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Ravi B crowned youngest Chutney Soca Monarch

By SEETA PERSAD Monday, February 1 2010

click on pic to zoom in
The Shiv Shakti Dancers go airborne during their energetic performance. ...
The Shiv Shakti Dancers go airborne during their energetic performance. ...

RAVI BISSEMBHAR is the 2010 Chutney Soca Monarch. He was declared winner before a mammoth crowd at Skinner Park, San Fernando, early yesterday morning.

At age 27, the popular chutney artiste, whose stage name is Ravi B, is the youngest winner in the history of the 15-year competition.

Singing “You Know Ah Was ah Drinker”, Ravi B made a dramatic entry on stage at 10.15 pm carried on a sofa by members the bmobile Shiv Shakti Dance Company. He was accompanied during the performance, which was filled with dance and drama, by Barbadian soca star Allison Hinds and his sister, popular chutney singer Nisha Bissembhar.

The new Chutney Soca Monarch credits popular music producer Big Rich, (Zaheer Khan) of the Pungulungs Factory for his success.

“He is the mastermind behind this song. I was just lucky to get this sweet melody and rhythm from Big Rich,” he said.

The song was written by Kevin Kissoon, of Piarco, who gave the lyrics to Big Rich. The producer then chose the music and experimented with various singers.

“Ravi has a youthful and playful disposition. I believe the melody and lyrics suited his personality,” Big Rich said he celebrated the song’s success early yesterday morning.

The new monarch, who is booked to perform every day until Carnival Monarch, has won $200,000 in cash.

In winning the title, he edged out a favourite in the competition, Rikki Jai, a former monarch, who had to settle for the second prize of $100,000. Jai’s song “Barman” has been ruling the airwaves in the recent weeks and has earned him a spot in the finals of the International

Groovy Soca Monarch.

In third place was newcomer, Moses Charles, 21, with his composition “Indrani”. Since the release of the song, Moses has been in big demand to perform at fetes and is booked for the biggest chutney shows of the season.

“I know people enjoyed the song but coming up against the big names in chutney was really a nerve wracking affair,” he admitted.

Charles also credits Big Rich for helping him develop the hit song.

“Although I was responsible for choosing the music to go with my song, Big Rich polished the tune to a certain perfection so it became an instant hit,” Moses said.

Big Rich had a hand in the three top songs in the competition and worked on 11 of the songs in the finals, including Omadath Maharaj’s “The Night Before the War”. Maharaj, who performed the military-style song accompanied by the Primala Dance Company, placed fifth.

Another newcomer, and the youngest competitor, Kris Persad, 20, placed fourth with “Sunita”. Persad, son of veteran musician Veerendra Persad, rode on stage on a white horse much to the delight of the crowd.

In sixth place was Lalchan “Hunter” Babwah, who sang. “Puncheon”. Defending champion Kenneth Salick did not place among the top six in the competition.

The NLCB’s Chutney Soca Monarch 2010 titled, “Night of the Stars” began with a spectacular opening number by members of the Shiv Shakti Dance Company dancing to a Bollywood remix of “The Twist”. They were followed by former Soca Monarch Shurwayne Winchester who delivered an electrifying performance of “Don’t Stop”.

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