Grenada’s soca music is continuing to make waves on the international scene as five of its artistes have been selected to compete in the February 10 semi-finals of the International Soca Monarch in Trinidad and Tobago.
The five are Hollice Map “Mr Killa”, Dingaan “Lil Natty” Henry and Nyelon “Thunda” Williams, as well as Hector “Mr. Legz” Thomas and Jevaughn “V’ghn” John.
The locals who have a string of soca hits from the August 2018 Spicemas like “Trouble in the Morning”, “Tombstone” and “Get in your Section” have created a stir in the land of Soca and Steel Pan.
The best known among them is Mr. Killa who is no stranger to the International Soca Stage as he created a sensation in the international Soca competition in 2014 with the song “Rolly Polly” which placed him second.
He is once again stepping onto the international stage and hoping to move ahead to the finals with “Run with it” in the Power category of the semi finals.
Also hoping to leave a mark in the Power category is Grenada’s 2018 Soca Monarchs Dingaan “Lil Natty” Henry and Nyelon “Thunda” Williams with their selection “Get in your Section.”
One member out of duo, Lil Natty, told THE NEW TODAY newspaper via telephone on Wednesday that this is one step further towards reaching their goal.
He said, “I personally feel like taking part in the ISM, in the International Soca Monarch, is a blessing for both Thunda and I. Being in the Semi Final for us is one step further to our movement in what we want to do in life.
Our goal as artistes together is to do the best for the Jab Jab, as We Jab implied and the best for our country, our friends and family. I just hope everybody support; Grenadians inside Trinidad, because its more than one of us…its a whole team; i just hope everybody come out and support the whole team.”
After being off the stage for approximately five years, Hector “Mr. Legz” Thomas will be making a comeback, with a power collaboration with the Queen of Baccahanal, Destra Garcia.
Legz, who is currently based in the United States, believes that his selection “Whinning Challenge” has the capability to push forward into the finals.
Speaking to THE NEW TODAY newspaper via telephone on Tuesday, he said, “The song is doing extremely well in Trinidad, it’s getting a lot of radio plays. I just have to go out there and do my best. Like the great Inspector said, the night is the night, anything can happen on the night, you can be prepared and something could go wrong in a heartbeat. I am going to be very prepared for semi-final and I am going to go hard, I am going to represent really well for Grenada and my fans all over the world…I think it (the song) stands a big chance of making it to the finals.”
After many years of contemplating as to whether or not he should enter the international stage, Legz revealed that he is very confident about the upcoming competition.
He said: “2008, I remember when I just came out, it was pure vibes, pure energy. I know I haven’t been taking part in the Grenada Soca Monarch lately but I have reason for that. Our focus right now is on Trinidad Soca Monarch – it’s the same vibes, same energy, same craziness that you know from Mr Legz. I am going really hard for Grenada and it’s full representation on that day.
“…This year will be my first time taking part in the International Soca Monarch. Over the years, I thought about taking part but I just felt like I wasn’t mentally prepared for that whole vibes in Trinidad.
I just wanted to at least try to get my name pumping a little more, let people get familiar with my name which they actually do now. So, I feel much more comfortable entering now than if I had done so two years ago, three years ago. People are more familiar with the name Legz now, they know who Legz is, so I think it’s an easy go, I feel very, very comfortable,” he remarked.
Jevaughn “V’ghn” John who copped the second position in the Groovy finals of Spice Mas 2018 is hoping that his selection “Trouble in the Morning” will stand the test and make it into the finals of the International Soca Monarch.
The artiste told this newspaper that although this is the first time he will be taking part in an international competition, he sees it as an opportunity to further advance his career.
“I always said that one day I would like to be a part of it but at the same time it’s just another step in my career that I just have to make the best of and put my best foot forward and I am also grateful for the support I have been getting in Trinidad and back home because it’s tremendous and I am grateful for it.
When asked about his chances, he said it’s as good as anybody else’s.
“Just like every other artistes, I think everyone has a chance to win but the song is one of the most popular songs in the competition as we may know, along with a few others, so, I have a great chance. People are already saying it here and on social media and so on but it’s really up to me to give my best and to give justice to what people think and let God do the rest,” he remarked.
Grenada’s second representative in the Groovy Category is the “Tombstone man” whose real name is Mandella “Mandella Linz” McDonald.
“Tombstone” is one of the songs that have kept up its momentum from since Spicemas 2018, after placing 4th in the Groovy competition and Mandella Linz is grateful for the support he continues to receive.
He said: “It’s a blessing for me being in the semi-finals in Trinidad, knowing that I have never given up on my dream, kept working and working, pressing, making music. To get to this point now, it’s just another milestone and we got a lot of more work to do.
“I am going hard, not for myself but for my people and I must give thanks to the Almighty God because none of this here wouldn’t come true if it weren’t for the Almighty God. If God permits me to make it to finals, he permits it.
“When it comes to what I think my chances are, I have faith and I believe in myself. I believe that I will make it into the finals, but again, it still comes down to one person, Almighty God, he is the one to say yes or to say not your time yet.
The Grenadian trio of Lil Natty and Thunda, Mr. Killa and Mr. Legz will be going up against 13 other artistes to gain a spot in the finals of the Power soca, while V’ghn and Mandella Linkz will be competing against 21 artistes for a spot in the finals of the groovy.
The semi finals will be held in just over a week at the Arima Velodrome in Trinidad and Tobago while the final is scheduled for March 1 at the Queen’s Park Savannah.