You are here
Pure tempo for Soca Monarch 2013
It was a long day yesterday for ten Soca Monarch judges as they sifted through a total of 423 songs—245 coming from entrants in the groovy category and 178 in the power. From as early as 9.30 am they disciplined themselves to carefully, listen to, one-by-one, the offerings from each hopeful.
The preliminary was conducted at the Cascadia Hotel in Cascade, St Ann’s. A representative of Caribbean Prestige Foundation (CPF) told the T&T Guardian registration for the competitions began in November but many of the artistes registered quite late, as late as Saturday evening. The representative said almost overnight the figures jumped from 20 entrants in both categories to the figure mentioned above.
Speaking to CPF’s president and director of Soca Monarch, William Munro, he said he was happy to see the media at the judging, as they would have got a true sense of what really takes place behind the scenes leading up to the competition’s semifinals. “Artistes always believe that I am responsible for who makes it to the semifinals and I am glad you all are here to see that it has nothing to do with me and everything to do with fair judging,” said Munro.
He said of the 423, 40 to 45 of the best will make it to the semifinals, those names will be revealed tomorrow. He said apart from the few songs that just won’t make the cut, the quality of 2013 soca is fantastic—the best in the last 20 years, he believes.
He said while he hoped that the radio stations would give all artistes the kind of airplay they deserved, he understood that it is impossible for all the music, which is a lot, to be played all at once. “There are many good tunes you would not hear on the radio but we at the office and the judges will hear, these are some of the songs that make it into the semifinals and finals,” explained Munro.
He said, however, all who would have been selected to move on to the semifinals, their songs will receive heavy rotation on all radio frequencies and television channels, to which Soca Monarch is affiliated.
Prize monies increased
Winners of best presentation will now receive more money than in the past. In this category the first place winner will now get $100,000 as oppose to the former $75,000. In second place that artiste will receive $75,000 instead of $50,000 and the third place winner will earn $50,000.
The overall prize money has also been increased. In the groovy category artistes placing in the fifth to tenth positions will now take home $150,000 instead of $100,000, while those in power, in the same positions, will get $165,000, replacing the previous sum of $115,000.
The 2013 Groovy Monarch will score $1 million and the Power Monarch more than $2 million. The exact figure for the latter is still being negotiated Munro disclosed. Munro said he took the decision to increase the prize money to encourage all the artistes to really outdo themselves with their presentations. It also compensates them for the large sum of money they spend on their presentations, he added.
“This show is being showcased to the world and so we want our artistes in the competition to be looking and sounding their best on that night,” said Munro.
Speaking again on the return of Ian “Bunji Garlin” Alvarez and wife Fay Ann Lyons, Munro said he was ecstatic to know that they were once again on board. He said both artistes are extremely hard working and serious about their craft, therefore he expects nothing but the best from them. He said this year others who have stayed away from the competition for a while have also returned. Edghill Thomas aka Maximus Dan was one of those people.
He also praised Austin “Super Blue” Lyons for returning to the show and the soca circuit generally, saying his presence has attracted more patrons and this was fact, coming from information reaching CPF’s office. He added the show this year will be tempo from start to finish—no dull moments, just energy all over. From the food to the decor to the entertainment to the after party—all will be well.
“We have the best music in the world, many have taken our Caribbean beats, rhythms and grooves and turned it into a genre. We shouldn’t be struggling when we have a Grammy worthy product,” said Munro. He said Soca Monarch will invade the world and will take soca music to the Grammys.
“CPF is working closely with the right people to get us there, so it will happen in due time,” vowed Munro. He thanked Prime Minister Kamla Persad-Bissessar and the Government for taking a keen interest in the show and for supporting the artistes.
“Access to the globe is now on a phone. Tell me why, if we package and promote our culture wisely, it won’t go worldwide? asked Munro. “We have been tarrying with this thing far too long, time to make serious strides. I do hope all responsible for our culture and even those in the region, will see CPF’s vision and come on board,” said Munro.
• For all things Soca Monarch 2013, visit www.socamonarch.net
User comments posted on this website are the sole views and opinions of the comment writer and are not representative of Guardian Media Limited or its staff. Guardian Media Limited accepts no liability and will not be held accountable for user comments.
Please help us keep out site clean from inappropriate comments by using the flag option.
Guardian Media Limited reserves the right to remove, to edit or to censor any comments. Any content which is considered unsuitable, unlawful or offensive, includes personal details, advertises or promotes products, services or websites or repeats previous comments will be removed.