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2012 International Soca Monarch Rundown
By Chandelle ‘Chandy’ De Riggs
2/17/2012 (Reblogged with permission)
The moment we have all been waiting for is finally here FANTASTIC FRIDAY! This carnival season some artist dropped out the competition while others held their ground to defend their right to the crown. The International Groovy and Power Monarch is marks the introduction to one of the hottest carnival weekends. The winners of this competition give an outlook on who we can expect as contenders for the roadmarch title. These contenders are strong and very ready to battle. Each contender has created a legacy and this competition is just another step forward in the right direction. Let’s take a look at who will compete against Machel Montano 2011 International Power Monarch King and Kes Dieffenthaller the 2011 International Groovy Monarch King.
Dexter “Blaxx” Stewart stunned us with his new GQ look, and crisp performance at the International Power Soca Monarch/Groovy Monarch Semi-Finals in Trinidad. He performed Inna Band for power produced by Dominican born Allison ‘Sir Fingaz’ Lawrence and he sang Sound D Horn for groovy. Blaxx has come a long way in the Soca industry. Blaxx earned his name from singing in the band Fucceccion where he sang for ten years. After his stint with “Fucceccion”, he joined a few other bands (“Atlantic”, “Byron Lee and the Dragonares”, and “Blue Ventures”) before joining the legendary band “Roy Cape All Stars”. At the International Soca Monarch Semi-Finals Blaxx delivered a passionate performance, with a great new looks which captivated the crowd. Sound D Horn has a great old school vibe fused with a new school sound mixed with the perfect voice to deliver the song. Inna Band off the Madd Blood Riddim displays Blaxx versatility on a bouyon style riddim out of Dominica, which will make an impact on the crowd Fantastic Friday. Blaxx will be the 8th contender at the International Groovy and International Power Soca Monarch. If you want to support Blaxx text XXXX to 7622 for Power Monarch and XXXX to 4768 for Groovy Monarch.
Erphaan Alves is a young, fresh contender to the International Power Soca and Groovy Monarch, but no stranger to the stage. In Your Eyes is one of two songs from the huge and highly successful Antilles Riddim by Precision Productions entered in the International Groovy Monarch Competition. His Power Soca single Terrible also out of Precision Productions featuring Machel Montano is packed with energy, which will get the crowd moving during his stage set. Erphaan is a twenty-year-old artist from Chaguanas with a long list of achievements. Some might remember Erphan in 2005 where he was one of six finalists in the Soca Star Competition on Synergy TV. In 2008, he was crowned the National Junior Soca Monarch, which subsequently landed him a role as guest artist for the 2008 Monarch competition. Erphaan will definitely make it a memorable one in our eyes. Erphaan will be the 7th contender for the International Groovy Competition, and the 3rd contender for the International Power Soca Monarch. Extend your support to the youngest candidate for 2012 International Groovy and Power Soca Monarch. Text ERPH to 7622 for Power Monarch and ERPH to 4768 for Groovy Monarch fantastic Friday.
Kerwin Du Bois is a Jack-Of-All-Trades, songwriter, producer, artist and a contender for the 2012 International Groovy Monarch Crown. Kerwin is sure to create uproar at the International Groovy Monarch with his song Bacchanalist off the hit Antilles Riddim by Precision Productions. Kerwin is a veteran in the business. His motto is “If I fail to succeed then success is my failure, I was born a winner.” Success is something Kerwin ensures he achieves; he is one of the many innovators in the soca business. The song Bacchanalist normally depicts a negative connotation, but with his smooth charming look, and versatile words, Kerwin has managed to transform bacchanalist to mean authority, given you the listener the opportunity to own the road, your costume, your waist, and your music. “This foot is mine ah go jump on de road wave up and bend down and wine, this foot is mine ah go stomp on the ground and you can’t tell me what to do.” Bacchanalist is a groovy tune that sets a perfect tone for carnival. The lyrics to this masterpiece are priceless. Kerwin is sure to deliver a stellar performance. Kerwin will be the 14th contender for the International Groovy Monarch Competition. Don’t forget to support him Fantastic Friday text to 4768.
