The battle line is drawn for Sunday night’s national calypso competition at the Sporting Stadium at Queen’s Park with defending Monarch, King Ajamu warning opponents that he is prepared to face up to any challenges that come his way.
In an exclusive interview with The New Today Newspaper, he eight times Calypso Monarch, pointed out that he was more determined than ever to continue taking part in competition.
One of Ajamu’s competition songs on Dimanche Gras Night is “Provocation” – a song that was composed in reaction to some of the attacks from many of his adversaries.
He accused some artistes of being provocative “and not being able to accept who I am as a Calypsonian and a man who is loyal to the whole process of calypso and music.”
The defending Calypso Monarch detailed instances where some of the major players associated with the culture are making efforts to keep him away from the competition.
According to “King Man” since he decided to return to competition last year some people had problem with his decision and a lot of things are being said that are not true in an effort to discourage him from taking part in the National Calypso Competition.
He is adamant that he would not succumb to these orchestrated moves to keep away from the competition.
“For me to keep away would like to roll over and die,” he quipped.
Ajamu noted that from since he has been singing calypso, whether or not he is in the competition, there is hardly a year when certain calypsonians would not make mention of his name in their calypso, or openly attack him.
He said this gave birth to one of his 2014 wining competition songs,
“Tune In Dey Rukung Ku Tun Tun,” which he said was a protest song.
In recent years, the calypsonian who has been most critical of Ajamu is Papa Jerry, the Crochu-based artiste.
The eight times Calypso Monarch recalled that some and their supporters were not happy with the judges’ decision last year to award the monarch crown to him in the competition.
“That is disrespectful to me as a Legend in this kaiso artform with over 30 years, thirty-two and counting, and I think everybody would have known of my achievement, my accomplishment and my standing in the artform of calypso, and to try to belittle me I don’t think (it) is the right thing to do,” he said.
A popular radio announcer on a local radio station has often queried the decision of the judges in 2014, alleging that “King Man” made a plethora of mistakes in one of his compositions.
Ajamu said that on Monday he heard a new release from one of his competitors making references in the song about him that are not true.
“I heard a song where this Artiste, he was saying certain things about me, I guess it was some kind of rebuttal to “Provocation,” and I heard some false information, some very false information in that particular song and I took a piece of information that I heard in the song as to suggest disloyalty to my wife and I take serious offense to those kind of things,” he told the newspaper.
Ajamu who declined to identify the Calypsonian by name, was adamant that he is not going to get dirty and go down into the gutter since everything he sings in his songs are factual and truthful.
He suggested that whatever is being put into a song about him by another competitor should first be verified.
“I am not going to disrespect people… but if you disrespect yourself then I lose respect for you,” he said.
“I take serious offense to people who’re trying to throw thorns in the way of progress,” he added.
Ajamu indicated that he has been trying “to mend bridges” by calling certain people for open dialogue with them, only to realise that they have no interest in healing the process.
He also said he believes the move to get him to stop taking part in the national calypso monarch competition is done for personal reasons because no one can genuinely say that he is doing a disservice to the calypso artform.
According to the reigning Calypso Monarch, this time more than ever in the past he has seen the most discord in the calypso fraternity.
The certified sound recording engineer gave a commitment to continue to work to help other artistes to advance the calypso artform.
He spoke of establishing the “Top Level Recording Studio” at Mamma Cannes, St. David’s in 1989 which started off as a four-track recording studio and is now upgraded to a state of the art facility to help record the songs of a number of local Artistes.
Ajamu said God has given a talent through the music industry and he is using it to help other people to discover their own talents.