After what can be dubbed as a resounding success by Grenadians at the International Soca Monarch 2019, held in the mecca of soca, Trinidad and Tobago, it is of no surprise that the 2019 Soca Monarch Competition in Grenada is the most anticipated event on the 2019 Spice Mas calendar.
August 9th, 2019, “Fantastic Friday”, as it is called, will see eleven (11) acts in Groovy and Power Soca Monarch, respectively, compete for the coveted titles of Groovy and Power Soca Monarch 2019. The competition is in its 25th year of staging, and from its inception, it has grown tremendously.
Grenada’s power soca has noticeably been on the rise in the past few years, and the “Fantastic Friday” stage has been the catalyst for many of Grenada’s hitmakers. Throughout its years, we have seen Mr Killa and Sheldon Douglas capture the crown three (3) times and arguably Grenada’s best-kept secret, Boyzie (Jalon Olive) capture the crown four (4) times. His campaign to recapture the crown for the fifth time was interrupted in 2018, when international soca stars, Lil Natty and Thunda (Wuss Ways), captured their first Soca Monarch title, with the monster hit, “Get In Your Section”.
This year’s competition promises to be one for the books, as competition rivalry is the rifest, compared to previous years. Predominantly, it appears to be a question of the north side versus the east side. Will we be leaning on the north side and see Boyzie’s return to the crown, or will we be “jamming” in the east side, and see Wuss Ways retain the crown — most certainly it won’t be that easily decided.
There are many potential upsets, so each artiste has to be at their absolute best. The first major upset will be posed by Grenada’s three (3) time Soca Monarch duet sensation, Luni Spark and Electrify. These brothers are no strangers to performing on the big stage. Their creativity, capacity and capability to move a Grenadian crowd is astounding; and all of this is cloaked by their experience as three-time kings. Their hit selection for the night is called “Bacchanal Party”, and trust me, it has ALL the elements needed to conquer the night.
Another past Grenadian Soca Monarch who is coming out with a vengeance this year, to have his name front-lined once more, is none other than Terra D Governor. Terra aced the Grenadian Soca Monarch competition in 2011 and has always been a consistent artiste, releasing multiple highly loved tunes each year. His chosen single for the competition is “Black Power”, and given his dynamism on stage, he definitely has the ability to cause a major upset!
Arguably, there are two underdogs in this year’s competition. Another potential upset for the night comes from, what I believe is the most creative song for the season; “CPL” (Carnival Premier League), by Lednek, an up and coming soca artiste in Grenada, whose influence is trickling into neighbouring sister islands (hint hint, “sponge in your batty rider”). This song is a masterpiece. An excellent play on words between the two activities that Caribbean people love the most — cricket and carnival.
Lednek has had experience on the big stage in recent years and has fared pretty well against more senior soca artistes. His song has the lyrical and melodious aptitude to capture a Soca Monarch title, it all rests on his ability to deliver on the night. This song’s potential truly mirrors a West Indian cricket team; you just don’t know what it will do on the night; exceed expectations or disappoint. But like any avid cricket fan, I’m rallying still!
The second underdog is Runi Jay, with his hit song “Diagnosis“. This song was received in strong dosages at the semi-final stage, earning him his first spot on the big stage. This young artiste from Saint John has the potential to inject us with a major upset come Soca Monarch night.
WI KULCHA SYNOPSIS
This article would be never-ending if I were to go on and discuss everyone’s potential for the night, but suffice to say the big guns will be swinging come August 9th at the Power Soca Monarch finals. Although this article spoke primarily about Power Soca, don’t you dare think that Grenada’s Groovy Soca Monarch is not without heavy anticipation. Will this be the year that the Grenadian bad boy, a newly acclaimed prince of groovy soca, V’ghn capture his first major title? After his remarkable showing at the International Soca Monarch, he is definitely in a position to give the three-time Groovy Monarch, Dash, a run for his money.
It would be remiss of me to end this article without mentioning the silent heroes of the Grenadian soca scene. The music producers out of Grenada have definitely proven themselves this year, and each year we see them working magic on the Grenadian tunes. Special shout out to Xpert Productions, Build D Vybz and Peck Jones. I know that there are many more names to call, but don’t feel left out; you guys are doing it for Grenadian soca.
If you’re not at Spice Mas 2019 to witness this amazing showdown, I pity you, however, all hope is not lost. All major competitions are streamed live (at a fee) via platforms provided by the Spicemas Corporation. Don’t miss out on the opportunity to see spice magic at work. All in all, remember that performance beats old talk, so until Fantastic Friday, continue leaning on the Lord’s side.
Cover photo: Straley Photography