Words by Rishi Bonneville and Eddie STATS Houghton
Carnival time again! As multitudes of ex-pat Trinis and foreign calypso, pan and soca lovers board flights for Port of Spain, the fetes and song competitions are in full swing. The famed parades of masqueraders will be held this year on March 7-8, when the Road March champion will be crowned. However, since 1993, on the Friday before the full costumed bacchanalia, soca fans gather at the Queen’s Oval Park cricket stadium to watch an onstage competition in which the singers of a faster soca tune and a slower soca are selected as the Power and Groovy soca winners respectively. (Note: The Chutney Soca Monarch competition, which occurred on Saturday, March 19th was won by Rikki Jai for “White Oak & Water.” A disgruntled Ravi B, who came second, urged fans to “pelt something” and hundreds of bottles fell upon the stage.) As the excitement builds, LargeUp reached to top soca selectors and soundsystems from Trinidad, NY, Miami, Montreal, Germany and Japan to take the international temperature and get their favorites for road march, power and groovy soca monarch. This is actually a Top 10 (roughly) but since many of our soca pundits had comments and overlapping picks we have dispensed with the usual countdown format and broken it down by selector. To the road!