RONALDO LONDON, Young King 2019, dedicated his crown to his late grandmother, Uline London, 81.
London beat a field of 18 contenders to win the National Action Cultural Committee (NACC) contest on Tuesday at the Queen’s Park Savannah, Port of Spain, following in the footsteps of his uncle Brian London, 2004 Young King.
Speaking to Newsday yesterday on his win, London said, “It’s a great feeling. It’s a great victory, but right now I’m preparing for Saturday, Calypso Fiesta. That’s about it right now.”
The fiesta, at Skinner Park, San Fernando, will select Calypso Monarch finalists.
London promptly dedicated his victory to his grandmother ,who died recently.
“I lost my grandmum last year. That win was for her.”
London's mother, Elizabeth London, told Newsday Uline had run a Girl Guides goup in the family's home town of Fyzabad and had often written letters to try to get better community facilities such as street lights, and a water supply.
"She is the one who wrote letters to get here paved from a track to a road."
Newsday asked London what was his strength in performing. He replied, “My strength is connecting with the people, by using my melodies.”
Told by Newsday that he had looked a bit nervous coming onstage, London replied, “No, I know I was in control.” Asked if he was simply a cool customer, he replied, “Yeah, that’s me. That’s my style.”
Newsday asked the secret to his melodious voice.
“I started as a footballer and I changed and decided to take a try in calypso. That’s how I discovered I had a voice.”
As for other influences: “Well, I listen to Brother Valentino (Emrold Phillip) and older calypsoes. And reggae, especially Jah Melody from TT.
“My strength is melody. I have the ability to freestyle melody, so at times I make up melodies on the spot.”
Asked his musical influences, London said, “I’d like to pay tribute to Brother Valentino. I’ve never worked with him or anyone, but I just love his style of calypso.:
In conclusion, he said, “This Saturday I’ll be in the fiesta. I’m not sure about the number (that is, song choice) as yet, but I would be there for sure. I’m just preparing right now for Saturday.”