Stephenson “Shal” Marshal has been a major contributor to the soca industry for over 15 years. He’s a man of many hats, radio personality, television host (Friday Night Live on Synergy TV), promoter, MC, and soca artist among many other things. Some may remember Shal when he use to DJ with Jugglers Sound System. This 30 something has made his mark with his chart toppers Police, Speaker Box, Bum Bum Ville, and his newest edition Trouble produced by GBM Productions. Trouble is stirring up plenty trouble on the soca charts with its fusion of ska and soca. GBM did a great job producing a phenomenal tune. There’s also a music video which was directed by Cowin “Dori” Thorpe. Dori productions has taken soca videos to anther level with Trouble. Trouble is one of the few videos that match the concept of the song, by the end of the video you’re left thirsty for more. With his long rap sheet of work, we can anticipate a jaw dropping performance on Fantastic Friday at the Groovy Monarch. Look for Shal to perform at the 2nd slot of the International Groovy competition. Remember to text to 4768 if you want to see him take the crown.
Terrin “Super Jigga TC” Callender has blessed 2012 with a phenomenal chart topping soca song Action produced by GBM Productions which he will be performing for this years International Groovy Monarch. Super Jigga TC has been in the Soca industry for over a decade. He’s served as a radio personality, DJ, as well as a songwriter. Some would remember Super Jigga TC for his hit songs Speaker Box, Look At You, and collaboration he made with Destra Garcia on the track Feel To Wine. Currently Super Jigga TC has two major sponsorships Stag and Converse (Trinidad and Tobago). Action is a song that delivers just that, action. The introduction is an infectious sound that sweeps you off your feet, and puts your waistline in a trance. “Gyal the way your bounce does shake the ground, Yuh causing eruption Cause you got Plenty vybs, Plenty vybs and Plenty Action. When yuh wine your waist and screw yuh face, Ah could feel your passion”. Action invigorates the listener and keeps them yearning for more. With his hit songs and new business endeavors Carnival 2012 looks promising for Super Jigga TC. Look out for his video and performance in the International Groovy Monarch competition; he will be the 4th contender. If you want Super Jigga TC to take the crown, support him Fantastic Friday Text TCTC to 4768 if you want Action to win.
Patrice Roberts is no stranger to the International Groovy and Power Soca Monarch competition. In 2006, Patrice came second with Zan with their performance of Always Be. For 2012, she’s teamed up again with another dynamic artist, Kerwin Du Bois to bring us a spectacular rendition of I Am Soca. Patrice has earned her right to receive veteran status in the soca business. In 2001 and 2003, she won the National Junior Calypso Monarch. 2008 she placed second again in the Groovy category with her song Mo Wuk. I Am Soca written and produced by Kerwin Dubois depicts how the people react to soca and how soca feels neglected at times. Soca is a powerful genre of music within our culture that is viewed as seasonal music (heard only around carnival), and forgotten until the next carnival. Patrice and Kerwin execute how soca feels with their rendition of I Am Soca. “Sometimes I feel like you doh appreciate meh. I feel yuh hate meh. Sometimes I feel like you doh ever support meh. Yuh quick to abort meh, but I am de rudeness on yuh face. I am de riddim in yuh waist, tell dem. I AM SOCA”. By the end of I Am Soca you are reminded how much you truly love soca and would do anything to see her recognized as a genre in every home. Check Patrice out as she mashes up the stage on Fantastic Friday for Groovy Monarch. Patrice will be the 9th contender, text to 4768
Roderick “Chucky” Gordon will perform a song he wrote Touch It Produced by Iron Trax and Art and Life music, on Fantastic Friday. In 2006, Chucky became the second youngest person, at the age of 19, to become a National Calypso Monarch finalist. In 2006, Chucky made his first venture into the soca arena with his debut hit See You. In 2011, Chucky placed 5th in the International Groovy Soca Monarch with his hit song My Bad Ting. Chucky will be the 5th contender in this year’s International Groovy Monarch competition. We salute Chucky for all his hard work and talent as a young artist in music and fine arts. Support Chucky Fantastic Friday at the International Groovy Monarch.
