It’s been a year that reigning Junior Monarch Quon will never forget. For him, it was a priceless experience that has made him a better person and a better artiste.
“It was simply an amazing experience, life changing to say the least. I’ve been exposed to all kinds of people who I’ve learned so much from. The opportunities to perform in places like St. Kitts & Trinidad helped with my confidence and how comfortable I am on stage. So all in all, the experience has been a great one,” he told Bajan Vibes recently.
The 18-year-old spoke candidly about what it meant to him to be crowned winner of the Scotiabank Junior Monarch 13 to 18 category and how it has impacted his life.
“For me, winning was an opportunity to further make a mark. As Junior Monarch there’s always a show where my services are required and I see each performance as an opportunity to market myself and show Barbados my worth and talent.
“I see the entertainment industry as something I’d go a long way in. Winning the competition also meant that I could act as a role model to other youngsters,” said the monarch whose real name is Dequon Alleyne.
One of the major highlights of his reign was being able to represent Barbados at Trinidad carnival. It was special for him since he had never travelled to the island.
“There wasn’t a time before that I represented Barbados or even travelled to Trinidad & Tobago. Therefore, it was a chance to experience a new culture and promote myself as well as my country. I think I did both well. The masses in Trinidad were quite pleased with my offering and there’s a lot I took away from their culture.”
This year Quon is singing Smart, a song penned by Water Street Boyz and arranged by Roger Gittens. He will not only defend his title on Saturday night with the song but he has been singing it in the House of Soca Calypso Tent throughout the season.
“Joining a tent is just something that comes with age and maturity and I think that at the time I was ready to show my worth even towards the older calypsonians. The House of Soca tent has helped me tremendously, just the way they operate as one family is really helpful…”
Unfortunately for him, he is ineligible to be judged for the Pic-O-De-Crop this year since he cannot sing the same song in both competitions.
“This was only made clear two weeks prior to judging therefore it would’ve been strenuous to get another song written, learned as well as publicized. However, singing in the House of Soca has been nothing but smooth sailing. I’ve become so comfortable performing through the weekly tent nights and it has simply boosted my confidence going into the finals.”
So what’s Quon’s game plan for Saturday?
“I imagine defending on a fresh sheet of paper this year. New year, new song, new competitors. The only thing that hasn’t changed is the fact that I’m going to give my best. It’s a matter of perfecting my performance so I feel as comfortable on stage as possible. Should I win again, it would be my greatest joy. Should I not win, there would be no disappointment. The goal is to put down a proper performance and be content with it, just like last year.”
The Queen’s College student who is currently studying Business Management and Spanish is impressed with the quality of music and high standard of all three Junior Monarch competitions this year.
“There is never any doubt about the quality of songs contestants bring to Junior Monarch each year, so there wasn’t any doubt whether I’d have competition or not. I believe it’ll be keenly contested and simply a case of the better man winning, or lady, of course.”
The teenager who also has a deep passion for cricket, has some advice for youngsters who continuously face obstacles while on the journey to fulfilling their dreams.
“It’s simple: keep trying. In this life, you seldom achieve things unless you go after them and it’s the same with every aspect. Sow your seed and eventually, you’ll reap its benefits.”
The Scotiabank Junior Monarch comes off Saturday at the Wildey Gymnasium. (IMC)