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July 6, 2012
Junior calypso and soca monarchs successfully defend their crowns

Shade Barker of the St Joseph’s Convent Kingstown (SJCK) completed the hat-trick to be crowned once again the Secondary Schools’ Calypso Monarch, on Tuesday, July 3, 2012.{{more}}

The 14-year-old third form student was once again judged the monarch after performing the song ‘Rights to Live’.

Last year’s runner-up, Gillian Smart and fellow SJCK student had to once again settle for second, for the second consecutive year, with her song ‘We should bring Love’.

And Deroney ‘The Messenger’ May of the Sandy Bay Secondary School came in third with the song ‘The Messenger’.

Although she did well enough to make it three years in a row, Barker explained that the days leading up to the competition this year it were particularly difficult.

According to Barker, she only perfected her song during rehearsal the day before competition, due to a sore throat.

“I got frightened because I said to myself I will not be able to win this year,” she said.

That did not stop her from going on stage and doing her thing, she explained.

“I went on stage and just had fun,” she said.

She, however, complimented her aunt, Bernice Robinson, for helping her recover and for motivating her.

An avid pan player, Barker told SEARCHLIGHT that she hoped to continue to sing Calypso well into the future.

“Soca is not my thing at all,” she said, adding that calypsos allowed for the singer to tell a story.

And because not very many young people move toward the art form, Barker said this made her different.

“Really, anybody can sing Soca; just go on stage and sing, jump and wave…just add a good beat and everybody starts jumping around,” Barker explained.

Rather, she was of the view that Calypso involved more skill, as one needed to remember lyrics and make sure that they keep in tune with the melody.

She said that she wants to be an advocate for the art form and for as many young people to come and try it out.

She said that she will be looking to defend the crown next year, never mind the stress of her academic life.

According to Barker, she manages her time, particularly having to deal with honing her craft, playing pan and dancing.

“I try to manage everything and I try to make sure my grades are up; if I miss a practice session, I don’t mind, because education is more important,” she told SEARCHLIGHT.

The other participants in this year’s competition included Patrick ‘Kool Kid’ Defreitas of the St Vincent Grammar School (SVGS) with his song ‘Education’; former junior primary schools’ monarch and junior soca monarch winner, Otis ‘Flippa’ Cain, doing ‘Homework Killing Tradition’ of the SVGS; Beverna Simmons of the George Stephens Secondary doing ‘Things Salt’; Iran ‘Calypso Rasta’ Pommry of the Sandy Bay Government doing ‘Jail Them’; and one of the top contenders in the secondary schools’ category, Shane ‘Shaney’ Wynne of the Bishop’s College doing ‘Think it over’. (DD)

Flippa squeezes out the competition

Otis ‘Flippa’ Cain of the St Vincent Grammar School retained the Junior Soca Monarch title last Tuesday, as the nation’s juniors took to the stage in the Junior Soca and Calypso competition at the Victoria Park.

The defending Junior Soca Monarch and one time Junior Calypso Primary School Monarch, Cain successfully defended his crown with his hit ‘Squeeze Up’, to beat out the other seven contenders, including crowd favourite Shane ‘Shaney’ Wynne of the Bishop’s College Kingstown.

Delanzo ‘Lanzo’ Lavia of the Owia Government School had to settle for the second spot with his song ‘Wuk Yuh Body’ and the reigning Junior Primary School Calypso Monarch, Kristiana Christopher, rounded off the top three, as she also did in 2011.

The 13-year-old Form 2 student told SEARCHLIGHT that he felt pleased with his performance, although he was disappointed that he did not place in the calypso category.

Although he has made appearances in both Calypso and Soca categories, Cain said that he is thinking about pursuing a career in the Soca industry.

“I like both of them, but if I had to choose, I would choose Soca,” he said.

“It’s very hard to answer why, but Soca attracts me,” Cain continued, adding that he looks up to artistes such as Skinny Fabulous, Luta, Fireman and Bomani.

Despite his disappointing performance in the Calypso category, Cain said that he intends to take another shot at the title next year, along with defending his Soca Monarch crown, although he says he has his eyes set on getting the hat-trick.

Bishop’s College representative Shane ‘Shaney’ Wynne, doing ‘Wave’ did not place, despite a good performance and strong crowd support.

Neither did Kurtney ‘The Soca Man’ Pompey of the Sandy Bay Secondary School, with the song ‘Crazy Fete’.

The other competitors in that segment included Fitzroy ‘Vincy Prince’ Johnson and Giovanni Collins, both of the St Joseph’s Convent Marriaqua and Omalli Collins of the Greiggs Government School.

Singing Kristy retains the Primary Schools’ Calypso Monarch crown

Ten-year-old Kristiana Christopher, ‘Singing Kristy’ of the Layou Government School, followed up on her success in 2011 and retained the Primary Schools’ Calypso Monarch title on Tuesday, July 3 at Victoria Park.

Christopher, performing ‘Making a Dream a Reality’ got the judges’ nod to make it two in a row.

In an interview with SEARCHLIGHT, young Christopher said that she expected to win.

In fact, she said that she went into the competition feeling very confident that she would have been able to take the crown in both the calypso and soca competitions, but she placed third in the latter.

She said that she attributes her success to the help of her dad Wallace Christopher, who penned her winning entry and mom Janet Lynch.

Christopher says that she is already anticipating next year’s competition where she will once again defend her crown.

Abigail Alexander, ‘Abbi’, of the Fancy Government School came in second, doing the number ‘My Secret Lover’ and the third position went to Jenille ‘Jennie’ Garick of the New Prospect Primary School, with her positive message ‘Stop the Violence’.

Antonya Telemaque of the Kingstown Anglican School took a swipe at the authorities with her presentation entitled ‘We want a new School’.

Aaliyah Nero of the Owia Government School also came in with a strong performance, which was complemented by strong support from the crowd, as she did her number ‘My Hero’.

The other performers in the primary schools’ calypso competition were Aleika Baynes, representing the Park Hill Government School, who did ‘That one is not for me’, Deandre ‘Raving King’ Lavia of the Owia Government School, with the song ‘Harmony’ and Cha-chano Morgan of the New Prospect Primary School, who paid homage to the teachers of the land with the song ‘Tribute to our Teachers’. (DD)