The 2019 Courtesy Pic-O-De-Crop calypso competition has been finally sealed for William “Classic” Waithe as he collected a $100 000 cheque for taking the monarchy this year.
Classic, who won with his calypso One Song, was handed his cheque by sponsor representative Nissan sales manager Roger Maxwell at their Courtesy Wildey headquarters, St Michael yesterday.
The new kaiso king came out ahead with a total of 128 points from a field of 18 finalists at Kensington Oval on August 2.
Classic now with two calypso monarch titles – having won in 2015 with In Bed Together and Something Fishy – was favourite in this year’s revamped competition that called on all participants to sing one song for judging purposes.
He had a choice of prizes between a trophy and cheque for $100 000 or a Nissan X-Trail valued at $120 000.
“I have some debts, I have to clear those off first; [I] plan to invest a little and take care of close family . . . and put some aside to prepare for Crop Over next year,” said a relaxed Classic who also served notice that he had “a song already finished I ain’t making any sport so I plan to defend with everything I got next year. . .”.
Asked about having to choose between the car and cash, Classic said giving cash only would be a good idea, but he was appreciative of the gesture by Courtesy to donate “a beautiful car and it’s unfortunate that we have to make that choice, because it appears you are rejecting something. I want to thank Courtesy for doing it”.
Maxwell acknowledged that it would have been good for the monarch to drive the vehicle, “but we understand the constraints . . .” and he noted that they would look at prize options next year with the National Cultural Foundation.
Classic, whose One Song was described as pure calypso, feels that traditional calypso can survive among the popular genres such as bashment.
“I believe they can co-exist because they cater to two different audiences and two different demographics. The crowd who follows social commentary is not the same who follows bashment. There are areas for improvement in both sectors . . . I don’t want to bash bashment, but I think there needs to be wholesome lyrics, but I like the use of the dialect in the bashment. I think the Pic-O-De-Crop and social commentary need to get a bit more excitement in terms of the subject matter: wit, humour and move away from songs that are lecturing and preaching to people,” he said.
He endorsed the one song format, but would like to see a semi-finals again to add another layer of filtering. (JS)