Two competitions in one: Zacari and Tian crowned Calypso Monarchs under new format

Calypso Monarch contestants brought social issues and bacchanal to the Carnival City stage inside ARG on Saturday night. (Photo by Johnny Jno-Baptiste)
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By Makeida Antonio

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The Calypso Monarch competition took on a different format this year, resulting in two men being crowned and newcomers birthed into the genre.

Trevor “King Zacari” King competed in both the Social Commentary and Bacchanal categories and emerged the winner of the Social Commentary segment with the song ‘Of A Darker Hue’.

The five-time Calypso Monarch told Observer that the song was largely inspired by his daily observation of black people experiencing disenfranchisement.

“I cannot even take credit for writing this song. The credit should be given to the oppressive system that a black individual goes through. Every time I watch my TV and see the oppression meted out on my people, it gives me the motivation and the inspiration to aspire to write such a song,” he said.

King Zacari also wished for calypso to receive more exposure before the competition so government officials and policymakers can have awareness of various social issues affecting residents.

“If you are a smart individual, you listen to the artiste because we live among the people. Our ears are the closest to the ground so we know the qualms of the people. Play the artistes and listen to the artistes so you can actually address certain issues that we address so you can adjust them,” he added.

Ge’eve placed first runner-up in the Social Commentary with ‘Small But Me Tallawah’, an ode to her ability to perform on the big stage among her seniors despite being 16 years old.

As one crowd favourite – she also received accolades on social media and was congratulated by many fans and well-wishers on her song, clarity and overall performance.

Peetron “Peetron” Thomas, who placed second runner-up in the Social Commentary category with ‘Hypocrites’, said he was happy to place in the top three given it was his first time competing in the Calypso Monarch competition.

He shared his motivation to return to the finals stage next year to compete even harder.

“It was tough. The competition was tight and I’m just glad I was able to squeeze into the top three,” he commented.

He also had some advice for those wishing to compete as a first timers next year.

“You got to put in a lot of work and sleepless nights. Really listen to your producer, your manager and your writers, because they will make you reach far,” he suggested.

Meanwhile, in the Bacchanal category, Queen Thalia placed second runner-up while Sammie C placed first runner-up.

Fans rushed to the stage to greet and congratulate Tian Winter as the 2022 Calypso Monarch in the Bacchanal category.

Following the win of his first Calypso Monarch crown, Winter told Observer that although he was disappointed having not placed with his Social Commentary song ‘I Don’t Need That’ he was grateful to be recognised for “In De Dance”.

“It’s bittersweet. Bittersweet, meaning I wish it was the first song but I guess the powers that be were not feeling it.”

Winter’s manager Neil Cochrane was also on stage following the announcement of the Bacchanal category.

When asked what this crown represents as a part of Winter’s musical legacy, Cochrane told Observer that anything is possible going forward.

“The future will speak for itself. Whether or not we do this again, or we just take the soca or don’t enter at all, everything is on the table. At the end of the day, Tian Winter loves his craft. He is passionate about what he does and so is his team,” Cochrane remarked.

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