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BARBADOS - National Cultural Foundation

Junior Calypso Monarch Contest 2003

Friday 08, August-2003 by Andrea KING

Junior Calypso Monarch Contest.It’s official. Barbados has its bona fide stars! And nowhere was this more evident than, back stage at the recent Junior Calypso Monarch Contest.

Scores of hyper children, and a few adults as well, rushed Alison Hinds, Rupee, Timmy, Flexxi, O’Shaka Riley, even Li’l Boy, and all other entertainment luminaries they could find.

To the obviously adoring young stargazers the entertainers are actually more than celebrities; they’re idols.

“It’s a tremendous feeling,” Li’l Boy told Groove “and 100 percent Bajan. That’s good, and hopefully the youth will learn to appreciate their own and strive for local excellence.”

This delivered above a crowd of little people clamouring for his attention. For Rupee, whom children hardly get to see close up – except in his Coca-Cola ad – the throngs never seem to let up. “It’s definitely overwhelming, a very humbling experience, and at the same time very inspiring and uplifting, making me aware of the fact that what I’m doing is worthwhile. It serves as fuel to my fire of existence because at the end of the day we can’t exist without the people, and moreso the children,” he told Groove.

“It is more than encouraging to see the children respond that way because children are very honest and they are the future. So to see children respond to artistes in that way is a very positive thing for our music in the future.”

Indeed, it is has undeniably great significance for local music, if young children embrace those who produce/perform it.

For Timmy, the declared People’s Monarch of the Starcom Network competition, the sensation is still .

“Everyone wants to get their personal autograph, and it makes me feel good but I have to keep my head on, not let it get to my head,” said Timmy candidly. He acknowledges the status soca music has gained because of the response from adoring fans to their favourite artistes.

“The music has an effect on the public and it shows that people are listening. So you know you have to put out a good CD because you know people are listening.”

Although scores of people have been jostling Square One’s Alison Hinds for years, she’s still not used to the idea.

“For me it’s a humbling experience, and something that surprises me. It’s not something I automatically expect even though it has been happening since Raggamuffin in 1996. “I see myself every day in the mirror. I’m me, I’m Alison; so it is strange, but it is also a good feeling especially with little children. They get very shy, but their parents or grand-parents say when they see me on TV they shout, ‘Alison, mummy, look Alison!’ but adults are more reserved,” she said.

And for the music:

“It means that kids are looking at soca artistes as they would North American artistes, with the same excitement as it they see Busta Rhymes or Puff Daddy. It’s the same excitement,” she declares.

As one, they all agree that Bajans now have them under closer scrutiny, which in turn means they have to be able to stand up to it.

Compliments of the Nation News


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