Three first time finalists, Joaquin, Marvay, and Nikita, are among those heading to Bushy Park, St Philip in the hope of dethroning reigning monarch Edwin Yearwood in the Sweet Soca competition come July 24th.
Those three gave excellent performances of their popular 2016 tunes, This Place, Know The Face, and Bun It Up, respectively. So it came as no surprise when their names were announced among the finalists early last Saturday morning at Kensington Oval.
For the first time in a long time, it’s almost impossible to identify the front-runners in that competition.
Joaquin, who is still at a loss for words, told Bajan Vibes he’s still trying to process the information.
“It’s a really great feeling. I still can’t explain it. I was shocked when my name was called, but I know I went out there and did my best, so I am glad I made it. Right now I am focused on getting my presentation together so I can put on a great show at Bushy Park,” Joaquin said.
Two former Sweet Soca monarchs, Mikey and Biggie Irie, are also in the line up for the battle royale. Mikey, singing CEO, and Biggie Irie singing, Money Well Spent, are both masters of their craft, and will be sure to put down good performances.
Mikey, who is also a finalist in the Party Monarch competition, said he’s glad to the heading to Bushy Park again.
“I’m feeling very excited. I think both competitions will be tight and it will come down to performance on the day,” he said.
Mistah Dale, no stranger to the stage at Soca Royale, will be taking part in both competitions as well.
Veteran calypsonian Adrian Clarke proved once again he was good enough to compete against the younger ones, booking himself a spot in the final. He said, “I am going to go and have fun and hopefully make the best of my chances.”
Reigning Party Monarch Peter Ram is also among the contenders for the Sweet Soca crown with arguably one of the most popular songs, Crop Over Good Morning. Ram, a seasoned performer, always brings energy and fun to the stage. His performance will be a highly anticipated one at Bushy Park.
Overall, the Sweet Soca competition is definitely not to be missed. Not only does it promise to be fierce, but filled with sweet vocals and explosive performances.
In the Party Monarch segment of last Friday night’s semis, competition was not as keen. In fact, many seem to be losing interest in the once popular type of music. Therefore, it’s anyone’s guess who will be the eventual winner in this category.
Nonetheless, veteran Lil Rick is definitely a strong contender for the crown, bringing back memories of the East Coast days with his song Iza Bajan. Many will be curious to see the presentation for this song at Soca Royale, especially since the Hypa Dawg is always full of surprises.
Sweet Soca monarch Edwin Yearwood is also sure to give a quality, high-energy performance whenever he is on stage, so too iWeb singing Wuk Up and Rum. He opted not to participate in the Sweet Soca competition this year, saving his popular tune Big Up for the Pic-O-De-Crop competition.
They aren’t any newcomers to the stage, but newcomers to the competition. After performing around the world, Leadpipe and Saddis have booked themselves a spot on the Party Monarch finals stage for the first time and are over the moon about it.
“Making it to the finals of the Party Monarch in Barbados 2016 for the first time feels amazing. We are going to make a fete up at Bushy Park, and make the whole place rock. If cars race up there, we are going to race up there too. We will make it happen,” Leadpipe said on the behalf of the dynamic duo.
Mr. Blood, a perennial finalist, and former Party Monarch, predicts that it will be an exciting final, contrary to popular belief.
“Feels good to be selected. I think it will be an interesting final and much more exciting than people anticipate. A lot of focus has been given to the slower tunes, but we have some good party songs, and I think my chances of winning are great. Expect the best from me on that day,” Mr. Blood said.
TC is the lone female in the Party Monarch final.
The finalists will draw for their positions on Friday during CBC’s Festival Stage programme. Good luck to all!
The full list of the Sweet Soca and Party Monarch finalists are:
Sweet Soca: Adrian Clarke, Biggie Irie, Joaquin, Marvay, Mikey, Mr Dale, Nikita and Peter Ram. Yannick Hooper as the reserve.
Party Monarch: Edwin Yearwood, iWeb, Leadpipe and Saddis, Lil Rick, Mikey, Mr Dale, Mr Blood and TC. King Bubba as the reserve.