Soca star Machel Montano has scoffed at the remarks that he is responsible for the cancellation of the International Soca Monarch competition this year.
Montano was accused of putting the proverbial nail in the coffin for the competition, following his decision to stage his Machel 40- One Show event on Fantastic Friday.
Speaking in an exclusive One on One pre-taped interview with Guardian Media Limited, which aired on CNC3 on Wednesday night, Montano said: “I care about Soca Monarch because I was there from the beginning,” Montano said, noting that 25 years ago, he and Soca Monarch founder William Munroe sat in a meeting together “where we spoke about one day it will come that this model will no longer be sustainable.”
Montano said people need to be honest about the decline of the show over the years.
“People don’t know anything about Soca Monarch, but as soon as Machel says One Show Carnival Friday, the first thing is they will remember Soca Monarch, they just remember it.”
“They weren’t there, they didn’t go, and nobody cared that it was losing money. It’s not just losing money for the promoters, which we should feel sorry for, it was losing money for the whole country, taxpayers’ dollars paying for that.”
“We don’t want to spend our money on losses. As a country, we don’t want to subsidise things that don’t work because one day it is going to catch up to us.”
Montano said for too long, many of the aspects of culture have been functioning on that level, and gave the Dimanche Gras show as an example.
He explained that the true energy of the ISM competition was the Power Soca genre but noted that he feels the genre was experiencing a slump.
“… the real thing about Power Soca songs was when you had Bunji going up against Machel, going up against Fay Ann, going up against Destra, going up against Iwer, you had Blaxx coming around the corner, sometimes SuperBlue…Now, if over those years you have Kees gone, Machel gone, Fay Ann gone, Bunji gone, Destra gone, Iwer gone, who will you have?”
Montano also pointed out, “Soca Monarch was never a platform for the young artistes, it was a platform for the top artistes.”
He said it was because the Soca Monarch only had young artistes that it could no longer sustain itself.
Montano said One Show came about, after he thought “how could you have the Mother of all Carnivals without a Mother of all Shows, like a huge show”.
“Soca Monarch will not do that on the Friday night, it hasn’t been doing that and the nation has accepted that because for the last five/six years, it have multiple shows happening on that night. People who used to go Soca Monarch going all-inclusive fetes, they going boat ride, they going Duck Work, they going here, they are going there.”
He said in commemoration of his celebrating 40-plus years in the business, he wanted to do a show on a day which had the biggest Carnival audience, as people would usually come into the country closer to the weekend before Carnival.