By Taeco O’Garro
Former Junior Groovy Soca Monarch ‘Island Prince’ – real name Dalik Dyer – has been rising through the ranks of Antiguan soca artistes.
Observer caught up with the singer – who claimed his crown three years ago and this week earned a spot in the July 30 Party Monarch finals – to talk about his journey.
Dyer in fact began his career on the other side of the microphone as a studio engineer, but eventually stepped into the spotlight with the support of TKO Productions in 2019 and since then has made his name as one the country’s top young artistes.
“Entering the music industry as a young studio engineer, who knew I would have become the Island Prince for today?” he said.
Despite entering the arena as a first-time competitor in 2019, the Antigua Grammar School alumni and Potters resident walked away with the title with his hit song, ironically titled “I Don’t Need A Hit Song”.
The song was written by Dyer himself along with some help from his father Dalton Dyer, head engineer at TKO Productions, the same studio that produces Island Prince’s music.
Dyer revealed that his Junior Soca Monarch title was dedicated to his father.
“For me it was more of a tribute to my father as a son, for the hard work and dedication that he served in the music industry,” Dyer said.
Since then, he has been working tirelessly and producing music in anticipation of the return of Carnival this year.
In fact, the airwaves and fetes have been loaded with Island Prince’s music. His most popular songs include “Good Vibes”, his ‘jumpy’ contest entry “Selfie”, and his ‘groovy’ entry “Wuk You”.
Island Prince, who is 21 years old, has become a fan favourite amongst not only the younger crowd but also the older audience as he has been featured at several fetes this pre-Carnival season such as T Party, Island Fest, La Fiesta Blanca, LOL and Colours showing his versatility and determination in the field despite only being in the industry for four years.
The young man also credits Trevaughn “LyricksMan” Weston for teaching him how to write, as well as Tian Winter for taking him under his wing and presenting him with opportunities.
What motivates him to keep going and do his best every time he graces the stage is his natural love for music, he says, and making his family, fans and friends proud, especially his nephew Denim Challenger who looks up to him.
Outside of the soca scene Dyer works as a private chef and is also a student at Monroe College in New York. He is currently pursuing a Bachelor’s in Hospitality Management with an Associate in Culinary Arts.