by Latoya Burnham
She was the lone female in Super Gladiators Calypso Tent, and now Trinelle Corbin will be the sole woman to face the massive crowd expected at Bushy Park for the Party Monarch on July 28.
But despite some early nerves on national television as she pulled number nine to perform her song Full Circle, Trinelle said she is preparing herself for the large stage and competition.
It was a calm, collected and happy Trinelle that sat for a brief while with Barbados TODAY as she confessed she did not know what happened yesterday, perhaps it was the excitement of the draw – she just doesn’t know. And that makes sense, because she has been performing on the night circuit in Barbados for many years now, most recently at Pirates Inn.
Singing for more than 20 years, Trinelle confessed she was accustomed to the more relaxed jazz atmosphere, and got into soca this year at the suggestion of a friend. She noted that she had performed a song called Put Dem Up in 2007, written by Statement, to add to Sebastian Legall’s album, but since then there has been little calypso in her repertoire.
“A friend just asked me if I would do a Crop-Over song and I said yes and it just took off from there. I actually sing, I have my own night spot at Pirate’s Inn – Nell’s Jazz Spot; well formerly because I plan to drop the Jazz and just call it Nell’s Spot that anyone can come and local artists can get a chance to showcase their talent.”
She said her success in getting to the finals took her by surprise and in fact even when she received a call at seven Saturday morning offering congratulations, she thought it was for her having performed in the tents this year and judging party with the Roy Byer-managed Tomorrow’s Children, an off-shoot of Super Gladiators tent.
“It’s an exciting feeling but it is also a learning experience because I now get to play with the genre of soca.”
Her song was written, arranged and produced by Ezra Hinds, to whom she just had to shout out a thanks. The whole experience has been amazing for her because she literally got the song and got registered with a tent within three days, then learnt the ropes on stage.
“It still ain’t sink in yet, that’s the truth, after all this time. Yesterday on Festival Stage to pull the number is the first time I was nervous. I don’t know if it was the actual pulling of the numbers, but I was nervous.
“Other than that I feel confident and looking to win or at least place in the top three. My advantage is that I am the only lady and I see that as an advantage,” she laughed.
“I hear it and I understood what was happening but it still did not dawn on me yet because I was like, ‘I get in’, but the excitement didn’t hit me right there and then. Then when it hit, I was like I get in. I heard minutes to 7 the morning when someone called to say congratulations.
“I thought they were congratulating me on my performance in the tent, so I was like thank you and then the person asked, ‘so what is your plan for the party?’ I said, what you talking bout and they said, you don’t know that you get through to the Party Monarch. I was like, ‘you serious?’ but still I was like, ‘really?'”
She said she kept talking to herself about it as the day wore on and then came the realisation that she would have to up the ante for the finals.
“Seeing that this is my first time and everything is a learning experience, I am trying to prepare myself mentally because I’m very humble and I am trying to maintain that humility. I am open to a lot of ideas from different people to put me to the point where we can put heads together and decide this is what we are going to do.”
The tent experience was a new and refreshing one for Trinelle as well. As the only female, she said she drew support from her fellow male tent mates.
She said some of the advice she got led to tweaking aspects of her performance, which led to her ditching her customary heels for something more comfortable for her party song. As a result she said that she got more and more comfortable with the song and was able to move around the stage the way the writer of her song, Hinds thought she could.
About the Party Monarch, she is psyching up herself the best she can for the big leagues.
“I’m trying not to look at it as a big competition to get me nervous. I’m trying to look at it as a night performing and doing my thing, just doing me. I guess that is why I’m so humble to that point.”
Her first big performance was at the Independence Lighting Ceremony last year, Trinelle said and it opened a few doors for her that are not necessarily there for those not in the calypso or soca genre. Those doors meant a few more performances and getting to experience more opportunities singing in different environments.
“I know how to use my voice for outdoors; I know how to use my voice in a room, because of the way your voice bounces off certain places. Now this, Party Monarch, I’ve never been in anything so big, but everything is an experience and I’m looking to do Trinelle.”
Now that she’s wet her feet in calypso, she said she fully intended to continue. firstname.lastname@example.org