by Latoya Burnham
The newcomers could very well prove the upset in the eight to 13 category of this year’s Junior Monarch competition — but it is early yet to make a determination.
The 13 performers in that junior category put on the first Scotiabank Junior Monarch Calypso Tent last night at the Queen’s College School hall, and despite waiting an hour in the midst of an island-wide power outage, it was undeniable that the audience was mighty pleased by the end of the first half.
Just as the tent got underway at a prompt 6 p.m. start, with the band and backup singers getting into the groove of the theme song for the annual tent, the auditorium was quickly plunged into darkness by the outage, but National Cultural Foundation organisers jumped quickly and after assessing what was indeed happening, made contacts for a generator to be brought for power to be restored and the show to go on.
Among those that should be watched among those new to this competition were Combermerian R.J., 10-year-old St. Alban’s Primary student Mighty Makeda, and Mighty K.T. of the Lodge School, who entered after being advised to do so by Trini-songstress Singing Sandra.
Of these three, Mighty K.T. brought the house down with a clear, and impressive delivery of his song Poverty. Examining the thin line between wealth and poverty, the young man, real name Kymorhi Trotman surely has something to offer this competition, despite it being his first time out.
Rickardo R.J. Reid, a former NIFCA gold winner, pounded out a crowd favourite in The Future of Kaiso, telling the crowd that “kaiso safe wid me”. His phrasing and diction in the song were excellent, but there was a change key element that he will have to work on for next weekend and heading into the semis, to ensure he hits those notes with the same crispness as he does the rest of the song.
Now there is a certain something about Princess Mighty Makeda Thomas that cannot easily be explained. Her range of notes are not high or varied but there is a low timbre to this lass’ young voice that is simply captivating. Having won her school’s calypso competition, she is trying her voice in the national ring now with a song called True Royalty that she performs with grace and conviction for one so young.
All the young people put in solid performances, and as usual there were favourites among the returning singers like last year’s second placed Asher Dynamo Murrell, who came out to talk about not selling My X and how hard politicians will have to work for it. Politicians will be left in no doubt that VAT on snacks and toys must go in order to win his vote.
Quinn Quinn P Prescott was quite solid again this year, delivering Living With HIV as she examined the old faithful topic of discrimination from the perspective of a child.
Keonai Ke Ke Walker was also good in Calypso Is My Passion, asking adults to give the youth encouragement in the calypso arena. This first timer as well, despite some nerves, was pretty stable in her delivery.
First timer Daryan D J Jordan delivered Stand well, as did Sarah Say Say Patrick with One Wheel In The Air, Liana Black Beauty Ifill with Moving On and Raanan Raanan Hackett with Learn To Swim, though the young lad’s words were lost at points as they were not projected enough. As usual Trevon Mighty King Callender represented well with Rise Up Young People, until the latter verse where he lost his melody a bit, but reclaimed it to finish strongly.
Ten-year-old Hilda Skeene student Karia Star Fire Campbell tried her best and it was clear she understood and identified with her lyrics to Education as she told of the importance of education, but her melody gave her a bit of a challenge in some parts and will be an area that needs work heading into the semi-finals. Her stage presence and confidence though were commendable, despite what would have undoubtedly been a difficult thing coming out number one for this newcomer.
Overall the young ones gave a very good show, as it was their first time before such a packed audience and it is expected next week at the Lester Vaughan School will also have a full house, when they will be performing for the second time before semis. Here’s wishing them luck as they put their best voices forward.