New monarchs and history made at Vincy Mas 2016

Hypa 4000, 2016 St Vincent Power Soca Monarch

New monarchs and history made at Vincy Mas 2016

By Natasha Ofosu

Saint Vincent and The Grenadines | Wednesday 3 August 2016: 10:10 BST

Skinny Fabulous achieved his aim, as his absence from St Vincent and the Grenadines’ 2016 carnival music competitions has opened the way for two new monarchs to be crowned. Chewalee Johnson, whose first name is also his sobriquet, won the ragga soca title with Rumist, an ode to the golden tipple rum, whilst the power soca crown went to Shane ‘Hypa 4000’ Husbands, who mashed up Victoria Park with his infectious bouyon/jab-infused track, No Behaviour.

Shaunelle McKenzie and Kamara ‘Keido’ Foster, singing Wet & Wild and Frass respectively, were second and third place finishers in the ragga soca event. In the power soca battle, Travis ‘Wiz Skid’ Lynch took second position with the track Mahma Man, while the Fireman Delroy Hooper completed the top three, singing Homeless.

Hypa also scored big on the road with No Behaviour, winning his second consecutive Road March title. His track amassed 51 points and beat Rum Jumbie, sung by Problem Child (Shertz James), into second place and Bare Pole by Naphtali Duncan into third.

History was made in the Calypso Monarch contest when singing policeman Zamfir ‘Man Zangie’ Adams secured a hat-trick of titles. He is the only calypsonian in the modern era of the competition to have achieved the feat, and he did so singing Faith in Hairouna, a nation-building song, and Access Denies, which decries paedophilia. For the third year running, veteran calypsonian Patches (Robert King) was forced to settle for second place, while British Virgin Islands monarch Chico B (Roland Veira) placed third.

Some observers slated the competition and artists for the poor quality of compositions being rendered this year. One commentator went so far as to label it, “arguably the worst finals in the history of Vincy Mas”.

It was a family affair in the Junior Calypso and Soca Monarch contests, when siblings Kristian Christopher from Layou Government School and Kristiana Christopher of Thomas Saunders Secondary school won those titles, respectively. Kristian won the primary schools edition of the calypso duel singing Break the Silence, while elder sister Kristiana triumphed with the composition Bulldozer. Tia Wyllie, another Thomas Saunders Secondary student, gave a winning performance of the song Don’t Give Up to secure the Junior Calypso Secondary Schools crown. Wyllie won the primary schools title in 2014.

Vincy Mas would not be complete without the annual clash of steelpan at Junior Pan Fest and Panorama. The former has two categories - the School Based Bands section, which was won by Girls’ High School playing Music Ride, sung by Johnny Rebel, and the Community Bands section, which was won by Starlift Steel Orchestra with their rendition of Pan In Me Soca, sung by Ulrick Wilson and D’ Rebels.

The music of St Vincent’s best-known calypsonians, Becket (Alston Cyrus), dominated the top three performances at Panorama. Sion Hill Euphonium Steel Orchestra became the champs with their rendition of Becket’s Tone. Sea Operations Starlift Steel Orchestra placed second playing Small Pin, and Winfresh Scotia Bank South East Steel Orchestra placed third with Ah Wah Soca.

The climax to Vincy Mas saw thousands of people take to the streets of the capital Kingstown on Monday 4 July for j’ouvert in the early hours of the morning, and later that day in T-shirt bands, which formed distinctive blocks of colour along the parade route. Feathered costumes were ubiquitous for Mardi Gras the following day.

J’Ouvert Fanatics band was unstoppable as they took the first, second and third spots when both the King and Queen of J’Ouvert were judged; they were also deemed the best traditional band. Michelle Smith was named the Individual of J’Ouvert for the presentation ‘Ah Love Labour’; Cheryl Cumberbatch and Fred Williams won the couples category, portraying ‘Donkey Forkers’; Fitz Hughes topped the groups segment, presenting ‘Rum Drumby’.

Blondie Bird and Friends’ presentation, ‘Sweet Temptation’, made a clean sweep in both the junior and adult Band of the Year competitions. The band also won the junior Individuals titles in the five-nine and 10-15 year old categories, the Junior King of Carnival and adult King of the Band titles as well as the Best Junior Section title.

The Junior Queen of Carnival was K-Tricia Collis who portrayed ‘Irish Spring’ from the band High Voltage Mas Production. Queen of the Band among the adults was Ateisha Lockhart, with her portrayal ‘Pan - Musical Instrument of the Caribbean’ from the band Hitz FM 103.7 Owen Ralph and the Professionals.

Miss Trinidad and Tobago Djennicia Francis demonstrated both beauty and brawn to be crowned Miss Carnival 2016. Miss Dominica Tasia Floissac was first runner-up, and Miss St Vincent and the Grenadines Nikianna Williams landed the second runner- up position.

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