Big People Party, performed by Daryl “Farmer Nappy” Henry, will be performed in position 39 at the semifinals of the 2014 Digicel International Groovy Soca Monarch Competition. However, eyebrows have been raised about the song’s originality with detractors claiming the song’s verse is suspiciously similar to Big People Party, sung by Teddyson John of St Lucia in 2012. Henry sought yesterday to give an explanation on the bona fides of the composition.
He said: “As with every Carnival, after I had a hit last year with Stranger, I travel sourcing new material for the following year. “Composer Steve Sealy of Ghost Writers approached me with the song. I subsequently took it to the Red Boyz in Barbados and they loved it, suggesting that I do it. Henry said when he recorded it at the end of last month while in Tampa for a show he began singing the material he intended using for the promoter.
“He (Sealy) told me then ‘you know it already has a Big Party out?’ I was shocked. I then listened to Teddyson’s song and realised the chorus was basically the same melody.” He added: “I then contacted Red Boyz and my management, which is also in Barbados. They also called Ghost Writers and they explained to me that Teddyson came to Trinidad previously to do a Red Bull ad. They showed me a voice note on April 4, 2012 of them having an original copy of the song.
“Apparently, Teddyson took Ghost Writers’ voice note and wrote a song using the chorus. His song was released on June 26, 2012. “He never informed them that he took Ghost Writers song. The song never scored so nobody ever heard of it. Now that my song is big some people are trying to raise an ants patch. “I am not the writer of the song, and this matter is in the hands of Ghost Writers’ attorneys. I have already contacted COTT and have submitted my recording.
“I love this song very much as I feel it could bring back peace and love in this country. I am singing about a country returning to love and togetherness, and to build my country,” Henry said. Sealy, a partner of Ghost Writers, along with Emmanuel Rudder and Brandson Villafana, said yesterday: “It is not an issue about anyone stealing anything. It is just a misunderstanding that will be resolved. We are dealing with it right now as professionals. We have spoken to Teddyson and are working it out.
“We have the proof that our melodies were done in April 2012. We continue to do work with Teddyson and we are friendly with him. We are simply allowing the song to live and thrive.” Sealy asked: “How come it wasn’t brought to anyone’s attention in 2012 that Teddyson had this song? Why only now that Nappy’s song is happening?” “I have covered all bases. I spoke with the head of the International Groovy Soca Monarch (Peter Scoon) Competition as I was concerned about the song’s legitimacy and they said it was alright.”