Her triumph in this year’s Junior Calypso Monarch competition with the song Golden Chain proved to be bitter sweet for Terri Williams, known as Sparkle T on stage, as this was her final year competing in the 13-18 age group.

In an interview with Bajan Vibes, the 18-year-old former Queen’s College student said she was relieved by the win as all of her hard work over the years had finally paid off.

“After trying so long, I finally got it and next year I wouldn’t be able to enter again. It’s a really good feeling because I accomplished what I wanted to for so long,” Williams said.

After knocking on the winner’s door for quite a while, there was something special about 2017. Williams, who recently graduated from secondary school, had a huge work load. She was aiming for a Barbados Exhibition and preparing at the same time for the calypso competition.

“It was a little hard. I knew I had to get all my subjects at grade one and the preliminary for Junior Monarch is normally in May just around the time for exams” she said. “The song was written a little last minute because I had to finish write for the other kids I normally write for and then I had to do mine.”

Williams said at first she wasn’t totally comfortable with her song but received encouragement from veteran calypso king Red Plastic Bag and award winning songwriter Cheyne Jones.

“I wasn’t confident with the song, I had a lot of help with writing and adding to the song. Plastic Bag came over and we worked on melody and then Cheyne Jones who is associated with Water Street Boyz helped me as well. They wrote my Pic-o-de-Crop song and I built a relationship with them,” Sparkle T said.

“Cheyne really helped me with Golden Chain. Going to the tent (with) the song I still didn’t feel myself.  I was kind of out of breath with the song , but I pushed on and people liked it going forward and through the competition and it became popular. But it was only at the semi final stage, I became confident and started to add to the song.”

In addition to Junior Monarch, Sparkle T also decided to throw her singing hat into the Pic-o-de-Crop competition in which she wasn’t as successful. However, she sees not going far in that competition for more seasoned performers as a blessing in disguise.

“I would be honest, being that Pic-o-de-Crop semi finals were the Friday and Junior Monarch finals the Saturday and it was a lot of rehearsals and going into town and getting stuff done,” she said.

Sparkle T had a love for music and Caribbean culture from a tender age. She pursued music as a subject on the theory level but never practical and was actually asked to join the Junior Monarch competition.

Although being exposed to the stage for sometime, on the night she rose to supremacy, Williams admitted that she was anxious prior to performing, and was just hoping her segment went to plan.

“Before I went on, I was nervous. I knew that there was a lot of elements that had to go into my performance and if anything clashed, it would have been a problem. There was a lot of dancers and the stage is only so big so I was scared that something would happen but I prayed and went on.”

“I went on and the crowd was up dancing so that gave me motivation. I sang the song and I even forgot that the dancers were behind me at some points. It is only when I came off, I said to myself ‘Oh my gosh, it is over and nothing bad happened’ and I was good.”

Sparkle T admitted waiting for the results involved some jittery moments.

“At some point, I felt weak (and) I had to sit down, but I knew who my competition was so I figured that once their names were called, I would be the eventual winner,” she said. “My heart was beating the whole time. I was very nervous and scared and then the MC called my name.”

Source: by Anmar Goodridge-Boyce

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