When people think of their champion Rodney “Benjai” Le Blanc is the first thing that comes to mind. The People’s Champion Produced By Precision Productions will be Benjai’s selection in the International Groovy Monarch Competition on Fantastic Friday. Benjai has a marvelous catalogue of music beginning with his 2002 break out hit Over. Fast-forward to 2011 he received second place for his hit song Trini at the International Groovy Monarch. As a result of his second place win Benjai’s fans reminded him no matter what he’s their champion. Precision Productions ingenious idea of having live instruments as part of the production, and Full Blown Entertainment’s sharp words, formulated a song that captured the essence of old school caiso, and new school soca. Once the guitars start they rope you in, and then Benjai starts ‘the people calling Benjamin” and then your waist start to move, your hands go up in the air and before you know it “yuh chest done wet, yuh back done wet, yuh face done wet.” Benjai’s jubilant stage presence, and strong voice shows the chemistry Benjai has for his music and his fans. The People’s Champion is a catchy, song that’s earned Benjai the 11th slot in the International Groovy Monarch competition. Benjai is a man that loves to please his audience so we’re sure to anticipate a wonderful performance. Don’t forget to take your time and vote for him Fantastic Friday at the Groovy Monarch. Text to 4768.
JW & Blaze are charismatic, humble, dynamic duo that has a passion for entertaining all who they encounter. In 2010, the duo won the International Power Soca Monarch and Roadmarch titles. For 2012, they are back on stage again this time taking a shot at the Groovy title with their tune We Time written by Kimba Sorzano and produced by Juelio Neilson. This dynamic duo linked up in 2005 on Red 96.7 fm as radio personalities and has been working together since. The duo collaborated making music since 2007 tunes like Eat Ah Food, Bamsiology, and Work. We Time off the Maserati Riddim is a catchy contagious song filled with camaraderie. “JW and Blaze again Till the very end We’re the best of friends We sing Is ah brand new style Is the girls dem wild wild wild wild First time touch the make say we had fun We come back again soca banton Is carnival time again Bacchanal in port of Spain”. JW & Blaze will be the first contenders in the International Groovy Monarch competition. Don’t forget to support JW & Blaze Fantastic Friday for the 2012 International Groovy Monarch Competition. Text to 4678.
Nadia Batson will be taking part in both competitions this year with Pressure produced by Don Iko, and Making Up Produced by Neil Bernard. Nadia personified Carnival the night of her Semi Finals performance, with her songs Pressure and Making Up. If you were too tired to move, Nadia made you move, jump, and get on bad with her performances. Nadia Batson is a talented artist that delivers with her strong vocals, sexy demeanor, and her killer voluptuous waist. She is a great artist that is underrated. Nadia was formerly a lead singer in Kes Band; she later branched off to fabricate SASS. Nadia is no “spring chicken” in the entertainment industry; she’s been in the business for years. She broke on the scene with her 2005 hit song One Island, followed by Mind Yuh Business, My Posse, and My Land. Outside of music Nadia also manages her own booking agency, owns a clothing/shoe store called Fashion Over Styles. Nadia will be the 5th contender in the International Power Soca Monarch, and the 6th contender in the International Groovy Monarch Competition. Remember to support Nadia Fantastic Friday at the Power/Groovy Monarch.
Please bow down to our 2011 Groovy monarch king Kees “Kes” Dieffenthaller! Kes will defend his crown with his song Stress Away produced by 1Klase productions. Stress Away is a popular song with a remix featuring Snoop Dog as well as a unique music video. The video mimics children’s classic movie and book Alice in Wonderland. This colorful and carefree video depicts carnival and how jubilant and stress free revelers and on lookers are. Kes had a fruitful and unforgettable 2011. He rocketed to fame with his song Wotless. His career began in the late 90’s singing in the cover band “Limestone” with his brothers Hans, Jon, and a friend Riad Boochoon (Limestone became “Rydimoral” a year later). Years later the group revamped with the help of Joey NgWai and became Imij and Co where they learned to create soca music and toured the world from 2001-2005. In early 2005 “Kes The Band” was created, with his brothers at his side (Hans the drummer, and Jon lead guitarist) and long time friend (Riad bass) Kes was able to write his own music and pursue his dream of reaching paramount status in the entertainment industry. “Kes the Band” has licensed tracks for video games, open acts for international artist such as Sean Paul, Musiq Soul Child, Rihanna, Evanescence, Maroon 5 and countless others. It’s safe to say “Kes the Band” has come a long way hence they could lock their Stress Away. Support Kes this Friday at the Groovy Monarch competition, he will the 13th contender after Machel Montano. Remember to text to 4768.
