T&T shines at first online international chutney-soca competition

Chutneymusic.com Rani & Raja Competition

T&T shines at first online international chutney-soca competition

SANDRA L BLOOD
bloodsandral@yahoo.com
(545 words)

The world continues to feel the bad and ugly wrath of the Covid-19 virus, while at the same time, it’s spawning a multitude of good in varied ways.
The related health-and-safety ordinance propelled an overwhelming volume of people, globally, towards the social media platform to gain some semblance of sanity and create what would look like normalcy – tap into creativity like never before.
One such effort speaks to the first online chutney-soca competition hosted out of Canada by the chutneymusic.com entertainment, cultural and education site, as directed by founder, Trinidad and Tobago (T&T), Canadian national, Jason “Floops” Sookram.
From April 2020, Sookram said he had to dig deep to utilise one of his talents…music, to not only ease his frustrations, but so too, of those hit hardest by the pandemic – performing artistes.
The CIA and CPA (Certified Internal Auditor, and Certified Public Accountant), enticed worldwide chutney-soca artistes to get up off their chairs at home and put their craft to good use. This nudge essentially gave way to the competition, which is also the first combined Rani (queen) and Raja (king) international competition (CRC).
The preliminary round held on December 19, 2020, saw competitors having responded from the UK, America (USA), South Africa (SA), Canada (Cda), Netherlands (Nlds) and T&T, but just when T&T’s referred to as a people averse to rules and order, the strict rules and stringent guidelines saw the red, black and white colours shine at the top three positions including special titles, Popular Vote (*) and People’s Choice (**).
Rickson Mc Donald, Edward Ramdass, Trevor G, Tanty Sandra and Navita Mahato, set the pace.
Given only five female (rani) competitors, they will automatically advance to the finals, while the 12 male (raja) who qualified for semi-finals, will be eventually reduced to five finalists.
With mandolin in hand, 18-year-old UK competitor, Joanna “Kiran” Phillip (Sirf Kiran) and first place preliminary winner, sparked a flair of cultural diversity out of her rendition, having performed with the non-traditional instrument for such a competition, as a mandolin is synonymous with that of Spanish culture.
The judges referred to her as “a diamond in the rock with a lot of raw talent.”

About the CRC:

• Semi-finals: January 23, 2021; 5 P.M. (Eastern)
• To attend: YouTube Channel
• People’s Choice: Facebook – chutneymusic
• Popular Vote: YouTube – chutneymusic

Further details:
• chutneymusic.com
• 1 (905) 802.6219

Results of male preliminary

Position Competitor Country Tune Points
1 Rickson McDonald ** T&T A ka Lie 188
2 Edward Ramdass T&T Rani 180
3 Trevor G T&T Aura Adika Pryaar (More Love) 172
4 Connector Cda Marry d Dulahan 170
5 Daddy Chinee T&T Mera Naam 162
6 Vikash Moonilal SA Sita 157
7 Kai Palo Cda Can’t Take the Horn 154
8 Sunil Behari SA Nadhiya ke Naare 153
9 Sugar Daddy (Khayam Deo) * T&T Caura 150
9 Vinesh Rambaran SA Patna Saheriya 150
11 Paul Parsan Nlds Aaj Kal ke Lonedan 149
12 John Sankar Cda Shantel Gyul 142

Results of female preliminary

Position Competitor Country Tune Points
1 Sirf Kiran UK Challo Chennette 179
2 Tanty Sandra T&T Pisa Raiho Ho Raja 177
3 Navita Mahato T&T Choday Balam 164
4 Princess Ashanie ** & * USA Dance Break Away 161
5 Asha Rambaran Sayworth SA Mai Tho 144

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