Odyssey Editions, 2013,
ASIN: B00CEFF88S; 34 pages.
Review by Kevin Baldeosingh
History will be created come carnival 2K12 when Southex stages the first ever Junior National Chutney Soca Competition. Open to young people under the age of 18, the final of this innovative is scheduled for Friday, February 3, in Skinner Park, San Fernando. Disclosure of this new addition to Trinidad and Tobago Carnival was given by Southex CEO George Singh who said it is being held “with the blessings of the ministries of Education, Arts and Multiculturalism.” Singh further disclosed that this inaugural contest will carry a first prize of $30,000. From an initial screening of hopefuls, 15 finalists will be selected and the winner will be chosen solely through texting. With admission free to the final to children wearing school uniforms, Singh added: “This contest is staged to instill creative and competitive spirit from a young age, and to offer opportunities to young artistes to excel.” In other chutney soca news, the 2012 National Chutney Soca Monarch Competition will be officially launched on January 4, at the Jade, Ruby & Sapphire Rooms, of the Hyatt Regency Trinidad, on Wrightson Road, Port-of-Spain, at 7 pm.
For this contest as well, the monarch will be decided completely by texts. Singh explained there will be local texting; texting from Guyana and the USA; and, fixed line voting, the latter being something new to local competitions. Singh added that the National Chutney Soca Monarch final is the only competition to judged entirely by text voting. He also said that the 2012 competition is coming with new rules, including all selections must be 100 per cent original and no film music must be used as melodies. Singh also hinted that contestants will be requested from performing “rum songs,” a genre which has been prominent in recent contests. For the first time, the National Chutney Soca Monarch final is being held in North Trinidad, instead of Skinner Park, its traditional home base. Next year’s final takes place on Saturday, February 11, at the Queen’s Park Oval in Port-of-Spain. “We are coming to Port-of-Spain to make a statement,” said Singh. “It definitely will not the same production as been seen through the years in the south.”
For the opening of the production, the theme of the show –ONE, One Caribbean, One Music, One People – will be emphasised. It will include prominent artistes from Suriname, Guyana, Jamaica, and Barbados. Also featuring celebrity international artistes from the United States, one of the top drawer artistes to be billed is current Jamaican star Laza Morgan, whose single, “One by One” is a chart-rider. Singh also said that plans are afoot to stage a Guyana Chutney Soca Monarch competition later this year and, as a precursor to this, three Guyanese artistes will be among the 11 nationals chosen for the local final, plus one “wild card” semi-finalist, to be decided by text voting. Negotiations are currently in progress between Southex and official media sponsor Guardian Media Limited to have the January 21 semi-final beamed live from Rienzi Complex, Couva, on CNC3 television.
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