The final stage of the 2012 Flavorite Supreme Ice Cream National Junior Soca Monarch competition takes place tomorrow morning, at the Queen’s Park Savannah, Port-of-Spain, at 10 am. Dubbed Awesome Friday, the competition promises to be fierce, as competitors seek to dethrone reigning champs Serjio Camejo—in the Primary category—and Marq Pierre—in the Secondary category. Here is a quick look at what some of the competitors are bringing to the table.
Jeromy Rodriguez (Primary category)
Jeromy Rodriguez was born on September 9, 2001 in Elizabeth, New Jersey, USA. His mother is Venezuelan and his father is Trinidadian, which has exposed Rodrigues to the Spanish language and the cultures of all relating countries from a very tender age. His keen interest in singing came as early as age two, and his love for pan followed at age four. He plays both the double tenor and lower C tenor pan. He is a song writer in his own right, as he has a unique style of penning his compositions. Rodriguez is a standard four “A” student of the St Mary’s Government Primary School, and he is considered a role model student that is well balanced both in academics and arts and culture. He is the reigning 2011 Junior Calypso Monarch for the Princes Town/Tableland Committee as well as the Moruga Carnival Committee. He is determined to retain his titles, and cop the TUCO Junior Calypso and Flavorite Supreme Ice Cream National Junior Soca titles. “I love to sing. I just love to perform and entertain people. I love all types of music, but soca is where my heart is. I sing calypso because it gives me the ability to express myself more. “I am armed with the tools to take soca to the Grammy’s if those before me are unsuccessful, because in my opinion, whatever America does the rest of the world follows. So therefore, soca needs to hit the US Grammy’s and the rest will fall into place,” Rodgriguez said.
Nku Patrick (Secondary category)
Nku Patrick was born on January 16, 1997 to parents Raymond and Hyacinth Patrick. He is a fourth form student of Naparima College in San Fernando and is pursuing Business Studies, and hopes to become an attorney at law. He is a National and Caribbean Squash champion and is a member of his school’s under-14 football team. He started singing at the age of eight, emulating his father Raymond “Patches” Patrick, who is a former South Calypso Monarch. While attending primary school he competed and won the San Fernando Boys Government School Calypso competition on a few occasions. Patrick has won Naparima’s Junior Calypso Monarch for the past two years, and placed fifth at the 2010 NYAC Junior Calypso Monarch and was a semi-finalist in the 2011 TUCO Calypso competition. In addition to being an avid singer, Patrick also plays the piano, guitar and the cuatro. He has attained Grade 3 certification in Theory and Grade 2 in the practical exams from Trinity College London. He decided to enter the Junior Soca Monarch this year because of his love for soca, which he described as part of the “Trini” culture. His main influence was his older brother, Osei “Noble Vox” James, who was one of the Synergy Soca Star Season 6 finalists, and who wrote and produced his song We Mas.
Stefan Camejo (Primary category)
Stefan Camejo was born on September 18, 2004 into an actively musical family. He is the third of four children born of Enrico and Akella Camejo. A second year infant student at Sacred Heart Boys’ RC in Port-of-Spain, this is the first time he has entered any calypso competition. His rendition is entitled A time for everything. His hobbies including singing, riding, skateboarding, running, and of course, like every other boy, he loves video games.
Jumaane Kunle Cox (Secondary category)
Jumaane Kunle Cox, who goes by the sobriquet “Juby,” was born on a Carnival Tuesday, February 23, 1993. Therefore, it should come as no surprise, that the his first name, Jumaane, means born on a Tuesday. From the day he was born he adopted the love for culture, calypso and Carnival. A sixth form student at Queen’s Royal College (QRC), his love for football saw him participating in QRC’s Intercol football team from as early as third form and continued throughout his tenure at the school. His local football club is Joe Public FC. Juby jumped into the soca arena at QRC’s annual calypso competition. Success at this competition spurred him on to his first release in 2011, More Girls. Juby contributes his success and bravery on stage to his love for extempo, which it was discovered he could do from the age of four. In 2012, Juby is sending a message to the nation, entitled Doh Overdo It. The song is a message to the citizens of T&T to enjoy the Carnival celebrations, have fun, but be responsible and don’t overdo it.
Marq Pierre (Secondary category)
Marq Pierre is a 15-year-old fourth form student at North Eastern College in Sangre Grande and the reigning Flavorite Supreme Ice Cream National Junior Soca Monarch in the Secondary category. Pierre began singing at the age of four, with his first public performance being a rendition of Tanty Say at his elementary school’s graduation ceremony in 2000.
Although he enjoys other genres of music, naturally he displays a heightened love for calypso and soca. In 2005, at age nine, his mother wrote a calypso, which he sang at a competition. He won and the rest, as they say, is history. But his interests are not limited to music. He also dabbles in Science, football, swimming and track and field. His career goal is to match Civil Engineering and Information Technology to continued involvement in music. “I have an incredible support system and a firm relationship with God and so I believe I can achieve everything that I set my heart to,” Pierre said.