Destra Garcia is a woman who is a Soca icon. Hailing from Laventile, Trinidad Destra has truly made a name for herself. Destra has brought us hits like Bonnie & Clyde, It’s Carnival, Bacchanal and last years Cool It Down. Destra has an unyielding voice that ranges from sensual to intense. In the middle of 2009, she took a little break to prepare for a new edition to her family, her daughter. After the birth of her daughter in 2010, Destra came back with vengeance and gave all she had and continues to do so. Destra has a variety of style with her music and fashion. Destra plans to represent strong at this years International Power Soca and Groovy Monarch. For Power Soca Monarch she will be the 4th contender performing her son Link Up produced by Neil Bernard. In 2011, International Groovy Monarch competition Destra placed third with her song Cool It Down and she will be back in groovy this year the 3rd contender. Unfortunately, this might be Destra’s last Monarch performance as she plans to take time away from the entertainment business to expand on her family. Extend your support to Destra Fantastic Friday Vote DEEG to 4768 for the Groovy and 7622 for the Power.
Energetic is one word to describe Delroy “Fireman” Hooper. Fireman is no stranger to the soca scene. He’s been in the industry for years formerly with the group Roses Crew out of St.Vincent and the Grenadines. Fire Man gave us regional as well as international hits like Anaconda, All Posse, and 2011’s Animal, which he wrote and was produced by Neil Bernard. Fireman regained his title (for the seventh time) as St. Vincent’s Soca Monarch Champion last year, dethroning Skinny Fabulous with his hit Animal, and has landed him the 2nd slot in the International Power Soca Monarch. “Just because we jumping up in the Carnival they calling we animal”. Animal was inspired by a carnival experience he and some friends had playing mas in St.Vincent. An onlooker accused him and his crew of carrying on like Animals during Carnival Tuesday in Vincy Mas. Fireman’s energetic, rhythmic, knock out performance is sure to leave a lasting impression for all those who tune in on Fantastic Friday. Remember to show your support and text FIRE to 7622.
When you think of Trinidad conscious reggae Devon “Prophet Benjamin” Samuel comes to mind. Prophet Benjamin is the voice and author behind his song Throw Wine Produced by 1st Klase. Prophet Benjamin is notarized for his hit reggae songs however; his soca song Throw Wine has taken Trinidad and Tobago by storm. This double entendre is very humorous and leaves so much to the imagination. Most of Prophet Benjamin’s songs have a serious tone expressing his fervor for Rastafarian faith, songs like De Lilah, Coming For Moruja, and Pretty Boy. Throw Wine is truly and unexpected soca tune that has sky rocket Prophet Benjamin in the International Power Soca Monarch in spot 10. If you want, throw support for Prophet Benjamin text WINE to 7622.
Michael “Mikey” Mercer out of Barbados will be performing Pavement Anticipation in this year International Power Soca Monarch produced by Blood. Mikey will be the 1st performer in the International Power Soca Monarch. At the 2011, Soca Monarch in Barbados Mikey gave a performance of a lifetime. As a result, he won a slot for the 2012 Power Monarch. Pavement Anticipation is a song Mikey wrote himself. Recently Digicel lent some support to Mikey to help him with his presentation at the Power Monarch Fantastic Friday. Don’t forget to support Mikey Fantastic Friday with his song Pavement Anticipation at the Power Monarch by texting MIKE to 7622
Hard Knoxx won the Soca Monarch Competition in Antigua for 2011 with his song Kentucky. Kentucky is a catchy song with a dance and sound effects, that of a chicken. Hard Knoxx is a unique artist; he takes his presentation very serious. For his performance last year in Antigua, Hard Knoxx personified the chicken from Kentucky (KFC). He dressed up in a white suit, with red and blond flowing hair. On stage, he had a dancer in a chicken suit and gave out boxes from Kentucky (KFC). Hard Knoxx brings humor to soca music, and refuses to sing about the usual topics of wine, wave yuh flag, wave yuh rag. We wish Hard Knoxx the best of luck doing the Kentucky for the Power Monarch. Hard Knoxx is the 11th contender for that night so stay tuned for a dramatic/comedic performance. Remember to support Hard Knoxx text to 7622.
His hit song Nah Go Play/Gyal Say did major damage for 2010. Marvin “Swappi” Davis is sweeping Trinidad Carnival and the Caribbean with his song Bucket by 1Klase productions. Swappi will be singing Bucket at the International Power Soca Monarch. This will be Swappi’s third year entering the competition and first time making it to the International Power Monarch finals. On the night of the semi-finals, Swappi gave an energetic performance. His eccentric style and fascinating concept is sweeping across the nation. Swappi is notorious for his voice and dance moves on the stage. In 2006, Swappi placed 3rd on the Synergy TV show Soca star, in that same year some may recall Swappi apart of the duo Colony. He sings Soca, Reggae and Dancehall music. Music is not Swappi’s only forte he intends to be an entrepreneur one day. For 2012 Bucket seems to have the same alluring appeal as Nah Go Play. Swappi’s goal is to become an established international artist. Swappi will be the 12th contender on the night of the International Power Soca Monarch. With his energy and style, Swappi will be a name to talk about for many years to come. Support Swappi and help him continue to achieve his dream of stardom with his song Bucket on Fantastic Friday at the International Power Soca Monarch.
