soca Monarch Competition towers supreme as carnival’s biggest calling card for domestic tourism; a cinematic spectacle that is now a magnet for foreign tourists, and global talent scouts.
What’s more, the event is a weaving dance of festive celebration — a brilliant, dazzling mutation between the artiste on stage and flag waving enthusiastic fans all caught up in an ever cascading wave of pulsating soca, confetti in the sky, dancing moko-jumbies and collective excitement.
This is an event for the world, not to mention of course, a brilliant flag bearer for Trinidad and Tobago and exponentially, the Caribbean region as a whole since the event now incorporates competitors across the islands.
Reflecting on the history of the competition, cultural benefactor and Executive Chairman William Munro, revealed that 1993 was the first year of the show.
“It was never planned and it came about accidentally. In fact my deceased wife played a big part in deciding to do an event called the Soca Monarch Competition,” he added with pride.
Munro pointed out further that at the time they were looking at the Young King’s show at Skinner Park, San Fernando, “the camera kept focusing on a young man with two Carib beers in his hands.”
“It was a strange experience, because at that moment a party type singer was on stage and the individual was in a frenzy throwing one beer on his head and dancing away like nobody’s business.”
He noted that the Young King’s show was a competition with only social commentary songs but the ‘jumpy’ tunes caught his wife’s attention. They both discussed the possibility of having a competition with the ‘jumpy’ tunes. The idea was then discussed in detail with his great friend Gregory Fernandez who responded positively to the idea. Gregory Fernandez was eager to invest the sum of TT$35,000 at that time of which Munro remains grateful for Fernandez’s belief in his vision.
Munro indicated that he always wanted a unique competition, noting on reflection: “That artistes performing just one party song, people would be partying all night. That was my thinking back then and that still remains my thinking now.”
“At the time Superblue was becoming very popular and I must say he played a big part in the success of the Soca Monarch Competition. Superblue put everything into his stage act and presentation.”
Back then the first prize in the Soca Monarch Competition was TT $25,000. Today, it is TT $2 million and Caribbean Prestige Foundation for the Performing Arts, the umbrella body of the International Soca Monarch Competition would like to thank Prime Minister of the Republic of Trinidad and Tobago, Kamala Persad-Bissessar and the People’s Partnership Government for taking culture to a brand new level.
This year marks the 21st Anniversary of the International Soca Monarch Competition which is being promoted as The People’s Event and Munro said: “The International Soca Monarch Competition is our gift to world”.
Digicel International Groovy Soca Monarch semi-finalists 2013 are:
1. Ian Bunji Garlin Alvarez – Differentology
2. Neil Iwer D Boss George – Bubble
3. Dexter Blaxx Stewart – Nah Get Away
4. Destra Garcia – Call My Name
5. Nadia Batson – Manager
6. Denise Belfon – Wining Queen
7. Shurwayne Winchester – We not Stopping
8. Darryl Farmer Nappy Henry – Stranger
9. Rodney Benjai Le Blanc – Feter
10. Drupatee Persad – Indian Gyal
11. Kerwin Du Bois – Wettin
12. Kenneth K Rich Richards – Wine Back
13. Patrice Roberts – A Little Wine
14.Terrin Super Jigga TC Callender – We Liming
15. Ravi Ravi B Bissambhar – Prescription
16. Stephenson Shal Marshall – Wickedest Wine
17. Roderick Chucky Gordon – I Never Wine
18. Akil 5 Star Akil Borneo – Partier
19. Sheldon Sheldon Nuggets Bullen – Not Yuh Manager
20. Leslie EL-Jay James – Trini Beauty
21. Denyse Plummer – Rock and Roll
22. Michelle Michelle X – Xavier – Hold Somebody
23. Lawrence Mr. Renzo Adams – Xrated
24. Nesta Sekon Sta Boxhill – Stick It
25. Jenelle J’Angel De Leon – Jook It
26. Charlene Charli Griffith – Go Down Low
27. Kevon Yankey Boy Heath – Rumors
28. Devon Lyrikal Martin – 25/8
29. Santeney Rampersad – Movin Alone
30. Sean Daniel – Magnet
Play Whe International Power Soca Monarch semi-finalists are:
1. Fay Ann Lyons – De Stage Open
2. Austin Super Blue Lyons – Fantastic Friday
3. Destra Garcia – Carry On
4. Neil Iwer D Boss George – Unfinished Business
5. Rodney Benjai Le Blanc – Engoma
6. Shurwayne Winchester – We Control D Road
7. Nadia Batson – Gutter
8. Edghill MX Prime Thomas – Rell Vibez
9. Wilt Tallpree Cambridge – Muddy Jab
10.Dexter Blaxx Stewart – In Charge
11. Gamal Skinny Fabulous Doyle – Monster Reigning Monarch in St. Vincent
12. Lornette Fya Empress Nedd-Reid – Rum Please
13. Marvin Swappi Davis – Cha-os
14. Timel BoyBoy Rivas – Put yuh flags up
15. Devon Prophet Benjamin Samuel – No Lokani
16. Jeffrey Peter Levels Biddeau – Ready Again
17. Rickey Lil’ Rick Reid – Cyah Bother We
18. Trevor Gore – Once Again
19. Anslem Douglas – Bacchanal
20. Jason JW Williams & Ancil Blaze Isaac Jr. – Timing It
21. Devon Matthews – Start It Up
22. Megan Walrond – Full Flight
23. Marcus Lavaman James – Psycho Reigning Monarch in Grenada
24. Shivonne Lil Bitts Churche – Raise D Dust
25. Emmanuel Chris Garcia – No Soup
26. I-Stan Chosen Scott – Bring A Flask And Come
27. Anthony Squeezy Rankin La Fleur – The Renaissance
28. Erphaan Alves – Doh Test We
29. Ronald Natro Date Wickham – Masquerader Drunk
30. Olatunji Yearwood – Tunji Mantana