(Trinidad Guardian) A song that was initially a rejected advertisement became a two million dollar earner and Road March 2012 for soca artiste Machel Montano. This was revealed by Montano and his composer, Kernal Roberts, during a victory news conference at the Hyatt Regency Hotel, Port of Spain yesterday. It was called hours after Montano was declared the 2012 Road March winner. He retained the title from last year. He again defeated former champions Fay Ann Lyons-Alvarez and Iwer George.
Montano said the victory marked a new beginning for him. He said the song was initially called “Pump Yuh Fist” but changes had to be made and it was renamed “Pump Yuh Flag.” Roberts said he always knew the song had a bigger purpose.
“This song initially came from an ad that I was doing for a particular company and it was declined,” Roberts said. “The ad was rejected and I told my engineer this song has a bigger purpose. Let us forget this ad,” he insisted.
Pump Yuh Flag was Robert’s fifth Road March. He said his next objective was to equal his deceased father Lord Kitchener’s record of ten road marches. And Montano said at one point he too had doubts about the song but at a special meeting with his management team, was told to stay with the song by his mother, Liz Montano and Roberts’ mother, Valerie Greene. He said both Green and his mother advised that they should keep the song and they did.
Montano said after his victory in both the Groovy and Power Soca Monarch competitions on Friday night he had doubles. “That is a tradition,” he said. He said he didn’t sleep much after Carnival ended on Tuesday evening. “I just wanted to be up this morning to read the papers and listen to the radio to feel the nation and most importantly I wanted to see the results… the Road March title,” he said. Montano said some 400 people had contributed to his historic success in the International Soca Monarch and they will share in the TT$2 million first prize.
“We really had a goal, we really set out to make history in T&T this year,” Montano said. He said the victory was very significant. “This is 2012 and it is the year of the Trinity for us. It is the year that people thought the world will end and we said ‘no.’ The world is going to reset to zero. The world is going to start over,” Montano added. “We know that it means good for the entire nation,” he said.
He said the artistes must have a campaign similar to what takes place in elections across the world. “It is important for the artiste to fight a campaign. “Some of them will say I got robbed last year so this year is for me,” he said in reference to George’s No Pain. He said his song Pump Yuh Flag was about national awareness and national pride. He said his success in the Soca Monarch was all about his performance and not any support from the Government.
“What we put down that night had nothing to do with the Government. Government is not (the one) who decides (the result of) this competition,” he added. Montano stressed: “Knowing the Prime Minister or getting their (her) support has nothing to do with how good you perform on that night,” Montano told reporters.