You are here
Eager participants gear up for Chutney Soca Monarch semifinal
The eagerly awaited semifinal for the 2012 bMobile International Chutney Soca Monarch Competition is scheduled to take place this Saturday at Rienzi Complex, Couva, at 8.30 pm. In all, 43 qualifiers, including a number of previous winners, will face the experienced and competent panel of judges. Joining the local finalists for a grand finale on February 11, at the Queen’s Park Oval in Port-of-Spain, and challenging defending Monarch Rikki Jai, will be three finalists from Guyana.
Melanie sweet like a honey bee
Chutney Soca singer Melanie Alicia “Honeybee” Bartoo hopes to run away with the 2012 title. There is more to this young woman from Central Trinidad than meets the eye as she is a legal liaison officer and is studying for her diploma in law as well. Bartoo is the daughter of popular 80s rock music DJ Muktiram “Bees” Bartoo of Bees Hi-Fi fame. In 2004, she launched her own career as DJ Darkchild; in 2005, she performed as a dancer at the Chutney Soca Monarch finals and, later that year, entered the bmobile Party Flava competition. In 2006, Bartoo started performing with Divya, an all-female band, then switched to Karma. She then recorded a cover version of Akiya Milake from the Bollywood movie Rattan.
Bartoo has since performed in Canada, Holland and Spain. Motherhood and the birth of the son Christopher Garcia shelved her career until 2009 when she joined Daddy Chinee’s band Hipnotic. “I decided to jump back into the industry by joining his band putting several hours in practicing and the band was versatile and performed at many events. “In 2010, both myself and Daddy Chinee, wrote my first original song titled My Name is Honeybee, a re-introduction of myself into the entertainment industry,” she said. Bartoo teamed with Neeshan “D Hitman” Prabhoo and collaborated on the remix of the same song and subsequently left Hipnotic and entered the Chutney Soca Monarch in 2011 with My Name is Honeybe which took her past auditions to the preliminaries. In mid-2011, Melanie released Leggo Meh Hand which she entered in this year’s competition.
She said: “The concept of this song is about me going out with friends to enjoy myself and have a great time dancing without interruptions. “I chose to enter Chutney Soca Monarch 2012 for the purpose of experience and personal accomplishment. “Being picked out of 140 contestants, the feeling was overwhelming and very positive in my career. I intend to make this experience a remarkable one and most importantly get the goodness of enjoying what I love to do …perform. “Whereas, if I am considered one of the contestants for the finals my intentions are just to entertain. If however, I’m not picked for the finals, at least at the end of the day I would like everyone who will be indulged in this event (both local and international) can say with regards to my performance that ‘she could entertain’ and by hearing that alone is satisfactory.”
Babwah hunts for the title
Lalchan “Hunter” Babwah is best know for his track Jep Sting Naina but his career on music started long before the release of this monster track. Babwah, 39, hails from Uquire Road, Freeport, Trinidad where he still lives. His life in music began at the turn of the century (1999-2000) when he joined Dil-e-Nadan, a popular band at that time, and wrote the hit track 40-22, a tale about a young man having a relationship with an older woman. Hunter said at that point in his life he realised his calling was not only in singing but also writing songs. Since then he has written all his lyrics and continues to assist fellow artistes with lyrics. In 2002-2003, Hunter joined forces with Karma and, in 2006-2007, he established ties with Big Rich, D’ Pungalunks Factory.
Babwah’s career skyrocketed with hits as like Rum in D Morning, a track that featured Bunji Garlin, and Bring it (2008); Jep Sting Naina, with Ravi B and Kes (2008); Puncheon (2009); Tanty Man (2010); One Thirty with Dupatee Ramgoonai (2011); Block Meh (2011); Engine (2011); and, D Goutie. Hunter said he plans on winning the 2012 bmobile Chutney Soca Monarch competition with the track One Thirty. He said: “After the competition and the dust settles I would like to see everyone in the industry continue to keep the heritage alive with love and professionalism toward each other.”