The former king of the International Power Soca and Groovy Monarch Shurwayne Winchester will perform We Love, produced by Kernal Roberts on Fantastic Friday. Shurwayne has a passion for music and has been singing since the age of 12. Shurwayne won the Groovy Monarch in 2006 with Don’t Stop and the International Power Soca Monarch with Can’t Wait , 2008 Carnival Please Stay, and in 2010 with Murdah. Dedication, determination, and humility are the things that have gotten Shurwayne very far. For the International Groovy semi-finals he performed Winning Addiction, Shurwayne had so much poise, and energy, it was as if he owned the stage and took back his crown. Unfortunately, his semi-finals performance did not earn him a slot in the Groovy competition; however, he did earn a spot for the International Power Soca Monarch. If you want to ensure Shurwayne, takes back his crown with his song We Love, tune into the International Power Monarch competition where he will be the 6th contender on Fantastic Friday and remember to Text SWIN to 7622.
Some may debate Iwer George‘s No Pain produced by Andrew ‘Hitz’ Phillip, is a continuation of last years single Come To Meh. For Iwer George fans and supporters they don’t really care, they just want to see Iwer take the 2012 Power Soca Monarch Crown. Iwer was a magnet on stage and his audience was steel at his Semi-Finals performance. Before he came on the stage the crowed was in an uproar. Iwer is accustom to creating frenzy on stage as well as off stage. He is no stranger to Fantastic Friday’s Stage. For quite some time his fans felt he was robbed the crown for the International Power Soca. Now that Bunji is out the competition, the stakes are even higher as he competes before Machel Montano at the 7th spot in the International Power Soca Monarch. No Pain is sure to deliver an adrenaline packed experience on the stage and in the crowd. Iwer starts his song “If you know they rob me last year put your two hands in the air” that line alone fascinates a listener making you wonder what more will he say. Iwer is determined to take his crown by any means necessary and his army of fans is determined to see that through. Remember to support Iwer on Fantastic Friday, text IWER to 7622.
Now we have the 2011 International Power Soca Monarch defender, Machel Montano. Machel will defend his title with his song Pump Yuh Flag produced by Kernal Roberts and Precision Productions. Machel will be the 9th contender for the International Power Soca Monarch. Montano’s single Mr. Fete also produced by Precision Productions will be performed in the International Groovy Monarch. This year will mark the first time Machel has ever entered the International Groovy Monarch competition. He will perform at the 12th spot right before the 2011 defending champion, and his long time friends Kes. Machel Montano is a man known for unsurpassed performances on every stage he’s performed on. When you hear Machel, you automatically think spectacular. For 2011 Machel beat Iwer George in the Power Soca Monarch, and he’s back again to take his crown for 2012 with Pump Yuh Flag. Pump Yuh Flag has a colorful video that raises your carnival spirits and makes you want to jump up. Mr. Fete is Machel Montano, a man who never misses a fete and delivers the best to his fans. At the Semi-Finals Machel was able to seize the crowd with Mr. Fete. Last year for the International Power Soca Monarch, he amazed the world with his performance, and spectacular props. Machel stage performance, and pandemonium in the crowd, helped him capture the crown, and became a million dollars richer. Filled with stamina, and confidence Machel, a sage in the industry is sure to deliver an extraordinary performance for Fantastic Friday. Vote MMHD to 7622 for Power Monarch and MMHD to 4768 for Groovy Monarch.
Through the years we’ve witness artist meet the ever changing criteria of the competition and come back year after year stronger and stronger. The 2012 competition looks very intriguing, and will be broadcasted international. Every soca fan will tune in and support their artist of choice. I would like to take this opportunity and wish all competitors in the International Groovy and Power Soca Monarch a fortuitous outcome, however we all know only one two people will win. Best of luck to all and stay tuned.
Written By Chandelle ‘Chandy’ De Riggs
2/17/2012 (Reblogged with permission)