Barbadians predictably dominate the lineup of 19 semifinalists in the International Bashment Soca Competition, vying to snatch the crown from reigning bashment soca monarch, Lil Rick.
The Bajan contestants include familiar faces to the competition as two-time monarch Stiffy, Mole, Scrilla, Porgie, Marzville, Jagwa De Champ, father-son duo VerseeWild/XtraWild, Lil Rick’s son UndaDawg, and Timmy.
There is a slew of new competitors, including King Bubba FM, Mara Rose, social media sensation Mackie Tone, Dee Vine, Kadafi, SugahRhe, Linksee, and Maloney.
Sita Di Lyrical Diva from St Vincent and the Grenadines returns to the competition, which includes two entries from St Lucia in Ambi and Subance. TR Shine from Belize, Blaze Anthonio from Guyana and C Diddy from the US will also be vying to enter the finals.
The winner takes home $ 60,000, second place receives $15,000 and third place $5,000, among other prizes. All entrants are to receive appearance and performances fees from the competition, which is sponsored by directory listings firm Yello.
Speaking to Bajan Vibes shortly after the semifinalists were announced, bashment soca artiste Mole said he was hoping for the best. His song She Wid Um marks his fourth time making it to the semis.
“I’m just going to try to get as much people to vote as possible,” said Mole who added that he would ‘up de ting’ for the rest of the season.
Fellow bashment soca artiste SK is hoping that he is victorious the second time around. Last year, he made it to the semis with Despicable but he believes that his 2019 tune, Reverse, is a stronger competitor. The bashment artiste declared that Crop Over 2019 has started in fine form and he was hoping to be on the Kensington Oval stage on July 6.
SK told Barbados TODAY: “I made it to the semifinals last year so for me it feels like a second chance because I believe I am going finals this year as well.
“I feel like SK is going to be trouble this year.”
First-timer Walkes debuted with I Want to Meet Meat, a song that was created ad-lib. Walkes said he was elated to have reached the semis and his participation in the competition was for his fans and supporters. He revealed that he was performing the song two months prior to its release.
He said: “There were no plans for me to enter the competition. I Want To Meet Meat was not even planned to be a song this year, neither was the Hickles of Life. I dropped Hickles of Life which was a dancehall tune and the line that everyone remembered out of that song was I Want To Meet Meat which was an ad-lib.”
One of the four females in the competition, Mara Rose said: “When they made the announcement, there was a range of emotions and thoughts.” Her song, Handle It, marks her entry into the soca arena.
“My strategy is to enjoy every bit of what is happening right now and work with it. Something great will come forward,” she declared.
Voting for the International Bashment Soca Competition concludes on July 17. The public is asked to vote at www.internationalbashmentsoca.com.