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Saying it well in word and music

rhondathompson, [email protected]

Saying it well in word and music

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I was looking for five finalists from the other islands. We usually allow five to participate in the finals, but there are only three because I was not satisfied. – William Munroe, producer of Trinidad’s 2012 International Soca Monarch Contest, last Saturday.  
AS?EDITOR?RICKY?JORDAN REPORTED from Port of Spain on the weekend, Bajan music is no longer making the big impression in the Land Of The Humming Bird. Specifically, there is no longer any wow from the Bajan soca artists, according to William Munro.
At a loss why Barbadian artistes were no longer offering the top quality music they were making from “the late 1990s until around 2005”, Mr Munroe lamented: “I don’t know what happened. I mean, a few years ago Barbados was dominating the airwaves in Trinidad and Tobago.
“I don’t know what is happening. There used to be a Bajan invasion, and all this kind o’ thing.”
Our own 2011 Party Monarch winner Mikey was among the three non-Trinidadians competing in the International Soca Monarch on Fantastic Friday at the Haseley Crawford Stadium in Port of Spain; and as impressed as Mr Munroe was with him when he beat all the other Party Monarch finalists in Barbados, our soca representative “failed to place highly” among the 12 calypsonians competing for the title in the Power Soca segment of the Trinidad international contest.
Mikey’s efforts at depicting “Caribbean unity” in the presentation of his song Pavement Anticipation – with dancers in blue and white waving the flags of Barbados and Trinidad – didn’t move the judges enough.
We will not hurl repetition, shouting, jumping, the overabundance of hand waving, or any of the other criticisms we make here in Barbados of party music at Mikey for failing us. In fairness to him, the Trinidad Soca Monarch seemed more subsumed by theatrics and technological gymnastics.
A power-suited, flying Machel Montano lookalike for effect? A shooting star across the stage?
When we muse upon the lamentation of Mr Munroe about Barbadian artistes and their music, we certainly must decide whether we shall go back to the “top quality” product we used to mesmerize Trindidad with, or try to keep up with the Montanos?
Even more so we must determine what is truly better for us first as Barbadians, and if indeed we need to be tested by Trinidad’s “special effects” means to value our musical worth.
Much to ponder is Rickey Jordan’s observation on Trinidad’s Prophet Benjamin, the Bobo Shanti Rastaman: he showed that lyrics, once powerful, can hold an audience just as firmly as expensive high-tech gimmicks.
We cry out for more of such captivation at Crop Over.