By all accounts, the Sweet Soca Finals will be the more keenly contested show, come Sunday, as the crème de la crème of the season gather at Bushy Park for Soca Royale to compete for the Party Monarch and Sweet Soca Monarch crowns.
For the first time in 22 years, the Sweet Soca competition will be the highlight event of Soca Royale with a line-up of solid performers and popular songs. Veteran artiste TC will be leading the pack with Paradise, followed by Shaquille singing Collateral, defending monarch Edwin Yearwood performing Circle, Nikita with Carry Festival, Marzville singing Give It To Ya, Lil Rick performing Blessing, Sanctuary singing Pick Me Up, Red Plastic Bag (RPB) performing Boat Ride and Damien Marvay with Antidote.
Previewing the competition, fellow soca artistes reckoned that the tight race will be determined completely by delivery and the decision of the judges, considering the abundance of good songs that have been released for the 2017 season.
Joaquin who is known for his self-penned groovy song, The Baddest, but is not in the competition this year, told Bajan Vibes that considering all the buzz surrounding the sweet soca genre, it was expected that the competition would be the climax event at Soca Royale on Sunday.
“Sweet soca has the most attraction right now,” he explained. “The line-up is much stronger for the sweet soca so you want to end with a bang.” Noting that competition was tough this year, he identified some of his personal favourites were Marzville’s Give It To Ya, Sanctuary’s Pick Me Up and Boat Ride by RPB.
Meanwhile, the duo of Leadpipe and Saddis stated that given the unpredictability of competition, it was hard to determine who would drive away with the grand prize of a Mazda 3 car.
“I’ve learnt you can’t make predictions, it all depends on the night. We just have to see on the day,” said Leadpipe, while commending fellow artistes for raising the bar every year.
“The music is great, there is a lot of music coming out . . . it is fabulous music that people can relate to. It is a lot of songs with meaning and songs that Barbadians can relate to,” he added.
However, for the Party Monarch finals, he believed that the defending monarch, Lil Rick had a good chance of reclaiming his crown.
The Hypa Dawg, will be followed by Mikey (Feteing and Brass), Faith (Run It), Ras Iley and Grynner (D 2 Ah We), Mr Blood (Leggo), Rameses (Fowl Cock), Mistah Dale (Soca Famaleeze), and Peter Ram (Upside Down), with newcomer Saffiyah (Tun Up) closing the competition.
Bashment soca artiste, Mole, also shared his thoughts on the royal showdown.
“The competition looks tough this year so I don’t really have a winner. Sweet Soca is the competition to go and as you see, there are lot of big dogs,” the performer said.