Queens of the juniors
by Latoya Burnham
The two young girls, from Alleyne School and Samuel Jackman Prescod Polytechnic respectively, walked away with the Scotiabank Junior Calypso Monarch titles in the 8 to 12 and 13 to 18 categories, with songs written and arranged by Chrystal Cummins-Beckles.
The looks on the faces of both girls told that they were just as awed by the success in the very tight competition which came off at the Wildey Gymnasium.
In the 8 to 12s, Quinn P’s win with Living With HIV, beat out last year’s monarch Jazz-Z’s My Granny and Dynamo’s My X into second and third place respectively.
Quinn P appeared in the competition at place number six, dressed in a red and white school uniform for a short skit in which children refused to play with her because of her disease, and later rendered a most melodic song.
In an already tough competition, she performed the song with the appropriate angst of a child dealing with stigma.
Jazz-Z’s tribute to his late grandmother was not his customary playful topic, but a social commentary outlining some of the ills of society and comparing what is happening to the character and approach his grandmother would take. As far as criteria is concerned, he would have met it all with flying colours, crisp notes and clear diction to earn himself a top three spot.
As did Dynamo, with his Mission Impossible like opening to My X. It was a childish look at vote buying, suggesting that in order for politicians to get his X, they would have to deliver the goodies – snacks and toys. Where he had been struggling with his melody in past weeks, on Saturday night he was firm, even adding another verse which the crowd ultimately enjoyed.
Fourth place went to Mighty KT with Poverty, a decision that did not sit well with the crowd for the lad with the sweet voice, but which nevertheless was a good showing by the first timer, who did have challenges with his notes on the night, though he nailed each of the higher ones.
Further down the line, it cannot be said that DJ, Mighty King, Mighty Makeda or Raanan did poorly on the night, though they did score the last four positions in no particular order. Each had their strong points, and in the end it just might have been that the others were better.
If the 8 to 12s had a tough competition, then the tension among the seniors was doubly so. That Honesty and her plea on behalf of the disabled in Respect De Disable pushed her over the top, ahead of former queens Aziza and Sammy G must be commended.
Honesty’s passion for the topic was obvious and even more so when she brought her mother on stage at the end of the song, leaving off her last chorus as she did so.
Aziza was in her usual fighting form with The Guardians of Calypso and she brought former monarchs Tiffany G, AC, Sir Ruel and Myles-Z on stage to support her song, while Sammy G was ever the fiery and confident lass in Successful Sammy.
Fourth was De MC whose Uplift The Youth of Society has been very well delivered and received all season. In the bottom four, in no particular order, were Mandisa, Small One, Sparkle T and Young G.
It was a tight and enjoyable night in which the youngsters definitely brought their A-game and which by any standard would have been a very close call. firstname.lastname@example.org