Chutney Storyteller: General Imran champions ‘Rum & Horn’ songs written by Michael Mondezie.
There is still a space for “rum and horn” songs in chutney soca music.
So believes newly crowned Chutney Soca Monarch (CSM) GI (Imran Beharry).
GI, 33, won the 25th CSM crown with the comical “Anna, Anna”. The provocative double entendre tells the story of a woman going to market and squeezing all his fruits without making a purchase.
“Anna, Anna doh squeeze meh banana
Look yuh squeezing up meh goods
And eh buyin nothing
Anna, Anna doh squeeze meh banana.”
The new CSM argues that there must remain a space for unrestricted storytelling within the genre. His views are a total 180 from previous back to back joint winners Neval Chatelal and Nishard Mayhroo who called for more content in chutney soca beyond seemingly redundant topics.
“My stance is that chutney music is about storytelling. The persons who have issues with ‘rum and horn’ songs are a handful to say the least. I am not discounting their opinions, however, chutney soca artistes produce music that the people like to hear and party to, there is a place for everyone in chutney soca; find your niche and carve it into your dream,” he reasoned.
GI said “Anna, Anna” is authentic storytelling. Customers squeezing fruits and not buying are par for the course in any market, he said.
“My winning song is a story—a true story that I witnessed growing up—it’s a story of a girl who goes to the market, squeeze and touch everything, yet don’t buy. Ask any market vendor, if this is not so,” he challenged.
From child prodigy to monarch
The former Children of Mastana Bahar star said winning CSM has been a long-term target and to actually achieve the feat is mind-blowing. GI went through several musical changes in the past decade. The former Karma singer left crossover band Dil-e-Nadan to forge a solo career and changed his name from General Imran to the abbreviated GI.
“Chutney Soca Monarch King 2020 is a huge accomplishment for me as an artiste who decided to go solo back in 2015. Winning in a new decade, for the 25th year of CSM and in my five years as GI, is a milestone. Being the monarch is a dream come true, and it’s a stepping stone for accomplishing so much more,” he said.
The “more” he insists will remain simple targets: producing more music and continuing to provide for children’s charities. GI, who lost his father when he was three years old, has always focused on giving back to his community.
“My plans are simple—keep producing music all throughout the year and keep doing charity for children. I am now heavily booked for foreign shows, but music and charity remains an important focus for me,” he insisted.
He added that winning this country’s first Grammy music award also remains a dream. “I have a vision of one day winning a Grammy Award. With my vision and with my team’s execution, I am going exactly there.”
The Hennessey cognac brand hosted a celebration in his honour on Wednesday at Next Night Club in San Fernando. GI, who is a brand ambassador for the internationally distributed liquor, took the opportunity to host and thank friends and music industry insiders who have helped guide his career over the years.
He said a more personal intimate celebration for his team members, however, is still in the planning.
“We haven’t celebrated as a team yet. With a busy Carnival season after the Monarch, etc. We are thinking of a weekend getaway as the team to Tobago might be in order. Where else can we relax but in our beautiful sister isle,” he concluded.
Source: Chutney Storyteller: General Imran champions ‘Rum & Horn’ songs written by Michael Mondezie.
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