Dynamo has tasted sweet victory before. But Saturday’s win at the inaugural Junior Soca Monarch, staged at Ball Park Christ Church, was different.
The artiste, who has, over the years, done biting social commentary kaiso while competing in many fierce battles for the coveted Junior Monarch, told Bajan Vibes he likes performing soca more.
“Saturday was extremely different. Calypso is more relaxed and I can stroll across the stage, but soca is action and energy from top to bottom and you still have to be vocally clear. My preference is soca but my dad keeps reminding me that I cannot forget my roots and it is calypso that set the foundation for where I am today. But I still love soca more.”
The former Junior Monarch won the competition in a field of 15 contestants. His winning song, Bring Dem Back, was written by himself with some help from his dad – calypsonian, producer and educator Billboard Murrell. He told announcers on the night of the show that he had done 95 per cent of the writing. The up-tempo song is about the return of standards, morals and values to society, by taking heed of one’s parents, elders, preachers and the Bible.
While Dynamo admits that soca is his preference, his dynamic performance on Saturday proves why. Those who are familiar with his performances, though they are always effective and impactful, would agree that there was something majestic about Saturday night.
He admits preparation for this competition was more rigorous than before.
“I started doing a lot of jogging, skipping and working out to help with my breathing, diction and endurance. Ross, 3D and I had several rehearsals with our parents. We critiqued each other and got feedback and tips on how to pace ourselves and build our performance.
He added: “Khiomal Nurse had a very enlightening session with us. Rehearsing and performing with the young band, Ultimate Vibes, in the Boat Yard also helped me to be relaxed and comfortable with the Soca Monarch Band.
“However, I think one of the main factors is when my pastor, Apostle Destiny Cadogan, spoke to me a few days before the competition and helped to refocus me and set my head straight.”
Since Dynamo is no stranger to victory, or loss for that matter, when the announcement of the Top 5 was being made on Saturday he took no chances by assuming that he was the winner. It was not until his name was called that the singer was 100 per cent sure he was victorious.
Recalling the moment, he said: “Well, I wouldn’t say that I knew I was the winner because I’ve been in such positions many times and it didn’t go in my favour. I’ve been in the Top 3 on six occasions, so you never know. However, when I heard my name announced as the winner, I was extremely excited and even happier because my boys [Don] Ross and 3D [Demiko Newton] were there and they came to congratulate me.”
The artiste, who turned 18 last Thursday, was swift to point out that what the audience and those who watched it live at home witnessed Saturday night was a full team effort.
“Firstly, I thank God for using me as a messenger and my parents who are my strong support. My dad deals with my music and is the first person I look to every time I come off stage. My mum, [Janelle], is the one with the creative eye for my outfits and presentations. I have to mention my siblings Faith, Destiny and Eden as they are my biggest supporters.
“Next I must thank Richard Antonio. He did the drums in my song and gave tips, guidance and lots of help and encouragement along the way. I have to big up my boys, Ross and 3D. We did everything together.”
He added: “I have to thank Marzville for the opportunity to perform at Socafest and Tariq Ellis. Although Tariq [Ecko Drums] was in the competition, it was his idea to put a band together to back Ross; 3D and I and I have maximum respect and gratitude to him for that. Special thanks to my awesome dancers – Cadeeve Charles and Kyrique Alleyne – who enhanced my presentation.”
When asked what the new competition has taught him, the newly crowned Junior Soca King said: “I have learnt that I do not need to sing about wuk-up and pooch back to get somewhere in soca and for people to acknowledge me. Keeping a Godly standard is what makes me stand out.”
He said he will definitely be back next year, but his focus won’t be on winning, although he is honoured that he won. “I will be back to bring a message that people need to hear. What matters most is being the best messenger I can be for God. Whether it be singing or acting. I have to use all of the gifts He has given me to positively influence all areas.”
A humbled Dynamo’s message to other youngsters looking on at his success is simple: “Well, I have a long way to go, but the first key to being successful like Dynamo is putting God first. The difference between others and me is that God is extremely instrumental in whatever I produce. The positive vibes and being able to put out content for all ages and audiences also make me unique.”
The Theatre Arts student at the Barbados Community College (BCC), wants to be an actor, movie producer and artiste. He spoke briefly about his heavy social media presence and influence. “Well for my videos, I found I was a genuinely hilarious guy and my family and friends always told me that. So I figured, why not put them in skits, record them and put them out so other people can get my messages while being entertained? I kept at it because I really, really, really love acting… more than singing.”
Dynamo also loves fashion and fancies himself a part-time barber. “I am a part time barber but I have to sharpen my skills. I am also a drum tutor at Fun Music Workshop. I love to work with kids. I will add photography after I buy my new lens,” he quipped.