T&T makes clean sweep in first international Chutney Soca competition
SANDRA L BLOOD
An idea three years ago, 2018, and revisited two years following – during the most intense period of the pandemic last year – would eventually materialise and start to bear fruit in December, giving rise to the first ever tri-part Chutney Soca (CS) competition, and on an international front.
This unique competition comprised the customary chutney soca component, the first chutney soca Rani (Queen) and Raja (King) competition, and the first female component in the history of any CS competition.
Also, it etches its name in the cultural history book for being the first competition to crown a (rani) queen and raja (king) during the same competition.
Chutney Soca competitions began 25 years ago, from the spring board in that of the national soca competition that maintains supremacy in the soca world today, but the soca playing field is wide open having embraced the likes of ragga, reggae, gospel, groovy, afro, parang, among others, thus, it welcomes chutney of all types to chunkay the soca pot.
With finals completed on February 6, the ten competitors spanned South Africa (SA), America (USA), Canada (Cda), United Kingdom (UK), and Trinidad and Tobago (T&T), respectively, with T&T making a clean sweep at first place.
Copping the Raja and first male CRC title was Daddy Chinee with rendition, Mera Naam, and Rani, Navita Mahato with Chode Balaam.
Mahato would reign during the year basking in the glory of bragging rights, having created cultural history for becoming the first ever Queen of Chutney Soca, first CRC Queen, and the first queen to be crowned together with the King at the same show.
Says CRC, Daddy Chinee showed tremendous improvement from preliminaries, cleaning up his act delivering his story of the importance of living in unity. He reflected on his own experiences being of Indian, African and Chinese lineage.
As CRC took note from the preliminary round of UK competitor, Sirf Kiran, performing with the use of a mandolin, they also report that the judges liked how competitor Connector, included African drums in his performance.
The winners were determined, solely, by the panel of judges, reports CRC, that comprised: T&T’s Dr Visham Bhimull of Caribbean Hindustani is a Culture Advocate, Lyricist and Senior Medical Doctor; Dr Sharda Patasar: PHD in Cultural Studies, Performer and Columnist; and India’s Sneka Khanwalkar: Accredited Bollywood Music Director and Chutney Music Advocate in India.
CRC further states that judge Khanwalkar, “expressed in her native language, Hindi, her love for chutney music and T&T: ‘If I had known about chutney music earlier, I would have become a singer’.”
With dates pending, CRC advises that the judges will be hosting several workshops geared towards improving song, composition, performance and Hindi usage, and that, CRC 2022 is carded to begin in November 2021.
Hosted out of Canada via website, Chutneymusic.com, founder and host, Jason Sookram, wishes to thank all the competitors and other contributors who made the first instalment of CRC a great success.
1: Navita Mahato – T&T 1: Daddy Chinee (Ricardo Melville) – T&T
2: Princess Ashanie (Ashanie Lahel) – USA 2: Connector (Joel Davis) – Cda
3: Sirf Kiran (Joanna Kiran Phillips) – UK 3: Edward Ramdass – T&T
4: Tanty Sandra (Sandra Singh) – T&T 4: Rickson Mc Donald – T&T
5: Asha Rambaran Saywerth – SA 5: Sugar Daddy (Khayam Deo) – T&T