Below the Surface by Mystic Prowler: Calypso Classic

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The Golden Age of Calypso, the formative years (1934–1950), brought about change in Calypso and produced some fabulous calypsos that are unmatched today. Now we turn to our present-day crop of Calypsonians, and it feels like they have lost focus and lost their way. They (today's Calypsonians) can't seem to find their way and prefer to complain rather than resolve the issues that are hampering the art form, so we look to the past to find a way forward. 

We are in a place where Calypso seems to be looking for a way to be relevant once again, and for that reason, we can look back and reflect on a song that could add some guidance for the rocky road ahead. Now we can reflect and find meaning in a song that won the 1998 Calypso Monarch Title. There is a serious message in the music. This is the Mystic Prowler with one of the songs he sang to win the 1998 Calypso Monarch title (aka Calypso King); the song is "Beneath the Surface," penned by Gregory "GB" Ballantyne.

Those who are stuck in quicksand and can't seem to say the way forward will continually moan and complain about the Calypsonian plight, but they could find solace and a way forward if they heed the words of songwriter Gregory Ballantyne with memorable vocals from the late Mystic Prowler: "They had the stuff that great men are made of; it’s the stuff you can miss unless you look beneath the surface."

Many Calypsonians continue to sing political and social commentary, which may or may not hold relevance in today's world. While I acknowledge the importance of these calypsos, they must sing calypsos that inspire the listener to dance if they are to succeed in the realm of Soca music. That was the case before the dawn of Soca, and it can still happen today; let's enjoy some more 'dance calypso music'. Yes, there is a time and place for everything, and today it calls for music and songs (calypsos) that people can dance to once again. The challenge is on; who is going to do it?

Just to be clear, we feature "Beneath the Surface," written by Gregory Ballantyne and sung by the Mystic Prowler, because of the message, which remains, to this day, a classic calypso; it is not an example of a 'dance calypso'. It is a song with a powerful and inspiring message. Enjoy.

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Production Notes/Music Credits:
Song Title: Beneath The Surface 
Calypsonian/Artist/Performed by: Mystic Prowler (Roy Lewis)
Written by: Gregory "GB" Ballantyne
Year Released: 1998

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