A feeling of sheer euphoria washed over Damien Smith when he realised after years of participation in the Richard Stoute Competition he was finally a champion.
“From the time I heard the judge say contestant No. 6-Damien Smith, I felt a rush of excitement come over me. All I could do is smile from ear to ear and I said to myself, finally my hard work has paid off!” Smith was declared the winner of the Over 21 category on Sunday night as he eclipsed the 13 other competitors who were wrestling for the title.
The 33-year-old is a former student of the Deighton Griffith Secondary School and is currently employed as a customer service officer with CIBC First Caribbean Bank. He gave Bajan Vibes some insight into who he is.
He shared, “I started singing from the age of ten when I used to sing with The Canticles, which was a gospel group.” With a quick smile he admitted, “Well, I love a good party so a perfect night out for me would be at an all-inclusive party with great music, great food and drinks.”
When not on stage, you can find him lounging on the beach or travelling. Also among his favourite activities in his downtime are going to the beach, surfing the Internet and catching up on his TV shows.
Even 24 hours after taking the title he was still basking in the glow of triumph. “I’m still on my high, I feel fantastic, I’m getting a lot of comments from friends and family and other people who follow the show saying congratulations and it was well deserved,” he noted.
Smith is cognisant that some of the island’s best entertainers have participated in this long running competition and that fact makes this victory even sweeter. He expressed, “Winning this show means I can say I’m a champion. A number of great talents in Barbados came through this show and now I can say I won said show.”
Singing is one of Smith’s greatest loves and his face has become a staple at karaoke island wide. He shared, “I have won numerous karaoke competitions.” Recently, he impressed the judges in the Baje to the World competition in which participants are vying for the chance to participate in an international talent competition. Smith won the preliminary that was hosted in St George.
His latest title is special to him. “This is a big win for me because this was the finals of an established competition and I came out on top,” he excitedly added. “I have entered the competition 5 times, first time I didn’t place, second time I came third, the third and fourth times I came second and now I’m the winner. So that’s why you would hear a lot of people say, ‘Finally’,” he laughingly explained.
His continued participation in this musical contest has led to moments of introspection. He revealed, “Being involved in this competition has showed me how patient I am. I didn’t realise how much perseverance I had.” Beyond revealing his strength of character, he observed, “It has taught me to be confident in myself and my performances.”
He has a rudimentary approach to preparation – it is all about getting into the right mind space. “Before competition, I say a prayer first, then I would find a quiet corner and get myself into competition mode. I go through my songs in my head over and over and I would also go through my performance in my head.”
Hard work and dedication seldom fail and his contentment with finally reaching this pinnacle is unmatched, well, so far at least. He encouraged anyone who is thinking about charting a similar course to dive right in: “I would tell that person go for it, go to the workshop on Thursdays so you can get your training and give it your all!” (STT)