Msc, Lecturer, CISPS
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Machel in tough fight for groovy
With just one day before the highly-anticipated Digicel International Groovy Soca Monarch and NLCB Power Soca Monarch competitions, DJs from urban radio station Slam 100.5FM have been offering their predictions on the victors of tomorrow night’s show at the Hasely Crawford Stadium. Slam 100.5 is the official radio station for the International Soca Monarch.
The radio personalities also took the opportunity to comment about possible Road March winners and pronounce on the state of soca music in 2014. It will be no surprise to those who are following the party circuit and listening intently to the radio that names like Machel Montano, Kerwin Dubois, Bunji Garlin and Farmer Nappy were at the top of their lists.
There are two men defending the Power Soca title, Montano and Superblue. Superblue, who had an amazing comeback with Fantastic Friday last year, has offered Carnival YoYo as his power song for 2014.
All the DJs, however, are disappointed with what they called Superblue’s “weak song”. They said he hasn’t given his fans the opportunity to continue celebrating his comeback.
“Last year Superblue came out of nowhere and stole the hearts of his fans like he did in the past but he seems to be unable to match that kind of energy and drive we experienced from him last year,” said Sebro. Sebro. Moore and Sheppard believed that Montano would easily retain his power soca crown.
They said the Grenadian performer, Mr Killa could make it among the top five, but he would have to devise something new for his stage presentation.
“His presentation has been sort of cliched, so it would be interesting to see what he is coming with on the night," Moore said.
In fact, all three DJs felt there have not been many impressive power soca songs this year.
“If you check it out there aren't many power songs this year. Many deejays had to go back into their collection of 2013 power soca to play at events," Sebro said.
Gregory “Salti” Sebro said he does not believe that defending champion Machel Montano will retain his Groovy Soca title this year and is backing Kerwin Dubois to win with Too Real.
His colleagues David “Young Kingston” Sheppard and Leslie "Ezel" Moore weren’t so sure it would be easy for DuBois, as they think Montano could win with Happiest Man Alive.
“The song may not be one of his better songs, but Machel has the element of surprise. The Soca Monarch is about executing your performance to the best of your ability and that is something Machel knows how to do quite easily," Moore said.
He added Du Bois was at his best this year as all of his 2014 songs are hits, but if he has to beat Montano on Friday night, his performance would have to be at its maximum.
“We can also look out for Cassi as a dark horse in the race. I saw him at the semis and his performance was quite good, said Moore. “Then there is Farmer Nappy who is really making quite an impact on groovy soca lovers with Big People Party.”
Sebro felt the quality of soca, especially in the groovy category was “off the chain” this year.
“A lot of artistes are actually writing a whole lot better. They’ve stepped up their game and I really cannot say anything bad about the kind of music released this year, most of the songs are really good,” he said.
As the Slam DJs are at the forefront of popular music culture, they’re able to observe how soca music is changing as a genre. They pointed out that soca is being heavily influenced by electronic dance music (EDM) but they have no fear that the mixing of genres would take away from the authenticity of soca music.
“Music must evolve as it always has. The mixing of genres is to appeal to a wider audience...an international audience,” Moore said.
“I must add that one soca song can now be heard in so many different lights. You have the original song and then you have remixes and what we now call road mixes. These remixes and road mixes will add new music to that song, but the original song never really dies. So as I said before, it is just a matter of appealing to wider audiences,” Moore said.
The three DJS were unanimous that Montano would take the Road March title with Ministry of Road.
Moore said the composition is the “ultimate song for masqueraders to cross the stage,” but it was getting stiff competition from Bunji Garlin's Truck On D Road.
Here are the songs the Slam 100.5FM DJs believe will dominate the road in 2014.
Truck On D Road—Bunji Garlin
Rolly Polly—Mr Killa
Mama Oye—Iwer George
Too Real—Kerwin Dubois
Press A Button—Kerwin Dubois
Spoil Mihself—Kerwin Dubois
Monster Winer—Kerwin Dubois
HMA (Happiest Man Alive)—Machel Montano
Ministry of Road—Machel Montano
Big People Party—Farmer Nappy
To Mih Heart—5 Star Akil
Mash Up—Destra Garcia
Catch Me—Fay-Ann Lyons
Come Out To Play—Benjai
Guardian Media Limited is the official media partner of the International Soca Monarch. For more information about the International Soca Monarch, visit the Facebook page facebook.com/socamonarch.
Groovy Soca Monarch Finalists
ARTIST SONG TEXT CODE
Cassi Man In Yuh House CASI
Biggie Irie Need A Rhythm BIGG
Tallpree Jab Nation PREE
Farmer Nappy Big People Party FARM
Denise “Saucy Wow” Belfon Chuku Chuku SWOW
Destra Garcia First Time DEST
Erphaan Alves Contagious ERPH
Skinny Fabulous Behaving the Worst SKFB
Mr Famous Play More Local MFAM
Kerwin Du Bois Too Real KCDB
Machel Montano Happiest Man Alive MMHD
Ravi B Bread RAVI
POWER Soca Monarch Finalists
ARTIST SONG TEXT CODE
SuperBlue Carnival YoYo SUPA
Ann-G We Love Carnival ANNG
Destra Garcia Mash Up DEST
Lyrikal Lockdown LYRO
Devon Matthews Level It DEVM
Snakey The Dhoti Song SNKE
Mr Killa Rolly Polly KILA
Nadia Batson Rated R NBMB
Iwer George Mama Oye IWER
Machel Montano Ministry of Road MMHD
Patrice Roberts Fetting Di Most PRMA
Fans can have their say on who wins the International Soca Monarch titles.
It’s a simple process, just use the following codes and be aware that each text costs $2.
To vote for contestants in the ISM Power category, text contestant code to 7622 OR SOCA.
And to vote for contestants in the ISM Groovy Category, text contestant code to 4768 OR GROV.