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KI, Chutney Soca king

By ALEXANDER BRUZUAL and SEETA PERSAD Monday, February 13 2012

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ALL HAIL KI: Newly crowned Chutney Soca Monarch Kris Vishal 'KI' Persad is raised aloft by jubilant supporters after he won the competition on Saturda...
ALL HAIL KI: Newly crowned Chutney Soca Monarch Kris Vishal 'KI' Persad is raised aloft by jubilant supporters after he won the competition on Saturda...

RISING chutney star Kris Vishal “KI” Persad not only scaled the Mt Everest of chutney competitions when on Saturday he dethroned veteran Rikki Jai, for the Chutney Soca Monarch crown, but he also created history by being the youngest champ, at age 26.

Thank you so much. I have nothing but thanks and love to all of my fans who voted for me and made this possible,” an exhausted Persad said yesterday at his El Socorro home where he returned at 5 am after the competition.

“I am truly humbled and it is a dream come true,” Persad said. For the competition, votes sent in by supporters via cellular phone text messaging, replaced the need for judges and Persad, singing his runaway hit “Single Forever”, was crowned king by a massive margin of 36,737 votes to second-place winner and former chutney soca monarch Rikki Jai’s 32,781.

Asked how he felt being a first time winner, Persad responded: “I really am a first time winner aren’t I? I think the biggest thing right now is that it hasn’t settled in yet. Right now I’m still waiting for it to hit.

“But I can say that it just feels nice to know that after all the sacrifices and hard work like leaving your family, leaving your friends, leaving your relationships — and hence the inspiration for my song “Single Forever” — so many things you have to sacrifice in life just to get ahead, it has paid-off for me. I promise my fans that I will represent them and this country to the max,” Persad said.

Asked what he thought made the song stand out as opposed to the other offerings from his competitors on Saturday night, Persad said, “Single forever is simply a song that speaks for itself whether you in a relationship and especially if you are out of one. And everyone loved it because of that.”

“As for the other contestants, all I can say is that Rikki Jai is a very talented artiste and so too were the other finalists and I am proud to share the stage with them, but in the end the song spoke for itself, and I came out and did my best, and the people loved it.”

For his effort, Persad took home the $1 million first prize at the 2012 Lotto Plus Chutney Soca Monarch held at the Queen’s Park Oval.

An estimated crowd of 12,000 occupied the Oval from as early 6 pm with the show ending at 3 am yesterday. Persad delivered his hit song accompanied by the bmobile Shiv Shakti Performers at 1.30 am.

Amidst fireworks he stood on a ten-foot pedestal on stage, indicating he is above the rest of singers. He ended his song by adding new lines in reply to Jai’s song, ‘She want Johnny Walker’. “He should do like Johnny walker and keep walking,” Persad sang in his final verse. The crowd roared its approval.

He is now setting his sights on the Groovy Soca Monarch on “Fantastic Friday,” having qualified for the finals at the National Stadium in Port-of-Spain. KI is the only chutney soca act to make it to the finals of this competition this year.

Jai who created history by wining $2 million in the 2011 edition at Skinner’s Park, San Fernando, came on stage just after midnight. He was accompanied by Soca star Destra Garcia who told the crowds she is Soca and Jai is Chutney. Placing third was Rick Ramoutar who sang, “I Wish I was Single to Mingle”.

Nigel Salickram who sang “Blood”, placed fourth. Out of the the five female competitors Artie Butkoon scored the highest with her song, “Mousie Break Away” to place fifth. Out of three Guyanese to enter the competition, Terry Gajraj who sang “Grease Gun” score the highest among the Guyanese, placing sixth.

His fellow Guyanese Fiona came in at the seventh position with her song “Jiggle your Belly”. New York-based Sassy Ramoutar placed eighth with “Rude and Sweet” while Sally Sagram placed ninth with “Put Some Love on Me”. Guyana’s Monarch Haresh Singh placed tenth doing “Ajee and Ajaa”. Comedian, Kenneth Supersad was excellent in delivering his tune, “One Caribbean People”. Former Chutney Monarchs Adesh Samaroo who sang “Drunk Man Doh Lie” and Heeralal Rampartap who did “Jealous Man” failed to make it to the top ten. Lalchan Babwah was accompanied by Drupatie Ramgoonai to do the song “One Thirty”.

This show produced by Southex Promotions was moved from south to the Oval to accommodate the tourists and fans from north Trinidad. According to the chief coordinator of the event, George Singh, the show “was a success” and he is looking forward for a bigger and better production in 2013 at the same venue. At midnight, PM Kamla Persad-Bissessar joined Guyana’s Culture Minister Dr Frank Anthony and TT’s Culture Minister Winston Peters on the main stage to bring greetings.

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