(Trinidad Guardian) – There is no denying the direct connect between chutney music and rum and Chutney Soca Monarch promoter George Singh Jr, said he has listened to the complaints over the years, about this and other elements surrounding his multi-million-dollar show, including the wholesale use of melodies of Indian film songs.
To maintain standards, and re-brand the product, which has become an intrinsic part of Carnival, Singh Jr is moving to lift the bar, especially in the light of the big bucks winners are now earning.
“It is not an Indian show. We are going after the national public. We want an all inclusiveness,” he said, even though the show is being promoted as the biggest Indo-Caribbean event in Carnival.
For 2012, he has asserted, the lyrical content of all compositions in the competition will come under heavy scrutiny. However, he has denied that for 2012, rum songs will be banned from the competition.
“Last year, and over the last few years, there have been several complaints about several elements of the show. We have been listening to the people. We did not make any statements in 2011, because the songs were already produced.” Following discussions with producers, artistes and other stakeholders in the industry, the show, which will now be held on February 11, will be governed by a new set of rules.
Key among the rules would be the question of originality, suitability of content, as well as conduct of the artiste.
“If you want to win big money, be creative. Your songs must be 100 per cent original,” Singh challenged the contestants. Over the years there have been complaints about the lyrical content of the compositions and the wholesale use of melodies of Indian film songs. “All songs must be original and that film melody used in the past will no longer be allowed.” In terms of the screening, he advanced, “I know a lot of people will be coming and asking if we are banning rum songs. No we are not banning rum songs. However, we will be looking at your material to see if it is acceptable for Chutney Soca Monarch. “Songs that are found to be degrading will not be allowed.”