Minister of Culture, Senator Norland Cox has affirmed that government will give “all the necessary support” to the five Grenadian artistes to qualify for the semi-finals of the International Soca Monarch competition in Trinidad and Tobago.
Speaking to reporters in St. George’s, Minister Cox noted that Grenada has “a solid representation” at the competition and this was a proud moment for the island.
“We’re very proud and excited that five of our Soca artistes have made their way to the semi-finals in Trinidad – two artistes in the semi finals for the Groovy monarch and three in the Power Soca monarch of Trinidad and Tobago’s Carnival 2019”, he said.
“We believe that we have a solid representation and see no reason why neither one or two or maybe all of them can make it to the finals of the respective events. We are giving them all the necessary support that we can as Ministry and Spicemas as a corporation and wish them all the best for 2019,” he added.
Minister Cox stated that this is turning out to be a good year for Grenada’s music as the songs of many of the local artistes are doing good in the region and internationally.
He said that even some of the local soca artistes who have not expressed interest in getting involved in competition in Trinidad have been doing well with their songs.
He singled out in particular, Jab King, who is currently in the neighbouring twin island republic “promoting his music and he is doing just excellent”.
“…I just want to commend all the other calypso artistes for taking Grenada far and wide through the artform and that is very important,” he said.
Minister Cox was asked to comment on a so-called “Handshake” agreement between Trinidad & Tobago and Grenada, that was mentioned by Head of the International Soca Monarch competition, Fay-Ann Lyons-Alvarez in a recent interview in TNT.
She reportedly said that the Soca Monarch from Trinidad will be coming to Grenada to compete and vice versa.
According to Sen. Cox, the discussions surrounded only the TNT monarch coming to Grenada as a guest artiste on one of the shows in Spicemas.
He said: “We had some discussions with Trinidad when we engaged Trinidad in looking to provide an avenue for artistes to get involved in the international Power Soca monarch and so in those discussions they were leveraging us to get something back in return and that is one of the suggestions that they have put out – not just for us but the other Caribbean islands whose artistes (are) taking part in the international event.
“…I think the statement went ahead of any arrangement or agreement.
When I saw it myself, we spoke to the Minister (in) Trinidad for those corrections to be made because no agreement (is in place) in that regard.
“Our event here is a national event and not an international event as such. But what has a strong tendency to happen is that their monarch will come as guest artiste at one of our shows during Carnival. This is probably the only initiative that may happen and we sort of (looking) towards the Groovy monarch coming to perform at one of our shows as a guest artiste.
“So, that is the discussions we had and not on a wider scale in terms of competition – we don’t see that happening because the other countries raised the same concern as us as well.