Demiko “3D” Newton made a mark on the Junior Soca Monarch (JSM) stage recently, which gained him second place in the competition.
But for 3D, it isn’t only about winning or losing. The young artiste told Bajan Vibes that the entire exercise of being a participant in the competition was a rich and rewarding experience.
“It is not all about winning. It is about building meaningful friendships, creating a brand, respecting yourself and others while embracing constructive criticism. Be the best you can be, nothing is impossible and hard work, commitment and dedication pay off.”
The 17-year-old copped 352 points with his song Alive. His performance was smooth, sweet vocals accompanied by a colourful spectacle in his presentation. His was the most visually appealing presentation of the night. Dressed in a red short pants suit, with a red bandana tied around his head, it was clear 3D came to party.
“I came up with the concept of the song. I always wanted to sing a song about our festival and keeping it alive. My mother Tamika Newton and uncle Billboard Murrell wrote the song, and he was also the producer.”
3D started singing at nine years old. He is no stranger to the stage, having been named a semifinalist in the Junior Monarch and placing third in the Barbados Talented Teens Pageant 2019. The performer said the song is significant to him.
“It means a lot to me. It allows me to express myself. It allows me to remind Barbadians, old and young, that our festival is a part of our history, therefore we should embrace it and never let it die.”
3D recalls the very moment the announcer called his name as the one who took second place. “The moment my name was announced second place, I was very happy because all of my hard work and the hard work of others paid off.”
The singer told Bajan Vibes that he would definitely be entering the Junior Soca Monarch competition next year and is also looking to enter the senior Soca Monarch as well.
However, he admits that the preparation process for the competition was “tiring”. “I attended workshops and rehearsals, even though it was tiring and all I wanted to do was sleep, my mother would always be saying “Demiko you better get up and practice de song because if yuh fail tuh prepare, well prepare to fail. She would also remind me of the benefits of attending the workshops.”
On the day of the competition, he was a nervous wreck. “The day of the competition, I was very nervous. However, with the support of my team, the Junior Soca Monarch team and my new family (the competitors) I was able to settle myself. I kept reminding myself to keep the vocal integrity of the song, make sure my diction is clear, not to over think and to have fun on stage.”
3D has a number of people to thank as it was a team effort. He even benefitted from tips and guidance from his step-father Ishiaka McNiel, who is a singer as well as a dramatist.
“I wish to thank the Almighty God for my talents, His blessings, guidance and protection on my life. I have to thank my mother, my stepfather Ishiaka, uncle Billboard and Uncle Richard Antonio, my family, friends, supporters, my team headed by Rico Bradshaw, the Junior Soca Monarch team, Chrystal, my sponsors, Marzville and the Summer Soca Fest team, Tariq Reckon Drums Ellis and my brothers for life Asher Dynamo Murrell and Don-Ross Ross Oliver.”
Demiko told Bajan Vibes that his biggest influencer is his mum Tamika.
“When I see her, I see greatness and she has been there for me through thick and thin. She is always reminding me to stand out and not fit in and be the best I can be.”
While he listens to all types of international music, it’s local artistes who impress him the most. “I am heavily influenced by artistes in Barbados such as Mighty Gabby, Grynner, Lil Rick, Edwin Yearwood, Khiomal, Mr Blood, Marzville and Mikey. I am also influenced by Olivia Hall, Ishiaka McNiel and Angelo Lascelles who are all theatre practitioners.”
Family and friends matter the most to 3D. When he is not dancing or singing, you can find him in the kitchen baking.
His advice to fellow youth is simple: “Believe in yourself and be determined to succeed. It will not be easy, but if it is your dream go after it. Respect yourself and others. Have an open mind and be a good listener. Be committed to the process, be the best you can be and never give up.”
Demiko, who is studying Theatre Arts at the Barbados Community College, wants to become an international singer, actor and dancer. He also wants to establish his own theatre and dance studio.