Over the years, fans have watched Machel Montano grow into a highly respected soca music artiste who attracts crowds around the world.
For the Trinidadian Carnival road march king, the musical journey has been nothing but a learning experience and a rewarding one at that.
Bajan Vibes caught up with Machel recently while he was in the island for the Barbados Independent Film festival to receive an award for his role in Bazodee, in which he made his acting debut.
“I have enjoyed (the journey) in its entirety. There have been down moments but when I look back, I’m proud of my achievements. I think one of the most significant things is the amount of people I have met over the years,” said Machel.
“I may not always remember a face, but I remember the experiences. It’s always rewarding when you think back on the relationships that were built.”
Machel said there isn’t anything he would have done differently. “I have always done things in the moment and I’ve always lived in the now. So, to stop and say I would done it differently, I don’t know, because if I had done it differently, it might not have turned out the same way.”
He added: I’m pretty very much satisfied with what I have done in my career. I’ve done down so much and advanced so many times, you know, set so many trends that have become standard that I feel very excited.”
When Machel looks back on his career, he also is particularly happy that those whom he has mentored over the years, have grown and matured into top soca artistes themselves.
“People like Patrice and Farmer Nappy, all the young upcoming artistes who were in my incubator, in my organization. I let them see the things that I would do and it rubbed off and I feel very proud, not just with their careers as artistes, but also their work and their behaviour as people and the entrepreneurs they have become.”
Machel went on: “They have their businesses and their houses intact. I always supported them and you can’t ask for anything more than that a parent loves to see their successful child.”
While he may no longer be competing for the International Soca Monarch crown which he has dominated over the years, Machel said he is still going to be very much a part of Trinidad and Tobago’s 2017 Carnival.
“I have a huge fan base and I make music for the people. That’s what I continue to do. I have been focusing on expanding my reach and Bazodee is one of those projects . . . ,” Machel pointed out.
Without going into much detail, the artiste dropped a hint regarding some of what those attending the popular Machel Monday during Carnival can expect this year.
“Machel Monday this year will have a lot of surprise guests and I want to kind of keep it under wraps too again,” he said.
“I have worked with a lot of Nigerian-Afro beat artistes, dancehall Afro beat artistes (and) a lot of Jamaican dance hall artistes last year. I have also worked with people like Megan Trainor and we were just doing soca music and putting it in different corners. So, you never know who you will get to at that time to come into Machel Monday.”
Machel pointed out that one of his goals now is to help younger artistes become great.
“The whole point about it is carnival is carnival. You have fun. I do what I do, I try to do it more and more efficiently every year, work less but smarter you know and sometimes you work towards becoming a big artiste in your home but I think I have done enough of that.
He added: “Now I have to try to help other artistes become as big or help other people achieve their goals, you know, to streamline or do whatever we can to expand our reach and make our music more global and help serve more people so when we have Crop Over and carnivals, more people would come and be part of it.”