The countdown is on to Soca Royale, with the 18 finalists vying for the top spots in the Sweet Soca and Party Monarch drawing their positions Tuesday and declaring their intentions for the competitions.
Lil Rick, the reigning Party Monarch, will be first in the line-up, followed by Mikey, Faith, Ras Iley and Grynner, Mr Blood, Ramses, Mistah Dale, and Peter Ram, with newcomer Saffiyah closing the competition.
Meantime, veteran soca artiste TC will begin the Sweet Soca segment, followed by Shaquille, defending monarch Edwin Yearwood, Nikita, Marzville, Lil Rick, Sanctuary, Red Plastic Bag (RPB) and Damien Marvay.
After he narrowly missed taking the Sweet Soca title last year, Marvay is back with a vengeance.
He told Barbados TODAY he embraced the challenge that comes with being the last performer.
“It feels like I’m closing out the show and it all leads up to ‘I better do a good job’,” the singer said.
Keeping details about what his performance on the night will be like, Marvay said he wanted to do the best possible version of the song while remaining true to himself.
“The presentation has to be special for me first, so I want to make sure that I do something that you can remember later, regardless of competition.”
After two previous failed attempts, Marzville finally got into the Sweet Soca finals this year with his hit, Give It To Ya.
“I was trying for two years, so it really is an accomplishment that I was looking forward to from before,” he said.
The first-time Sweet Soca finalist said he got exactly the position he wanted.
Collaborating for the first time in D 2 Ah We, Ras Iley and Gyrnner proclaimed they would show the crowd gathered at Bushy Park on July 30 that age was just a number.
While some may be of the view that the two are past their prime, the veterans have a different opinion.
“There is a culture in this country that no matter how good you [are] performing, as [soon as] you pass 30 everybody begins to write you off. Even in the music now, rather than keep the older brigade mixed with the younger crowd so that we can go to the next level, in terms of educating them in the experiences that we have had over the years, we discard the older people. So we decided we are going to put it in song and make a statement that age has nothing to do with it,” Ras Iley said.
The boisterous 54-year-old and 71-old-year calypsonians indicated that regardless of position, whoever came after them would have a difficult time as they would give their Party Monarch performance the same amount of energy and spirit they devoted to all their performances.
“We’re batting in the middle so who come after us have to bat,” stressed Grynner. “We not going out there playing any marble cricket; we’re playing Test cricket. We are going to step up the show when we get down there [and] pull up our socks.”