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A Night of Elegance at Socalypso Awards

Weston 'Cro Cro' Rawlins accepts his award for his victory in the National Calypso Monarch competition Weston 'Cro Cro' Rawlins accepts his award for his victory in the National Calypso Monarch competition Reporters
Event Date: June 04, 2007
Posted: June 11, 2007

Artistes strolled the Hollywood-styled red carpets laid from outside the Queen's Hall entrance to the inside of the seating room for the Socalypso Awards on Monday 4th June, 2007. This special awards function was a collaborative effort among TUCO, Caribbean Prestige Foundation and the Ministry of Community Development, Culture and Gender Affairs. The audience was filled with Calypso and Soca icons and other players in the local and regional entertainment industry. The show promised to be an entertaining one and it delivered.

After the national anthem played by the Roy Cape All Stars music band, the curtains drew apart to reveal a well-set stage, simply decorated with musical emblems and with trophies laid upon a table on the left side of the stage.

The invocation was performed by long-absent Calypsonian, Franz 'Delamo' Lambkin, followed by the introduction of the Masters of Ceremonies Mr. Mark Anthony, Mr. Jason Daly and Ms. Cheryl Moses.

The introduction to the Socalypso Awards programme was dramatically presented on a large screen, set on the middle of the stage, giving those unfamiliar an idea of what the ceremony was about.

Junior Minister in the Ministry of Community Development, Culture and Gender Affairs, Mr. Eddie Hart gave the welcoming address and greeted all including Senator the Honourable, Joan Yuille-Williams, the members of the Roy Cape All Stars band and the Under-17 football team present in the audience. According to the Minister, the Ministry of Community Development, Culture and Gender Affairs enjoyed working with the organizers of this event and that this production was the step in the right direction.

Following Minister Hart's address, 2007 Extempo King, 'Lingo' welcomed the audience in true extempore style teasing the audience that they "looking good."

TUCO president, Mr. Michael 'Protector' Legerton brought greetings to the Socalypso crowd stating that this event brought official closure to the Carnival season and rose the curtains for Carnival 2008. This night, he said, was significant because it actualized the unification of the celebration of Calypso and Soca; two genres that have been delinked in our culture despite being deeply connected in Trinidad and Tobago's musical history. In fact, one of the main differences between the two forms is that one is traditional and the other, contemporary. "A house divided cannot prosper," according to the TUCO president and as a result, the unification of Soca and Calypso is imperative.

He also mentioned that the President of the Republic of Trinidad and Tobago indicated that the Calypso art form is under attack and that this should be quickly fixed. In a similar vein, Minister of Community Development, Culture and Gender Affairs, Senator the Honourable, Joan Yuille-Williams expressed at another event similar sentiments, stating that if Calypso dies, the people behind it, their hard-work and their memory would die. She challenged the people to keep the Calypso tradition alive.

An energetic dance performance by Carol la Chapelle and North West Laventille Dancers followed. The dancers dressed in stereotypical African and French-influenced Caribbean wear with large, colourful, flowing skirts and head ties. The dance was backed by old-time Calypso melodies.

Mr. Victor Prescod, Project Coordinator of the Pan in the Classroom Unit in the Ministry of Education apologized for the absence of the Minister of Education, Hazel Manning, and brought greetings on behalf of the Ministry. He spoke about the value of music and the importance of music education in schools itemizing its benefits including development of social skills and the improvement of self-esteem.

Also addressing the audience was the Minister of Community Development, Culture and Gender Affairs, Senator the Honourable, Joan Yuille-Williams who believes that collaborating the celebration of the two musical genres was very necessary and ingenious on the part of the producers.

Following this was the distribution of prizes to the various artistes and players in the Calypso and Soca industries. Some of the awardees included Marcel Bennet, winner of the Junior Calypso Monarch competition; Biggie Irie, winner of the International Groovy Soca Monarch; Neil 'Iwer' George, winner of the International Power Soca Monarch; 'Lingo', winner of the Extempo competition; and Weston 'Cro Cro' Rawlins, winner of the Calypso Monarch competition.

Upon getting their awards both Neil 'Iwer' George and Weston 'Cro Cro' Rawlins took the opportunity to speak to the audience. 'Iwer' George thanked God allowing him to attain three Soca Monarch titles and allowing him to enjoy the "fruit of his seed," referring to the hit, 'Fete after Fete' which was written by his eleven year old son. He later reminded the audience of the two upcoming events for the July-August holidays: Soca for Summer and Kaiso for Summer.

Weston 'Cro Cro' Rawlins said that unlike Morel 'Luta' Peters, he believes that he should defend his crown and not just give it away. He dismissed the claim that he sang an old song for the Calypso Monarch competition by Michael 'Sugar Aloes' Osuna, Winston 'D' Original de Fosto Himself' Scarborough and others as rubbish but jokingly admitted that he still had a soft spot for "Fosto" who he claims wants to take his crown from him.

Performances by Marcel Bennet, Patrice Roberts, Iwer George and the incomparable Austin 'Superblue' Lyons (who received a standing ovation) wowed the audience comprised of many local and regional celebrities. Other celebrities present were Peter Ram, Mark 'Contender' John, Edwin 'Crazy' Ayoung, Samuel 'Brigo' Abraham and Black Sage.

The evening ended with awardees and other guests eating, drinking and mingling with each other at the back of the Queen's Hall building.

TUCO's Socalypso Awards 2007 in pictures: