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Fellow artistes to Machel: Stay in the soca game
Monday, February 20, 2012
Machel Montano’s fellow artistes and even some outside of the entertainment arena are all agreeing that he should not step down and give others a chance to win the soca competitions. Montano, last Friday night, won the International Power Soca and Groovy Monarch competitions which came with a $2.5 million prize. He also won the Power Soca competition last year. This year, he dethroned Kees Dieffenthaller who won the Groovy category in 2011. The T&T Guardian asked calypso veterans if they felt Montano, who seems to have reached the pinnacle of his achievements locally, should step down.
Hollis Liverpool, the Mighty Chalkdust, said while Montano “might run a few persons” from the competition, he should remain right where he was. “I don’ think Machel should step down...He might run a few persons but let them come up to his standard,” he said. Chalkdust said he added a line about Montano to his calypso at the Dimanche Gras show. Montano came from the Spectacula Forum calypso tent on Henry Street, Port-of-Spain, where he sang as a young boy, Chalkdust recalled. “He was groomed by us, to some extent,” he said, with some pride.
Brother Resistance, president of the Trinbago Unified Calypsonians Organisation (Tuco) said despite the money and the prestige of winning a title, Montano’s return to the soca monarch competition lifted its profile. “His presence there was a plus for the competition...I wouldn’t want to make a judgment on whether he should pull out or not.” Sherma Orr, Tuco’s public relations officer, when asked the question, replied, “Not at all. “Machel is an artiste...He should perform until he’s had enough,” she said. “As as artiste, it’s up to you to decide when you’ve had enough. “If Machel feel he could sing until 92 in a wheelchair, that’s up to him. “I will even push the wheelchair for him.”
Professor Gordon Rohlehr, a calypso researcher from the University of the West Indies, said while he never researched soca, it was untraditional for someone enjoying a winning streak to step down. “It’s a competition and the best competitor wins...You have to dethrone the king,” he said. “I don’t see any reason why he should step down. “If they are saying he’s better than everybody, as far as I’m concerned, they are all doing the same thing. “The soca tunes are dealing with a lot of gimmickry and harangueing. “I don’t know how exactly one judges that kind of thing. “To me, any one can win.”