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Wednesday 24 July 2019
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Calypsonian tells radio stations: Don’t ban my song


Calypsonian Ras Kommanda (Steve Pascall), is calling on radio stations not to ban his 2018 offering because of its hook line, which is viewed as being borderline offensive and suggestive.

Although the Telecommunications Authority (TATT) has not added his song to the blacklist of those not deserving of airplay, Kommanda believes he is a victim of self-censorship by several radio stations. War of Words, on which he collaborated with composer Winsford “Joker” Devine and calypsonian Crazy (Edwin Ayoung), carries the hook line “Donald is the man for Kim,” a wordplay on the feuding between international world leaders US President Donald Trump and supreme leader of North Korea Kim Jong-un.

Man for Kim is not novel and has been used in the past by other calypsonians without any consequences. With TATT warning about the licences of radio stations and Kommanda’s use of this hook line generating some negative comments, stations are not risking the fallout that playing his song could cause.

One of the headline acts at Kaiso Showkase, scheduled to open on Friday night at Palms Club, San Fernando, Kommanda, who is also the PRO of the Trinbago Unified Calypsonians Organisation (TUCO), defended his offering, saying his decision was to sing a calypso with international flavour to gain international interest. “I decided to move away from the normal local political commentaries, you know, the UNC/PNM diatribe, and do something more international, because I realise when we are performing outside of Trinidad nobody seems to be au courant with what we are singing about.

I decided to look at two great world leaders in the personality of Trump and Jung-un, using the hook line to give it that TT flavour, that kaiso, kaiso flavour.”

He urged calypso lovers to look beyond the line and delve into the verses, which deliver the message he is trying to tell.

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