25 YEARS OF SOCA MONARCH
On Friday August 09th, 2019, at the National Stadium, when the Finals of the Soca Monarch are contested it would mark the 25th anniversary of Soca Monarch competition here in Grenada.
The exploits of Mr. Killa during the recently staged Trinidad Carnival has set the stage for a fantastic celebration of the past 24 years of Soca music in Grenada. Additionally the success of Wuss Ways in recent years has garnered unprecedented attention to the unique sound, energy and creativity that is the soca music produced in Grenada and by Grenadians.
The winners of the Soca Monarch Competition in Grenada are as varied as the compositions that copped the title over the years. Veteran Calypsonians Black Wizard and Ajamu won the first two competitions followed by another veteran Randy Isaac then an improbable tie in 1998 between Scholar and Inspector.
Soca Monarch has become the largest event during carnival and arguably the largest event on the annual entertainment calendar.
The present day rivalry between the Artistes from St. Patrick and St. David has been the result of a succession of antics provided by the likes of Tallpree, Boogie B, Otis, Luni Spark and Electrify, Terror Kid, Lava Man and Mr. Killa himself.
The 2019 carnival season should be another monstrous year for Grenada’s Soca music and Soca Monarch night should provide the perfect arena for a climatic culmination to what is presently the world’s most potent soca sound.
While a groovy component has been added since 2010 or thereabouts, and Vaughn and Mandela Links have had international success with groovy hits, it is still the power segment of the competition that draws thousands to the National Stadium on Carnival Friday night.
For varying reasons the Stadium was not always the home of Soca Monarch. Obviously, before the Stadium was built the old Queens Park hosted Soca Monarch. Seamoons Cultural Center, Tanteen Playing Field and the Tanteen Netball Court have all hosted Soca Monarch Finals. And during those years the presentations on stage from evolved from mere skits to full- blown theatrical productions complete with high- wire flying acts, pyrotechnics, pre-recorded mini films (some too lengthy), dancers and stage entrances that could rival Broadway.
The Soca Monarch competition in 2019 is expected to move to another level; given the boost that Mr. Killa’s win at the International Monarch has given the entire music industry here in Grenada. What takes place at the Stadium on Carnival Friday night will be historic and will lay firm claim to Grenada’s present designation as the home to the World’s best power soca music.
The current movement of Grenada music has been 24 years in the making and to paraphrase Wuss Ways – Its Going Still!
A Made In Grenada Publication.