Trinidad and Tobago-born performers swept the top places in the International Soca Monarch competition on Friday night as carnival celebrations continue in the Caribbean country.
Neil ‘Iwer’ George won the TT$1 million first prize in the Power Soca category with his tune Stage Gone Bad, while the US-based Devon Martin – better known as Lyrika – placed second with his song Rukshun and Olatunji Yearwood placing third with Thankful.
In the Groovy category, Jesse Stewart (College Boy Jesse) won the TT$500,000 prize with his tune Happy Song followed by Marvin Davis (Swappi) with his tune, Jumbie Head. Third place went to Andre Holder (Ding Dong) with the song Outside.
Defending Power Soca monarch, Grenadian Hollis Mapp, better known by his sobriquet, ‘Mr Killa’, did not participate in the competition after expressing disappointment at the preparations for the show. But the competition attracted singers from St Lucia and Grenada.
Later on Saturday, 11 bands will perform at the 2020 National Panorama finals, to be held at the Queen’s Park Savannah on the outskirts of the capital.
At stake are the BP Challenge Trophy and the TT$1 million first prize. Defending champion Renegades Steel Orchestra is trying for a ‘three-peat’ and will face competition from former winners, Exodus, Desperadoes and Phase Two Pan Groove.