Alex Gift, better known as Tobago Chalkie, is the new Tobago Calypso Monarch. He was named winner on Thursday night after beating nine other contenders including last year’s winner Nicole Thomas...
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SuperBlue’s Fantastic year
If Austin Lyons (SuperBlue) wins this year’s Road March he will equal the record for wins—ten—held by the late Aldwyn Roberts (Lord Kitchener). He already holds the record for the most victories—seven—in the International Soca Monarch competition.
The past year was very hectic for SuperBlue, especially as he was the 2013 Road March champion and joint International Power Soca Monarch (tied with Machel Montano).
Reflecting on the year past, SuperBlue, 57, is undoubtedly experiencing a revival of his career.
He said: “I got the blessings of Carnival. It was one of the biggest blessings I have had in 30 years. The high points of my career were Soca Baptist in 1980, Get Something and Wave in 1991, and being the first soca artiste to win at the Caribbean awards. But this year was something extra special. People wrote me off but here I am, still bouncing.”
Contrary to popular belief, SuperBlue’s smash hit Fantastic Friday was not inspired by Carnival.
He revealed with a chuckle: “Fantastic Friday was actually inspired one day on the beach in Carenage. I would go to the beach, four, five times a week.
“So I was reflecting one day on the beach when I saw a bird land on a tree. The bird had one foot, but that bird didn’t give up. He just bounced and bounced on one foot then flew away. That is where the line ‘the bouncing start’ came from. Everything just flowed automatically. That was the work of God, ‘the true High Priest of Soca.’”
He added, “My most fantastic performance for the year was the night of the final of Soca Monarch. That was thunderous; that was an earthquake. It was phenomenal. The lyrics of the song lived that night.
“Winning the Soca Monarch and scoring the biggest victory in the history of the Road March goes beyond imagination and description. All I can say is thank God, there is a God.”
SuperBlue’s victories in the Soca Monarch and Road March competitions came like a fairy tale story for many of his fans, who wanted him to overcome his demons.
Nowhere was there more pride in his achievements than his hometown of Point Fortin, where a street was named after him in honour of his 2013 achievements. Formerly Sylvester Street, Austin Lyons Avenue was unveiled on February 28 and the Point Fortin Borough Corporation also declared May 3 as SuperBlue Day.
Another location named in his honour is the old Lions Club Play Park at Morrison Street, Mahaica, which will be called the Austin Lyons Children’s Play Park when it is completed.
This Carnival, SuperBlue plans to produce a mas band.
He said: “I am bringing out a J’Ouvert band named Blue Angels. Everybody has blue devils, but I don’t want that. My band will be one of angels.”
Other goals of SuperBlue include retaining the titles he won last year.
He said: “This week I intend to drop two contenders for Soca Monarch and Road March. In all I have five more songs to release. I hope Spankin’ takes me to the Dimanche Gras. This song is a tribute to Anthony Williams and Pan Am North Stars and deserves to be in the Savannah on final night.”
Reflecting on the season as well, Charles “Charlo” Oliver, a member of SuperBlue’s management team, disclosed that the much loved artiste toured extensively through the year.
He said: “In terms of tours, every month Super did at least one show in a Caribbean island - Jamaica, Barbados, St Vincent, St Lucia, St Kitts, Grenada and Antigua. We also did North America, performing twice in Toronto. Super performed at Caribana, Miami Carnival, Atlanta and, in New York in November. He also did countless shows locally.”
Oliver added: “It was a great experience working with Super, but it was very hard work. As part of management one had to deal with his moods, making sure that he was kept punctual for engagements.
“SuperBlue has lots of vision and is always thinking ahead. In July 2013 he said that he had gone past thinking of 2014, but was already planning for 2015. Unfortunately, I will not be as visible with him as I was last year. The experience with SuperBlue was a learning one as he is a good teacher.”
SuperBlue - Road March
1980 : Soca Baptist
1981 : Ethel
1983 : Rebecca
1991 : Get Something and Wave
1992 : Jab Jab
1993 : Bacchanal Time
1995 : Lara
2000 : Soca Matrix
2012 : Fantastic Friday
International Soca Monarch
1993 : Bacchanal Time
1994 : Flag Party
1996 : Bounce
1997 : Barbra
1998 : Ato Party
2000 : Soca Matrix
2013 : Fantastic Friday