A star is born
Tian Winter is really that good. It is not by chance, luck or the absence of four-time crowned Soca Monarch champion Claudette ‘CP’ Peters, which saw 24-year-old Winter take both the Groovy and Jumpy Party Monarch titles. It should have been evident from his 2009 Carnival songs that the young man had stepped his game up and was serious about his ambitions of taking the region, and ultimately the world, by storm.
On ‘Bacchanal Saturday’, the 2009 Party Monarch competition at the Antigua Recreation Ground (ARG) was filled with revelers sporting rags and T-shirts supporting particular artists. Most if not every performer had their crowd supporters present to encourage them as they all made a bid for the two elusive crowns which have been dominated by Soca diva Peters. CP chose to sit out this year’s competition, making way for a new head to balance the crowns.
First up was the Groovy section, which saw a high level of performances from all ten artists taking the stage, but it was clear that ladies man Winter, stood above the rest. His rendition of Baby I was all that and more as he gave the crowd just what they wanted. Jashan Hughes, who placed first runner-up, showed us why it won’t be easy for anyone entering the competition next year. A natural singer, she gave her best and deserved her spot Newcomer Tammy, taking a lead from her usual backup role, overcame a power outage during her performance to place second runner-up and demonstrated courage and professionalism as she returned to the stage to finish her song. Other finalists were Supa Mario, Danskie, Samoya, Lion King, Pumpstan, Byke and Kiuyode Erasto.
Unfortunately, there was a long tiring break between the Groovy and Jumpy sections, made easier to accept only due to the top-notch guest performance of Miss Peters herself, who reminded everyone, “Until dem crown someone else, I am the reigning Queen, come show you why.” Fans were in a frenzy as she performed all the hits that have made her the success she is today.
The Jumpy section did not match the same high standard as the Groovy. It became clear that the competition for the crown was between Mervyn ‘Sleepy’ Edwards and Tian. Sleepy took the stage performing his Carnival anthem after a small skit where he was knighted by CP. It was a fitting handing over segment clouded only by the ‘rebellious’ performance of Tian. There was no doubt in most people’s mind that Winter was about to be double-crowned for his military style ensemble Soca Rebels. Some may say it is premature to judge this young talent so early, but Tian showed all comers that he has what it takes to take up the mantle laid by the great Claudette Peters. Edwards received the first-runner up spot behind Tian, with Samoya taking second runner-up for her rendition of Let It Rain. The other finalists for this segment were Shani, Omar, Supa Mario, Lil Pimp, Pumpstan, Promise and Blade.
As the event came to a close in the wee hours of the morning it became clear that our local artists have increasingly brought their “A” game forward. Audiences hungry for top quality Soca in Antigua have much to look forward to at Soca Monarch 2010.
LINISA George is a featured freelance writer for 365antigua.com and be contacted at: firstname.lastname@example.org