Rick Ramoutar is the new Chutney Soca Monarch.
An emotional Ramoutar, 38, was announced this year’s monarch shortly after 2 am at Skinner Park, San Fernando, yesterday.
With teary eyes, the Couva man was escorted on stage by his wife Vanessa Ramoutar and children, surrounded by his supporters.
Vanessa was also a contender in the race for a chance to win a $400,000 incentive at the 29th edition of the competition hosted by Southex Event Management Company.
Ramoutar said this was his 17th attempt in the competition and attributed his victory to Vanessa’s input.
Ramoutar said the song Luuuzzaa (Loser) was developed from a negative social media post two months ago about him, which he considered cyberbullying. He said it took the couple 15 minutes to construct the song after the spouse of a fellow chutney soca artiste on a social media live criticised his ability, a post which made the rounds online.
Despite penning ten songs for the season, Ramoutar said Luuzzaarr got the most traction with viewers and was the one he decided to use in the competition.
“There was a social media outrage and my name was calling a lot a couple of months ago; so we took that and not just writing the song, it is not just based on that but on the entire social media bullying, school bullying, we took that idea and we try to bring an awareness towards bullying,” Ramoutar said.
Praising his wife for her support, he said, “I wanted her to win tonight because I know she is my backbone. Everything you saw on stage was all Vanessa’s idea, she put together every single piece, outfit, and presentation.”
Setting the bar high for more artistes entering the industry, he continued, “Over the past 17 years I give my best. My production, this year as an extra step, I brought to the stage my brothers from Guyana; Tony Cutts, Vicadi Singh and Master Salimi Beharry uniting our music together, bringing everyone together, as the Guyanese market has the most amount of listeners ... We would continue not just with our group but with all the younger artistes.
“Come next year, it not just going to have one or two hit songs. It would have ten hit songs in the finals and I want to work with each and every single one to accomplish that next year.”
Bringing her A-game to the competition, Vanessa, with Lady Lava, performed Suno Suno Balana, promoting women and advocating for better support for those who are suffering from mental and social issues.
She stood by Ramoutar’s side, endorsing his win as a success to her strong family unit.
Vanessa said, “I am super excited, I felt like I won the competition, hard work paid off, not just with any song but a positive song.”
Last year’s winner, Ricardo “Daddy Chinee” Melville placed second with 358 points, 51 less than Ramoutar, while Rawythee Ramroop was third with 350 points.
In the Chutney Soca Queen category, Rawythee Ramroop won the title and the $100,000 cash prize, while there a two-way tie for second between Vanessa Ramoutar/Lady Lava and Shazeena “Shazzi” Ramsumair, who sang XXX Drama (Move On). Kavita “Chutney Empress” Ramkissoon was third with Driver.
Ramroop endorsed Ramoutar’s win for his dedication to the art form over the years.
“We represent chutney soca music not just in Trinidad and Tobago but throughout the world and we would continue to represent every single day,” she said.
Southex CEO George Singh also presented three awards to Rafi Mohammed, former Chutney Soca Monarch Ravi B and Rooplal Girdharie.
Chutney Soca Monarch
1. Rick Ram, Luuzzaarr – 409 points
2. ↓Daddy Chinee, Tassa and Pan – 358 pts
3. ↓Rawythee Ramroop – Whining Down To the Ground – 350 Points
Queen of Chutney Soca
1. ↓Rawythee Ramroop, Whining Down To the Ground.
2. ↓Vanessa Ramoutar/Lady Lava, Suno Suno Balana, & Shazeena “Shazzi” Ramsumair, XXX Drama (Move On).
3. ↓Kavita “ Chutney Empress” Ramkissoon, Driver.