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Young talent vie for top prize
Vishal Persad is known in the musical world as KI. This year, for the bMobile International Chutney Soca Monarch (CSM), he offers a catchy song entitled Single Forever. KI said the track was receiving immense national airplay and he hopes it would be just enough to take him to the finals and eventually to snatch the coveted CSM crown. KI comes from a musical family. He and his father, Veerendra Persad, own the band 3Veni. KI won the Mastana Bahar competition when he was eight and started his career as a keyboardist with the band. He became a vocalist just over two years ago.
His experience in the world of entertainment led him to taking the third spot in last year’s CSM with No More Rum Again. KI said he was looking forward to participating at the finals in Port-of-Spain, which he described as an excellent move that would only serve to heighten the competition.
Sangre Grande lass Arti Butkoon, 27, wants to the first woman to take the Chutney Soca Monarch title. “I want to make history, no woman has ever taken the title.” Butkoon is offering Mousie Get Away, a song that portrays the activities of women when they prepare and celebrate in the days that precede a Hindu wedding. Butkoon said the song was catchy and encouraged dancing. She is making her third appearance to the CSM. She was among the finalists last year with Down by the River. Butkoon started singing at the age of 15 and is currently a member of the band Melobugz, having performed previously with Indi Art, Triveni and The Beamers. Butkoon expressed excitement about the final round of the competition being held in the nation’s capital. She said this would only serve to assist in the promotion of the art form through wider exposure.
Pichakaree champ Mohip Poonwassie will be performing Maito Dharti Puje on Saturday at the semifinal rounds of the Chutney Soca Monarch. Poonwassie said his offering was a “Chatak Matak chutney” portraying the true meaning of the Maticoor-Hardi-Saffron, Friday night of the Hindu wedding. Poonwassie has since asked his supporters to wear yellow, the colour of Hardi-saffron. Poonwassie has participated in the competition since 2000. “I am pleased that George Singh has announced that this year’s competition will focus on originality and positive lyrics. I am happy that I have been selected to compete in the semifinal round, for I have not been to the semis since 2009.
“I hope my song Maito Dharti Puje will make it to the finals. This song is based on the traditions of the Maticoor Hardi Saffron Friday night of the Hindu wedding. It is in this celebration that chutney was more or less conceptualised in breakaway tunes.” He said his composition this year was composed by him and Rukmini Holass Beepath, while the music was done by Sunil Ramsook of KNS Recording Studio in Mc Bean, Couva. Although only 12 artistes will be chosen out of 43 semi-finalists, Poonwassie is confident that his selection has just as good a chance to make it big and into the finals in Port-of-Spain.
He complained that a major problem faced by artistes each year was the unwillingness of some local Indian radio stations to play the work of all local artistes. He said taking the finals of the Chutney Soca Monarch to Port-of-Spain was a good idea, as “it will further expand the national and international stature of this art form.”
Adesh Samaroo is determined and will be putting 1000 per cent forward in his bid to capture the 2012 Chutney Soca Monarch title. Samaroo, 30, who will be offering Drunk Man Don’t Lie to the judges, said he wrote the song that tells a tale of a man telling a friend about intimate experience he had with a woman whom they both knew. Samaroo said he made it to the finals last year with Much Much Much, but this year he is determined to take the crown. Samaroo shot to fame in 2001 with Rum Til I Die, and later went on to score with the remake of Rajinder Jeem Jeem. He said he was excited about going to Port-of-Spain for the final round of the competition because, “Port-of-Spain in the heart of Carnival. It’s where Carnival entertainment really is and would give further national and international exposure to the art form. Kudos to George Singh and Southex.
Samaroo won the National Chutney Monarch in 2004. In April 2005, he was involved in a major vehicular accident that left him in a critical condition. He returned to performing seven months later, on November 12, 2005, at Skinner Park, San Fernando, at a concert entitled The Return Of Adesh, Thanks For Life.