Rum lyrics to be screened for 2012 Chutney Soca | The Trinidad Guardian

Soca music is the definition of 'wine on meh music' while Chutney music is defined by its relationship to rum - yes we are talking about 'Rum Songs'. This is the chief complaint about Chutney music for many years now. Why waste such good music on rum lyrics? This has bothered me for years. Persons of East Indian extract have been stigmatized as cane-field rum drinkers and the music has followed suit. Well apparently this is all about to change and I like the shift.

So why change now? Simply put it is a sound business decision that will eventually lead to better lyrics and prompt the creators and innovators of the genre to think and become more creative. In a way it will open the door for persons, other than East Indians, to take a chance in the competition. The only issue for persons of other ethnic backgrounds will be the singing of the Indian lyrics - Chutney music is a mixture of English and East Indian lyrics. 

The promoters of the show want to have a greater impact on the Carnival celebrations starting in 2012. The decision to move the competition from Southern Trinidad to the Big Yard (in the Queen's Park Savannah, Port-of-Spain) is a move to bring the Competition into Prime Time and to tell the East West corridor populace that this show is 'for you too'. They want the emphasis to be placed on the show as a singing competition that showcases Chutney music and not to be typecast as an East Indian Show. This is a grand move and will take time to be accepted by the East-West corridor population. However, Trinidadians like a good party and if the show moves in the right direction then the support will follow. They are counting on the traditional supporters to come 'to Town' and show their support to continue the successful run of the show thus far. 

Lyrical content.
Simply by stating that they will be monitoring lyrical content is a very smart way to guide the singers away from singing 'rum songs'. As I said before I really disliked this aspect of Chutney music but the music is really good. As a matter of fact the management of the competition are looking for uplifting lyrics. If a singer composes a song about rum then it must be sensible and have a positive message. Songs must not be degrading in any manner or form. 

This is also key for the competition. If you listen to Chutney music today you would soon come to realize that quite a few of the well known bands are taking Bollywood music and giving it a Trinidadian Chutney Soca twist - no Bollywood melodies will be allowed in the competition!  Indeed the music and covers are very good but this will not be accepted for the competition. The fact that they are looking for originality bodes well for the competition - another move in the correct direction!

Behavior and Conduct.
Last year's competition did not end well and as a matter of fact one of the competitors ended up in court defending himself as he was accused of encouraging supporters to show their disgust with the results. People threw items on the stage causing a very uncomfortable situation. This year there is a code of conduct in place for those involved in the competition. 

Future Stars.
Next year will also see the first Junior Chutney Soca Monarch. This too is a good move as it will create a new pool from which the future Chutney Soca Stars will come from to compete for the adult competition.

This competition will become stronger and better as the years go by. The management team are thinking and are about to create a shift in strength for the Chutney Soca Artistes. Soca now has a little brother that will grow up quickly with the support of Chutney music lovers across the country. They have made a wise decision to re-brand the music and sell a product that already produces sweet music. In time to come, as Calypsonian Crazy would say in song, this show will be one of the major headliners for Trinidad and Tobago's Carnival.

Photo Source: Google Images

♫ Please press the play button (small triangle in circle) to listen to Mahendra's 2012 Chutney Soca offering. Mahendra is from Guyana.

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