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Monday, 3 August 2015

Party Monarch Central

I’m not a super feter and I definitely don’t come out to play mas, but when it comes to Soca Monarch I am gladly up front and center. The friendly rivalry, and the high quality of a fair share of the competition songs made this year’s competition both highly anticipated and the winner(s) tough to accurately predict.

Jumpy Monarch and First Runner Up Groovy
Image Credit: Rogers Radio Caribbean
I’ve pretty much been on team Drue, ever since the first time I heard ‘Like Glue’, so it’s not surprising that I was gunning for him to hold on to his jumpy crown and capture the groovy.  He declared war, went into battle against other crowd favourites Claudette, Tian and the entire MnM crew, and as the dust settled he emerged to reign victorious as our Jumpy Monarch once more. Ever the diplomat, the monarch congratulated Claudette ‘CP’ Peters, our newly installed Groovy monarch, who he refers to as his big sister. He’s ecstatic about retaining his crown and has plans to continue representing for Antigua Barbuda and complete the Welcome to the Nation tour.

Groovy Monarch and First Runner Up Jumpy
Image Credit: Rogers Radio Caribbean
From a prime vantage point, I saw Claudette burst onto stage, looking like a beautiful, soca warrior goddess. When I spoke to the Queen after the show, she said she was indeed full of confidence, and was not nervous in the least. She thanked her team for a job well done, and also expressed gratitude to her fans.

Second Runner up Jumpy
Image Credit: Rogers Radio Caribbean
New to the arena, Boasta of MnM Music placed second runner up behind Claudette and Ricardo in the groovy competition.  According to Boasta, “when I hit the stage, it’s just a different me. I transform, you get the real Boasta.”  Naturally, “I’m a little disappointed because I wanted to take the crown, but I got second place, so I gotta give thanks for it. I just came in the arena, you know they have a lot of big guns, they have a lot of props, spend a lot of money so you done know how the thing set.” He too congratulated his fellow competitors as well as his dancers and the other members of the MnM crew.

Second Runner up Jumpy
Image Credit Rogers Radio Caribbean
Tian Winter, last year’s Groovy monarch may have lost his crown, but he secured the second runner up spot in the Jumpy Monarch competition which he opted out of last year.

Cassi Fox, owner of Kreative Inx, whose designs were seen on party goers and competitors alike expressed that she missed Claudette’s groovy performance but “I think Claudette totally nailed it [jumpy performance],however, Ricardo Drue was a close second and I feel like that was awesome.” 

Honourary Antiguan and Barbudans Ian and Sian were also in attendance, with Ian making a cameo during Krokus’ performance. About his experience on stage, Ian said “[Krokus] he’s my father figure of soca. Everything I do, I think would Korkus like it, so to be on stage with the Natural Rampler, it’s just a dream come true and it is something that most people don’t get to experience… it was aimed at just being fun, the whole costume thing was just…it was brilliant. And Sian enjoyed herself.”  Although, coming into the competition they were rooting for CP with their homemade ‘Nasty’ flag, the duo believes that the competition was well judged. 

At the conclusion of the night’s festivities the minister responsible for culture and festivals, the hounrable E.P. Chet Greene remarked: “I must commend Burga and his team. They came on board after some unfortunate situations developed, and they really stuck to the task, buckled down with limited time and delivered a most outstanding production.  No amount of commendation or praise can be considered too much for Burga and his team. I am over the moon for the production, and performances of our soca artists. I think we have one of the best crops of soca artists in the world. I think anyone could have emerged the winner. It was an excellent night for soca music and the contribution to Antigua’s carnival.”

Of course, I wanted to know if he secretly had a favourite. In that regard he said “I have favourites where the music is concerned. For me personally, it’s not about the person, it’s about the music, the song. Just like Ricardo’s rum song, I don’t drink but the song has legs, it’s going to do things for Antigua I dare say. Mark you I’m no prophet, I’m no Nostradamus, no Ezekiel, no Daniel but I think I have an appreciation, and an understanding of the music industry, and that song is going to make waves across the Caribbean.”
According to the Minister, a team of our top soca artists and musicians will be travelling to Haiti for Carifesta later this month to showcase our island and our culture.
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