Frequently Asked Questions
We appreciate that Soca has evolved, giving rise to various styles even beyond Groovy and Power. But the truth of the matter is, Soca is Soca no matter what form it takes. We believe that allowing artistes the freedom to enter without having to consider restrictions such as tempo will improve the quality of music featured in our show and ultimately the quality of music produced for the season.
Contrary to popular belief, one category creates a more even playing field. In our Soca history, we recall songs of a lower BPM being major hits over faster songs. Consider David Rudder’s Bahia Girl or Shadow’s Stranger. One category allows the artiste’s mastery of their craft to shine through, and lets the quality of basic components of the art form such as song writing/storytelling, musicality and arrangement take center stage.
Added to this, one category means one song per artiste. As opposed to having two bites of the cherry, which benefits the bigger names as they can afford the cost of presenting and performing two songs, each artist must come to the table with one solid performance. We believe this will create a more exciting show.
One category means that from the list of songs an artiste submits, only the best offering will make it to the competition. That means a lot of the fat will be trimmed and we will be able to once again boast about our quality over our quantity.
One category also means a shorter show that is easier to enjoy live as well as it can be enjoyed as a television package.
To date, Soca Monarch has been one of the most lucrative competitions for the artistes and we intend to keep it that way. The new one category system means a one winner pay out, which allows us an opportunity to revisit the overall prize structure. To the artistes, we will offer greater compensation for participation, which is more incentive to put on a better show for you.
No. The same judging criteria stands:
Melody 25, Lyrics 20, Arrangement 20, Performance 20, Crowd Response 10. The only change is the omission of the groove category, which is now irrelevant.
From our feedback, a lot of patrons indicated difficulties after the show ranging from unavailability of public transportation to fear of crime due to the time the show ends. Our thinking is to extend the fun until a time patrons feel more comfortable to leave the security of our venue. It will also give us a chance to say thank you to all our supporters by sharing a small token of a Trini styled breakfast.
Actually, auditors have been used to validate the results of the Soca Monarch for the past three years. This level of transparency is something we will maintain.
A big part of our mission is to take Soca to the world. In order to reach the world, we have to be packaged for the world. The live show itself, even in its most efficient format, is a lengthy one. This makes it difficult to sell to television and cable stations, both local and international. Our new approach is to run an efficient live show, capture footage via high quality A/V recording and edit and package the footage in a slick format that is made for TV. It will then be aired on CNC3, as well as sold to international media houses as part of our plan to put Soca first across the globe.
The broadcast will offer a totally different viewing experience from attending the show. Complementing the performances will be out takes of the artistes in various stages of preparation for the grand show. This includes other fete performances, studio and band room rehearsals, short interviews and interesting trivia segments that live up to be a true TV show. Added to this, the recorded show will appeal even to patrons who attended the live show, as the results will be revealed at the end of the television broadcast. After the show, each judge will submit their scores to the auditors, who will do the final tally and deliver the results directly to the show.
That is entirely up to the artiste. We are all about making the Soca Monarch experience one that benefits the artiste. As such, our contracts do not mandate them to compete should they win the title. This is a tool that they can use to boost their career should they need too. But should they decide not to, they are totally free to abstain.
Our drive to put Soca First in 2016 has lead us to develop a number of new incentives linked to our brand. As self-appointed stewards of Soca, we have a focus on the future which we agree lies in the youth. We are developing a mentoring program that links the Soca Monarch with the National Schools Monarch. We encourage all our artistes to mentor a young performer, with the hopes of helping develop the skills of our talented young performers. We deem this as very important and very urgent. If we are to have a bright tomorrow, we need to invest in tomorrow’s people.
This is just one of the many incentives we will be implementing beyond the carnival season. Added to this, we have already established Writers’ Workshops and a workshop called ‘Understanding the Business of Music’, designed to further equip our people with the information needed to perform on the world stage.
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