Eighteen for Soca Monarch semis

With their eyes on the $1.5 million top prize, 18 local artistes are preparing to give it their all at the semi-final of the 10th Carib Soca Monarch competition on February 8. Out of 32 entries, 18 semi-finalists were chosen and will head straight into the semi-finals following the elimination of the traditional quarter-finals.

2014’s Carib Soca Monarch will take home the top prize of $1.5 million with the second and third place winners copping $500,000 and $250,000 respectively. This year, a fourth prize of $200,000 has been added with the same sum being awarded to the best new artiste.

Speaking at a press conference yesterday at Ansa McAl Trading Limited, Darshanie Yussuf, Public Relations Officer of the company, emphasized the contributions Ansa McAl has made to Guyanese music over the years. The company not only sponsors the competition but brings in foreign musicians to facilitate workshops to foster the talent of local artistes. Over the years the company has collaborated with music producer Darryl Braxton, Barbadian saxophonist Arturo Tappin and Trinidadian bandleader Roy Cape. When it launched the 10th Carib Soca Monarch competition last month, Ansa McAl introduced Klase ‘1st Klase’ Gonsalves as the facilitator of a two-day workshop.

Reigning monarch Jumo Primo will also take part in the International Soca Monarch competition in Trinidad later this year and will head straight into the final of the local competition. His song this year is “On the Road’.

Marketing Director of Ansa McAl Troy Cadogan stated that the performance of Guyanese soca monarchs on the international scene will be a continuing trend.

This year, the company plans on introducing, in collaboration with Digicel, the ‘Digicel People’s Choice’ which will allow citizens to vote for their favourite. The winner of the text-based competition, it was revealed, will win a prize money of $300,000.

Cadogan also hinted at the lineup on the final, which will include the popular Kes the Band from Trinidad, slated to perform before the announcement of the new monarch.

The 18 semi-finalists and their songs are: Timeka ‘Lady T’ Sinclair: “Hit the Road”, Shelon ‘Shelly G’ Garraway: “Give it to Me”, Jamal ‘G Money’ Gittens: “Wining Session”, Ernesta Nelson: “Ridiculous Wining”, Levar ‘Ahzula’ Gittens: “De Bouncing Stop”, Quacy ‘Avalanche’ Coates: “Spartan”, Compton ‘Mysterious’ Boyce: “Spin Dem”, Natoya London: “Mass”, Melissa ‘Vanilla’ Roberts: “Yada Yada”, Abigail ‘AJ’ James: “What You Can Do With Yuh Bumpa”, Colbert ‘Magga Man’ Dublin, “Log on Pun a Bumpa”, Kemmyana ‘Kemmy’ Garnett: “Designated Winer”, Jonathan ‘Lil Red’ King: “Who We Are”, Roger ‘Roger B’ Bowen: “Love”, Orlando ‘Bones Man’ Johashen: “Blow”, Kwasi ‘Ace’ Edmonson: “Still in the Game”, Clifton ‘Passion’ Adolphus: “Cost of Living” and Ivelaw Maxwell: “Iron Supplier”. After the semi-finals on February 8 in Berbice, the competition will wrap up at the National Park on February 15.

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