His voice breathes a fresh new pop-type sound to soca and his Groovy selection for Carnival 2012, In Your Eyes on the Antilles Riddim by KC Phillips, is undeniably infections. What has soca lovers even more intrigued about this youngster is the need to put a face to this distinct sweet voice and the name that is on every girl's tongue-Erphaan Alves. But although he may seem new to some, this Central boy has been performing since the age of nine, making his name in both the Junior Calypso and Junior Soca Monarch Competitions, winning consecutively in the latter, in 2008 and 2009 with his own compositions titled Soca Moving and Musical Journey. His taste of victory also came years before, when he took home the title consecutively as well, from 2001 to 2003 in the Rosary Boys RC School Calypso Competition.
Asked what inspires him to write, Alves said just looking at life and observing people and situations around him.An entrant in the Soca Monarch Competition for the fifth time, this year the cards have really played into Alves' hands, with soca heavyweights such as Machel Montano, and Kees Dieffenthaller trusting in his writing skills. Yes, Alves is the mastermind behind Precision Wine sung by Dieffenthaller, Swing It Up sung by Patrice Roberts, Dutty sung by upcoming artiste Gabrielle Alfonzo, Make You Rock and 4D Gyal sung by Swappi and he co-wrote the popular Doh Fraid chart-topper, sung by Machel Montano.So are any of these artistes his mentors? Alves says not really."I respect all these artistes for pushing soca music and the art form but I am not really interested in copy-catting anyone or wanting to be like them. I am grateful to have worked with all of them but I am blazing my own trail," he said with a laugh.
At 20-years-old with the gift to explore his talent and the opportunity to make his name known, Alves says he isn't too concerned about the hype, but in fact he is humbled by this chance he calls a blessing from God. "I am really grateful and humbled by this opportunity this year because it's what I always wanted, and now that it's here I am just going to make the best of it." He added that more importantly people are becoming familiar with who Erphaan Alves is as the season progresses and he makes appearances at events. "I am getting the chance to get people familiar with who I am and refreshing the minds of those who probably forgot," he noted.
Best foot Forward
Asked what soca lovers could look forward to as he takes the stage at the Digicel International Soca Monarch Competition on Carnival Friday night should he make it to the finals, Alves who will compete in both the Groovy and Power categories, said he is working on delivering a performance pleasing to himself, the fans and the judges.