(Trinidad Express) Kris “KI” Persad created history as the youngest artiste to be crowned Chutney Soca Monarch in 2012.
And he has done it again.
Persad, 28, was named winner of the 2014 Chutney Soca Monarch at Skinner Park, San Fernando, on Saturday night.
Performing in 19th position the lead vocalist of JMC 3Veni band delivered what was described as a superb performance, telling the story of his wife who ran away while he was on tour.
Persad’s song “Runaway” has been one of the most popular songs on local radio stations and at Carnival events.
He would received $2 million – double last year’s first prize.
Samraj “Rikki Jai” Jaimungal and Ravi “Ravi B” Bissambhar tied for second position and would each receive $400,000, while Kenneth Supersad placed fourth. Nishard Mayhroo placed fifth.
Persad was elegantly dressed in a black suit as he disembarked from a makeshift aircraft on stage, followed by his dancers in flight attendant costumes.
He was a favourite from the beginning as the large crowed chanted his name and sang every word of his runaway hit.
And as if he was not getting enough of his fans, Persad mounted the barriers and climed on a plaform in the audience.
His voice was crisp and clear, as Persad sang, “Last year I went on tour and I didn’t want to stay. But when I come back, my wife run away”.
Rikki Jai, seven time champion, delivered a well choreographed performance. He was accompanied by Nigel Rojas of the band Orange Sky. He performed “Clap your hands”.
He paid tribute to the icons of chutney music – Drupatee Ramgoonai and the late Sundar Popo. Jai said he has always performed original songs and warned that Bollywood melodies was not chutney music.
“You can’t be a chutney singer if you take Bollywood melodies. You have to be original,” he said.
Ravi B performed in first position and was a crowd’s favourite with his song “Bread”. Backed by dancers dressed as sliced bread, Ravi B commanded the audience to chant his name. His performance included a disappearing act by illusionist Kes.
Ravi B also paid tribute to mothers including his mother, Nargis Bissambhar, who was brought on stage. He kissed her feet and thanked his mother for her strength and love.
Kenneth Supersad provided comedy with his rendition of “Charging Bull”. His song referred to a herd of bull getting loose in areas across the country. Supersad was dressed as a matador and was backed up by men wearing bull heads.
The winners were announced shortly before 4am today.
And as the masters of ceremony named the winners, it was clear the Persad had taken the first place. His supporters carried him onto the stage where he was hugged and kissed by his father Verindra Persad, leader of JMC 3Veni band.
Minister of Arts and Multiculturalism Dr Lincoln Douglas and San Fernando West MP Carolyn Seepersad-Bachan attended the event.
Southex Promotions, producers of the event, announced that this year was the biggest prize payout in the history of the competition. The event was allocated $4.5 million to be paid in prizes by the Ministry of Arts and Multiculturalism.
Last year’s winner Raymond Ramnarine did not defend his title as he was not paid his full prize money. Ramnarine won first place with his song “I ain’t marriding again” and was expected to receive $1 million. He was paid $800,000.
Minister Douglas said last week that Ramnarine and other winners from last year would received outstanding balances. But up to last evening the prize money was not paid.