A soca artiste who graced Sunday’s big stage of the inaugural Soca Monarch competition is suggesting that the National Cultural Foundation (NCF) returns to the original two-contest format.
Newcomer, Jamal Jslo Slocombe performed yesterday in the climatic MQI/98.1 The One Soca Monarch Competition held at the National Botanical Gardens. Unlike previous years where artistes competed in the Sweet Soca Competition and Party Monarch Competition, 16 finalists faced the judges, all competing for the title of 2019 Soca Monarch.
Out of the 16 competitors, only two performed power soca tracks, that is the winner Mikey with Action Time Again and the second place went to Lil Rick with Jam Down. The other sweet soca tunes were formidable but paled against the high energy “jump and wave” power soca tunes.
Jslo who made it to the semi-finals of the Sweet Soca Competition in 2018 with Rocker, was the youngest contestant to stand on the Soca Monarch stage.
Speaking to Barbados TODAY backstage, he suggested that the move by the NCF was “regressive”.
Jslo said: “I believe that the competitions need to split again reason being that really and truly they are two different dynamics. An uptempo song has a certain bpm, the lyrical content is treated differently it has a different approach while a sweet soca song is a feel-good song.
“I thought it was slightly a regressive step to really merge the competition yet again.”
He also expressed concerns about the new venue but was primarily worried about the early 2 p.m. start, as patrons were still arriving even after performances began.
He added: “Change is inevitable but sometimes you don’t fix what isn’t broken. Yes, we want to bring it onto a state-owned property especially when we want to develop our national botanical gardens.
“People enjoyed themselves that was the main thing. I’m not so much concerned with the venue but the time of the day the competition was and we would like a cooler atmosphere but the main thing is that people enjoyed themselves.”
Lil Rick also told Barbados TODAY that the atmosphere at the new venue, National Botanical Gardens, took him back to his days at the East Coast.
He said: “It is a different venue, a different atmosphere. It brings back a little vibe of the old east coast days so I just try to fit myself in the area.
“In a year or so when everything starts to flourish I know out here will be the bomb.”