Bunji Garlin won the Best International Performance category award with his hit single Differentlogy in the 2013 Soul Train Awards in Las Vegas.Televised on Sunday night on BET, the ceremony was pre-taped on November 9 and was hosted by Anthony Anderson. Garlin was informed of his win three weeks ago.Contacted at his home yesterday, Garlin (Ian Alvarez) said of his achievement: "I am feeling a joy, an overall joy. This is a God-given opportunity for the song, seeing where it has reached.
"It is also a joy because God has blessed my atmosphere with some incredible fans who supported the song and they have basically taken Differentology to the ends of the earth."Sharing in Garlin's joy is his wife, former Road March winner and International Power Soca Monarch Fay-Ann Lyons. Of her he said: "Fay-Ann is elated and is really happy. Last night she told me, 'Mr Alvarez, I am very proud of you.'"
Comparing his Soul Train win to his success in Soca Monarch, Garlin said: "The main difference is that winning this award is not only recognised all over the world but is seen all over the world as well."The win is significant to be a part of the legacy that Soul Train has been around for so long. To win something as big as that is being amongst the best in the world and the history of world music.
"In Soca Monarch, as much as it is travelled worldwide, it gets mainly to the Caribbean community. The Soul Train viewership is way beyond the Caribbean. People from elsewhere are hearing the song and realising that this is something from here and they pay more attention."Looking beyond 2013, Garlin said: "My music has plenty plenty more to go. I have only just began discovering some interesting things musically. My musical journey has only just started.
"People can look for a lot of uniqueness for Carnival 2014, like nothing heard before."In response to questions from his fans of a perceived maturity by Garlin in recent years, he said: "Times, wisdom, knowledge, understanding, maturity, family, and being firmly rooted spiritually is responsibile for that perception. I am realising more spiritually so I am continuing to grow."
In the Best International Performance category, Differentology and Garlin's rivals were The Fog (Machel Montano); Next to Me (Emeli Sande); Personally (P Square) and Ur Waist (Iyanya).
Soca artists say congrats
Joining thousands globally extending congratulations to Garlin were former Soca Monarch winners Machel Montano and Kees Dieffenthaller.Montano sent congratulations to Garlin via Instagram, saying: "Massive congratulations to @BunjiGarlin on copping the Soul Train award tonight! Well deserved!!! Big Respect to @Sheriffmumbles!!! Take soca to the world."
Dieffenthaller posted: "The dawn of a new era! Let's continue to inspire a generation to dream beyond the so-called limits and be GREAT. Congrats again to @BunjiGarlin and to the @MachelMontanoHD camp for the nomination. One mission–One T&T."
�2 Garlin's debut on the big stage was in 1999, the first year he entered the Soca Monarch competition.
�2 He placed 23rd out of 25 finalists but persevered to become one of the brightest lights in music and entertainment. That year, Garlin's song was titled Send that Rhythm Crazy and the title was won by Kurt Allen singing Bees.
�2 Subsequent to his disappointing debut in the International Soca Monarch Competition, Garlin went on to win on four occasions, doing so in 2002 (In de Ghetto); 2004 (Warrior Cry); 2005 (Blaze de Fire); and, then 2008 (Fire).
�2 With his career on a different path, Garlin last year said he had retired from the competition.