It was a well deserved and historic victory last Friday night for Mr. Killa in the International Power Soca competition in Trinidad & Tobago.
It was a proud moment for all of us in Spice country as this was the very first time that a Grenadian had captured the $one million TT prize in the premier soca competition among the best in the region.
Mr. Killa was widely expected to easily run away with the crown but many of us at home were cautiously optimistic out of fear that he could fall victim to a blatant and very vulgar hometown decision in order to keep the prize and money in the neighbouring twin island republic.
Over the years, the Trinis have tried to maintain their stranglehold on their own carnival activities although they have opened up the market to other regional artistes.
The biggest victim was Short Shirt from Antigua who had Trinidad and Tobago eating from his hands in the early 1970’s and was barred from taking part in the Road march competition as an outsider in order to allow it to remain authentic Trini.
The change in fortunes came with the advent of Promoter, William Munroe when he started the International Soca Monarch competition and opened it to artistes from all over the Caribbean.
The victory of Mr. Killa last Friday night was no easy feat and came after many years of long and very hard work by a host of other Grenadian calypsonians on the Trinidad circuit.
THE NEW TODAY is not one to fall into the trap like so many others and boast about the exploits of some of the top artistes in Trinidad with Grenadian roots like Sparrow, Brother Valentino and Blue Boy.
The fact of the matter is that these calypsonians learnt their trade in Trinidad and cannot be considered as the real authentic Grenadian calypsonian like the Jab Jab is to all of us.
The road to Mr. Killa’s victory was paved by many before him like the so-called King of Jab, Talpree who created a stir with “Old Woman” when he burst on the Trinidad soca stage about a decade ago.
Grenadians should not forget the forerunner to the modern day soca artistes as the way was cleared for them on the Trinidad circuit by the likes of Black Wizard, Flying Turkey, Flying Cloud and King Ajamu.
Most Grenadians will not know the name Shaun Mitchell who hails from the Crochu area in St. Andrew but he is one of those born and bred persons from the Spice Isle who created an impact for himself and in getting the Trinis to know that there is a lot of musical talent in Grenada.
Shaun has come from a musical family and is the nephew of King Ajamu who is himself a very accomplished musician and can play if not all but certainly most musical instruments.
This is a young man who has been a key member of the musical band of the King of Soca in Trinidad, Machel Montano.
Shaun is an accomplished producer, bass player and is known to have written a lot of winning soca and road march tunes for many artistes up and down the Caribbean.
THE NEW TODAY would also like to use this opportunity to applaud and recognise all the other local acts who had Trinidad in a frenzy this carnival season with their work.
Congrats are in order for Hector “Mr Legz” Thomas who placed third behind Mr. Killa in the Power Soca, as well as V’ghn who took the third spot in the Groovy version of the competition.
Lil Natty and Thunda, as well as Mandella did not win but did sufficient to convince Trinidadians that the Grenadian artistes mean business and came down with a plan to capture everything in Trinidad this year.
The Trinis will never ever underestimate us from 2019 and beyond given the massive manner in which Mr. Killa stripped off the clothes of the over-rated Iwer George and the likes and easily copped the title of International Soca monarch.
Our artistes cannot afford to rest as the folks in Port-of-Spain will be thinking very hard on how best to take back the crown and keep it in the so-called land of kaiso and steelband.
No one in the Spice Isle should be surprised if Gouyave gives the keys to the island’s premier Fishing Village to Mr. Killa when he returns home for the first time after his massive achievement in Trinidad & Tobago.
His victory is taking on the kind of atmosphere in Gouyave when another of their sons, Kirani James struck Grenada’s first gold medal at the London Olympics in 2012 in the 400m final.
Like Kirani, Mr. Killa came from very humble and poor background and did not allow that status to keep him down. This should be an inspiration to each and every person in Grenada, Carriacou & Petite Martinique to get up and get.
THE NEW TODAY expects government at the appropriate time to do something in honour of Mr. Killa and his victory last Friday night at the Queen’s Park Savannah in Port-of-Spain.