Senior calypsonians in Trinidad and Tobago are angered by a ruling from their umbrella group, the Trinbago Unified Calypsonians’ Organisation (TUCO).
According to a report by the Guardian, the new rule, which now disallows Calypsonians from singing a new rendition in the finals of the Calypso Monarch competition, is not sitting well with four veteran calypsonians. These four, it has been reported, see it as an attempt to “muzzle and stifle” their freedom of speech and force the “old heads” out of the industry.
Among the complaining veterans are Hollis ‘Chalkdust’ Liverpool, Eric ‘Pink Panther’ Taylor, Carlos ‘Skatie’ James and Michael ‘Sugar Aloes’.
“They [TUCO] are saying that calypsonians can come with a new song that might be too libellous and can be a courthouse matter and they could be in trouble because they could be charged because they run the show. That is their excuse for it. I think it is a way to muzzle calypsonians. That is destroying the creativity of calypsonians. That is the art form where people can come out late and hear a new song. They are throwing out the baby with the bathwater,” Chalkdust was quoted as saying.
However, TUCO President Lutalo ‘Brother Resistance’ Masimba said the organization had not received an official complaint from calypsonians on the matter.