Surrounded by his family, a beaming Classic was basking in his victory minutes after he was announced the 2019 Courtesy Garage Pic-O-De-Crop winner in the wee hours of Saturday morning.
It was the second time William Waithe had impressed the judges and warmed his way into the hearts of the massive crowd at Kensington Oval. The first time was back in 2015 when he took the coveted title after singing In Bed Together and Something Fishy.
This time around he only needed One Song – a song he penned himself and which was arranged by Dr Ricky Brathwaite.
Classic told the media this win was historic.
“2019 is historic in that the one song concept is a novel concept. I had to rethink my game plan because with one song you have to find the right kind of song that would grip people. It is not like two songs where you can have one type of song in the first half and another type in the second half… You have to have that song that immediately grips people. Fortunately, I worked out it is a different thinking altogether when you have one song ‘cause you only have one bite of the cherry…”
The kaisonian who opted today to take his $100,000 winnings instead of the vehicle, confessed that the cleverly written song proved to be a bit of a challenge.
“The one song concept – in terms of John King’s songs – that was a challenge to use the songs to tell the story and rhyme at the same time and be coherent. That wasn’t easy. I had to go back through his repertoire and check his discography and find the songs that would be appropriate to tell the story and it worked out. It was a difficult song to write, but it was also very enjoyable writing the song and using his songs…”
However, he said Brathwaite was the perfect person to arrange the song which he wanted to stand out.
“Ricky Braithwaite did a fantastic job with the arrangement, recording and production and everything. It was a pleasure and honour to work with him. [He’s] a very talented musician… I worked with Rick before. When I first started singing calypso, Ricky was one of my first arrangers so I know his potential, I know his ability. I felt he was the ideal person for the song. I knew he would bring that energy I was looking for to make the arrangement vibrant so the song would stand out.”
With his wife Donna, daughter Tamika, brother Paul and his sister-in-law Yvette on stage with him, Classic credited his team for his continued success.
“You gotta work with the right people. You gotta find people who will tell you… people who will guide you, people who have experience. Fortunately for me, Kimtara [Clarke] from Trident10 TV coordinated my presentation, so I was able to focus on my performance while she took care of that… that took a load off me this year. I think she did a fantastic job so I want to compliment her publicly. Once you have the right people working with you, then it makes your job much, much easier.”
Classic said there is always the pressure of bettering your last performance. But with hard work, it can happen.
“You have to come and lift the song on the big night. It is a matter of conceptualising what you want to do. We didn’t want to overkill the presentation because some people tend to go overboard with presentations. We wanted to do a presentation that was effective and impactful and luckily for us, it worked out. A lot of planning, hard work and dedication went into it…”
The entertainer explained that what the crowd enjoyed, and the judges witnessed was a culmination of weeks of planning and perfecting. “The whole of last week I didn’t get much sleep at all… Every day I was at it, practising and working on how we are going to get everything to come together for finals night. Merle Niles worked with me in 2015 but this year Kimtara alone worked with me. But she also worked with me in 2015 so we have a history of working together.”
Does the calypso king have plans of bagging a third crown?
“I already have a song written that I was going to do this year, so next year we’ll see how that goes…” Classic said with a broad smile on his face. (IMC)