Reigning Party Monarch Michael Mikey Mercer is excited that he won the coveted soca title with his song Feting Family. However, the feeling is bittersweet since someone who was integral to the song’s creation was not there to watch him take the calypso crown from veteran entertainer Lil Rick.
Speaking to Bajan Vibes, Mikey said that his decision to self-pen his winning track Feting Family was inspired by a conversation with his friend Damien Dappa Taylor who unfortunately lost his life on December 30 in a three-vehicular-accident on the ABC highway.
“Damien also told me – ironically it is one of the last things Damien told me – just be true to yourself [and] you excel. He was the one that always encouraged me [saying] ‘Mikey, you got to write a ragga soca that is all you’,” a soft-spoken Mercer said, adding that he decided to give writing his own songs a try although he was accustomed to having his songs written for him.
“Usually, I would get other persons to write and I would adjust a little bit, in particular where the sweet soca’s are concerned. It actually is the first ragga soca that I wrote by myself. I feel good about it, but I am sorry he is not here to see it. I know he is looking down saying ‘I told you so’. That is how Dappa was and I am still very happy that I was able to have [him] in my life for the time he was,” he said.
The 2018 Party Monarch also reflected on the character of Dappa stating that those last words spoken in conversation came to pass as he dethroned Lil Rick to become the Party Monarch winner.
“He was a strong personality, and he was one of those guys that really told you – just keep pushing, don’t give up and when you get to the cuffs and say, ‘I done with this hey’ that is when the magic [happens]. That is what Dappa showed me and that is exactly what happened this year,” he said.
Changing the sombre tone of the interview, Mikey addressed his grievance with the loud music permit stating that it was affecting Barbados’ tourism product as shows must finish at 2 p.m.
“I really would like them to address this loud music permit. I remember growing up with Baxter’s road… I was hearing music all the way to five o’clock in the morning and people understood it was for the season,” he said, adding that people must remember that tourism is critical for Barbados and tourists aren’t going to leave their homelands to come to a party in Barbados that ends at 2 p.m.
“A lot of my foreign friends have been complaining saying parties are ending too early. All throughout the rest of the Caribbean, which we are competing against, their parties are going all the way until whenever. We have to find a way to remind some Barbadians… that tourism is a big thing for us and it is only for two or three weeks; it is not for every night,” he said. (LG/KK)