Arthur Allain, five times Groovy Soca Monarch of Saint Lucia, will be in London on 23 February to perform at the 40th Independence Dance, hosted by Unity of UK St Lucians. We caught up with him recently for a quick chat.

Tell us, who is Elijah Arthur Allain?
Elijah Arthur Allain is a promising product of the gift of music. A prolific vocalist and entertainer, bandleader, entrepreneur, writer/musician, and reigning five-time groovy monarch of the beautiful island of Saint Lucia.

Which part of Saint Lucia do you hail from?
I was born and raised in the picturesque town of Soufriere, nestled beneath the world-renowned Pitons.

We understand that your previous profession was teaching. How hard was it to give that up? And from what I understand this soca business is hard, sometimes a struggle; has it been worth it?
It was a tough decision that took years to make. The transition was a blessed one and thoroughly thought through. I understood that in order to be financially comfortable I had to pursue multiple streams of revenue within the field, so I started by investing in a small sound system and doing solo performances at weddings and hotels on a daily basis. I invested in my studio and delved into jingle/voice over production, music production and writing for other artistes, renting out my studio, and other fields such as personal brand merchandising, online music sales, touring, etc. It has been more than worth it.

How long have you been involved in soca/music now?
Professionally, 11 years – which started with me joining the Matrix Band in early 2008.

Who are your musical influences?
Various influences based on the genre. I am particularly inspired by Bruno Mars, Beres Hammond, Bob Marley, Usher, and in Soca Kes The Band.

You have been a prolific winner when it comes to the Saint Lucia Groovy Monarch competition, having won the title five times. Do you have any intentions to stop taking part?
Soca Monarch has done a lot for me, providing a platform to further expose me to a wider market, however it’s done its bit and it is time for me to focus on international interests. I would still love to be a part, however, by mentoring younger artistes to help develop their performance.

It feels like Saint Lucia Carnival was just yesterday. When will we next hear new music from you?
I have already begun releasing music. I released a 7 track dancehall EP The Other Side, available on all digital platforms, and recently visited Trinidad to promote my latest single Whole Day, featured on DJ Ana’s Soca Feels riddim. A soca EP is also on the way for April 4 – my birthday. I also released You Ah d Baddest, a Dennery Segment by G6 Productions.

You are performing at the Saint Lucia 40th Independence Dance in London. Have you been to the UK before? What can the audience expect of your performance on the night?
This is my first time coming to the UK, and I look forward to delivering a dynamic and high-energy performance – and look to returning many more times to perform.

Thank you so much for taking the time to answer our questions. Is there anything else you would like to say to our readers?
I would like to thank the many people who have been supporting my music through the years and giving me the encouragement to push forward. I implore you readers to keep supporting the upcoming talent. I always preach positivity and one love!

Finally, how can fans connect with you on social media?
My official website is www.arthurallain758.com. I can also be reached via Instagram @arthurallain758 and on Facebook Arthur Allain.

You can find Arthur performing at Unity of UK St Lucians – 40th Independence Celebration Dance on Saturday 23 February at the Stratford Town Hall.