Power, Groovy return to Soca Monarch

A lit­tle bit of old and a lit­tle bit of new as new­ly- ap­point­ed chair­man of the In­ter­na­tion­al So­ca Monarch, Fay Ann Lyons-Al­varez con­firmed that the Pow­er So­ca and Groovy So­ca cat­e­gories have made their way back in­to the com­pe­ti­tion brand­ed “Fan­tas­tic Fri­day.”

Speak­ing to re­porters at a press con­fer­ence held at the Hy­att Re­gency yes­ter­day, Lyons-Al­varez said, “Any­body who is a So­ca Monarch fan knows that Pow­er So­ca is So­ca Monarch. That’s the ba­sis of So­ca Monarch.”

She added: “When you have your monarch not be­ing able to cre­ate the same kind of fren­zy that the oth­er mon­archs are cre­at­ing in the oth­er coun­tries be­cause of the tem­po, be­cause of the BPM (beats per minute) of their par­tic­u­lar track; it does not re­flect well be­cause we’ve be­come a so­ci­ety where hands in the air is used as mea­sur­ing stick to see how much peo­ple re­spond­ing to you.”

The Pow­er cat­e­go­ry, she ex­plained, was the essence of the genre, which need­ed to be brought back. “That is what the flag roots, that is the en­er­gy, that is what peo­ple love.”

Lyons-Al­vares said that while big names and sea­soned per­form­ers are wel­comed at the com­pe­ti­tion, there need­ed to be a larg­er fo­cus on the younger faces who would be­come the fu­ture of the com­pe­ti­tion and the genre.

“We can’t keep telling the sto­ries of when Su­per Blue used to walk through the crowd or Bun­ji Gar­lin lit him­self on fire or this young la­dy named Fay Ann Lyons per­formed preg­nant. We need to keep the prod­uct alive so they can ex­pe­ri­ence for them­selves how it feels to have 40, 50 thou­sand scream­ing West In­di­an So­ca lov­ing fans in one place just en­joy­ing our cul­ture and our artistes,” she said.

As an artiste, Lyons-Al­vares said, the one thing the com­pe­ti­tion lacked was ad­e­quate mar­ket­ing, a prob­lem which she in­tends to fix by us­ing more mod­ern chan­nels such as through so­cial me­dia.

She was, how­ev­er, un­able to give an idea as to what val­ue this year’s prizes would be as she said it de­pend­ed on the fund­ing they would re­ceive.

Cur­rent­ly, they are ap­peal­ing to cor­po­rate en­ti­ties and Gov­ern­ment for spon­sor­ship as Lyons-Al­varez said she was will­ing to have dis­cus­sions with any min­istry that is in­ter­est­ed.

Found­ing fa­ther of the com­pe­ti­tion, William Munro said gov­ern­ment fund­ing for the com­pe­ti­tion was im­prop­er­ly per­ceived as a “hand­out.”

How­ev­er, he said it was an in­vest­ment in­to the prod­uct that is Car­ni­val.

Keep­ing the name “Fan­tas­tic Fri­day”, the com­pe­ti­tion will be­gin reg­is­tra­tion at 8 am on Jan­u­ary 21 and will end on Jan­u­ary 25.

The se­mi fi­nals will be held at the Ari­ma Velo­drome on Feb­ru­ary 10 at 3 pm and the fi­nals on March 1 at the Queen’s Park Savaanah.

- by Rishard Khan. Photo by Anisto Alves.

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