Shurwayne Winchester

shurwayne-2Caribbean-based Soca Mega-Star Shurwayne Winchester is phenomenal on and off stage. His dynamic and energetic, stage performance propels thousands of hysterical fans from North America and the Caribbean across the Atlantic to Europe and India, into a frenzy of excited abandon of jumping and waving, while at the same time, he has the ability to transfix audiences with his amazing vocal range and smooth renditions.

Off stage, this unassuming philanthropist is undoubtedly blessed with a songwriter’s pen, and an ability to make pictures with his music. Although he is best known for his accomplishments in the Soca arena, this versatile entertainer can pen and perform music across genres.

Born on the beautiful Caribbean island of Tobago, he was only 12-years old when he entered the competition foray, consistently placing in the top three. Never one to be intimidated he even competed against seasoned Trinidadian Calypso veterans such as Calypso Queen Denyse Plummer, Calypso Monarchs Cro Cro and Luta in the Carib Independence Calypso Competition. As a result of his performance, he was hired for various calypso tents both in Trinidad and Tobago from 1980 through 1996.

Shurwayne performed in a number of fledging bands on the Tobago and Trinidad scene before landing the contract as a frontline singer for one of the top Soca bands, Caribbean Traffik Jam.

His first recording was made in 1998, with the tracks “Leave it in” and “Soca Baby” with Traffik. At the time, his voice caught the attention of record producer Devon George and he then recorded “Get out of my dreams” written by Marlon “Socket” Clarke. The song, released in December 1998, remained in rotation for two years until July 2000 a rarity in the Soca genre!

Shurwayne’s melodic voice and ripped body quickly made him the heartthrob of soca, both locally and internationally particularly among West Indian markets. All during his writing and recording he continued to tour heavily with the band Traffik. However, his efforts did not go unnoticed and he was awarded “Best New Artist” and “Male Vocalist of the Year” at the 2000 Sunshine Music Awards, New York. In the same year he released “Why yuh blaming me?” which hit the charts the following week, “Jouvay Jump Up” which followed the same path, and “You Make Me Wanna” (a.k.a. So Hot), which also became an instant favorite, and stayed on the charts for over twelve months.

“Release the Beast” and his challenge tune “Revenge” joined the others on the charts in January, 2001. These five songs were all written by Shurwayne who would go on to become a prolific song writer.

His first solo album “Under My Spell” was released in
January 2002. Two cuts from the album “Splash” and “Doctor on Call” went on to become hits for Carnival 2002.

The first release for Carnival 2003, “Baby Love”, took off immediately, and became one of the most requested songs by the ladies. “Masqueraders” was the second release, and was a contender for Road March Monarch: – Most popular song on the road for Trinidad & Tobago Carnival. Shortly thereafter a third song “Front” was released. It took the air waves by storm, and was the most requested song by the public. The incredibly popular “Front” took Shurwayne all the way to the finals of the Soca Monarch Competition of that year. He then collaborated with Chinese Laundry and Rikki Jai on his nation-building and unity composition “Rags Don’t Care”. “Powder” was his Jouvert contribution and along with all of his other works, hit the charts on West Indian radio stations in North America.

By 2004, Shurwayne was fast becoming a force to be reckoned with on the local Trinidad & Tobago scene. His sophomore album titled “Press Play” produced his first and memorable Road March song “The Band Coming”. Shurwayne walked away with three awards at the Annual Soca Awards held in New York in August 2004. He won the award for “Best New Soca Collaboration” of the year for the song “Come Beta” with Soca Diva Destra Garcia. Shurwayne also won the award for “Favorite Up-Tempo of the Year –Male” and “Soca Vocalist of the Year”.

Shurwayne did it again in 2005, winning the Road March title two years in a row with his infectious track “Dead or Alive”. This bumper hit was off his 2005 offering “Give Thanks” his most intimate album to date. The sixteen track album boast one hundred percent new material and also featured a host of collaborations including “Don’t Waste Water” with reigning Soca Monarch Bunji Garlin, as well as the title track “Give Thanks” with Maximus Dan.

Shurwayne’s star continued to shine in 2006 when he created history by becoming the first person ever to win both the Power Soca Monarch and Groovy Soca Monarch competitions of the prestigious International Soca Monarch Competition, with his massive hits “Can’t Wait” and “Don’t Stop” respectively. These two powerful songs were off the album that best described Shurwayne’s career at that time – “Evolution”.

There’s no stopping this super star and Shurwayne was selected in 2006 as part of the Official Trinidad & Tobago Cultural Delegation to Germany for the FIFA World Cup activities. His talents as a songwriter were rewarded when he copped the Copyright Music Organisation of Trinidad & Tobago (COTT) “Songwriter of the Year Award” and “Song of the Year Award”, two years in succession – 2005 & 2006 and the Groovy Song of the Year Award for “Don’t Stop” in 2006.

He also received the award for “Up-tempo Song of the Year-Male” and “Song of the Year” at the 2005 Soca Awards.
By 2007 Shurwayne had won the hearts of the people and fans and they paid tribute to him by voting him the “People’s Choice” in both the Power Soca Monarch and the Groovy Soca Monarch of the International Soca Monarch Competition. In that same year he was selected to represent Trinidad & Tobago in India as part of a cultural delegation and was also heavily sought after to open the ICC World Cup Cricket cultural opening ceremony in Trinidad and closing ceremony in Barbados.

In that year he also released his fifth album “Adrenalin”. This album highlights his growth as an artiste and songwriter and features a number of collaborations including on the Title track with International recording star Elephant Man and with Barbados’ Peter Ram on the super popular “Woman by my Side”. Moving from strength to strength, Shurwayne Winchester continues to ignite audiences across the world with his special brand of adrenalin.