August 15, 2012

Independence Calypso & Chutney Soca Monarch 2012


Tonight I was reading the local news papers and came across an article about the 50th Anniversary of Independence Chutney Soca Monarch Competition. Damn, it hit me... I totally disregarded this competition and failed to report anything about it. I promptly posted the finalists for the competition. I was totally into the Calypso competition. So why is this important or why am I upset about this? Well simply put, Chutney Soca is the culture of Trinidad and Tobago just like Calypso and Soca! I have followed the Calypso competition and posted several times regarding that competition but did not do the same for the Chutney competition. This may have happened because I listen to WACK radio daily and they are immersed in the promotion of the Calypso competition. 

I have also realized that this Culture Krazy radio station that I fervently believe in and support without reservation is not covering the competition or even bringing news about the competition (I have not heard anything about it on that station). However, they did broadcast the Calypso semi finals and have been featuring the calypsos every day! I love the fact that they are playing the calypsos because without that outlet those songs would not be heard by listeners living outside of Trinidad and Tobago. I am simply disappointed that the same cannot be said about the Chutney Soca songs. Sometimes I wonder about the meaning of the catch phrase, "We are Culture Krazy"!

Moving on... is one competition more important that the other? To be honest the answer is yes. In my opinion Calypso music is the foundation for all of these competitions and 1962 Independence Competition was all about Calypso -  Chutney Soca was years away!  Lord Shorty fused Indian Rhythms with Calypso to create Soca in the early 70's and from that fusion came a very 'Indianized' form of Calypso music (those were the early experiment fusions that later became Soca). Soca music changed and multiplied and one can say parted company with one version becoming more funky (Soca) and the other retaining the Indian elements of the music Chutney Sokah! In that respect Calypso is very important but not 'more important'. Today Chutney productions are on par with and may soon surpass the Calypso productions... they have some way to go to rival the International Soca Monarch Competition produced by Mr. William Munroe. 

Last night something very embarrassing happened on WACK Radio. The representatives of TUCO (the body that represents Calypsonians in Trinidad) conducted themselves in a very unprofessional manner. I won't go into details but I must say that Calypso is in trouble, and from what I witnessed, is not in good hands. Those who witnessed the 'Kankalang' that took place cannot, in all honesty, say that Calypso will outpace Chutney Soca in terms of management, from what many witnessed last night. It was a very sad day for Calypso in Trinidad and Tobago!

Now we have both SOUTEX (producing the Chutney Soca Independence Competition) and TUCO (producing the Calypso Independence Competition) both working with the Ministry Of The Arts & Multiculturalism to bring these productions to the general public to commemorate the 50th. Anniversary of our independence. I know the Calypsos will be first class and the Chutney songs may not be as good but I want to see the production of these shows. I want to see what the future holds for both chutney and Calypso. This should be very revealing regarding the management and production of future shows and the future development of both music genres. 

I wish both Tuco and Soutex success with their respective competitions. Both shows are financed by the Government of Trinidad and Tobago. Good luck to all concerned. 

 
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