DEFENDING Chutney Soca Monarch (CSM) champion Nishard Mayhroo will seek to retain his crown when he faces off against 22 other competitors at this year's finals at Guaracara Park in Pointe-a-Pierre on February 8. Among the other finalists will be performers from New York, Toronto and Holland.
In a statement on Monday, Southex Event Management Company announced that Mayhroo was one of the 23 finalists. The other finalists are Amit Sagram; Ricardo Melville (Daddy Chinee); Shivan R, Mr Rave, Vendra; Adesh Samaroo; Damian Sookram from New York; Keith Bishop (Keipalo) from Toronto; Neeshan Hitman Prabhu; Ravi Babooram and Sandesh Sewdien from Holland; Kavita Ramkissoon (Chutney Empress); Navita Mahatoo; Veejai Ramkissoon; Kenneth Supersad; Sangeeta “Songstar” Harrypersad; Dubraj Persad; Nigel Gobin; Anthony Batson; Ki Persad; Veekash Sahadeo; Reshma Ramlal (The Warrior Princess); Imran Beharry (GI); Riz and Theatrics ( Rizzan Ali and Darreon Narine); Kess Ramroop (Dr Tunes) and Raul Deoram from Toronto.
Deoram is the CSM Toronto 2019 winner. Southex described last Saturday's semi-finals at the Space Night Club in Gulf View, La Romaine as a success. "All 43 artistes performed at the highest level and the standard of production being put forward was very high."
Southex said the club was packed to capacity with fans coming out to support their favorite artistes, and the event was incident free. Southex praised the stage management crew and backup band Avatar for their roles in moving the show along and backing up the artistes.
The CSM semi-finals, Southex continued, presents a forum for young upcoming artistes to showcase their talent in front of a live audience and backed up by a live band. "The level of competition augurs well for the growth and development of these upcoming artistes.
On preparation of Guaracara Park for the CSM final, Southex CEO George Singh said he has been assured by the National Carnival Commission (NCC) that the venue will be ready in time. When Newsday visited the park on Monday, there was no activity taking place.
Singh said the NCC has the ability to have venues well prepared for major Carnival events, even within a short timeframe. While noting that work has yet to start on the main field where the finals will be held, Singh remained confident that the park is a suitable venue for the event. He said Southex will be working with the NCC to ensure the success of the finals.
Guaracara Park will also host the Calypso Fiesta competition on February 18. Both events are being held at Guaracara because of the ongoing upgrade work at Skinner Park, San Fernando. CSM marks its 25th anniversary this year.
At the finals there will be the presentation of awards to Mungal Patasar, Teddy Bissambhar, Moonesar Chanka, Ajeet Priamsingh, Fareed Mohammed, Rikki Jai, Shamoon Mohammed, Purushotham Singh, Verendra Persad, Mohan Jaikeran, Rishi Mahatoo, Big Rich and the Punkalunks Factory, Drupatee, NCLB and the Community Development Culture and Arts Ministry for their contribution to the chutney soca industry.
The awards for Fareed Mohammed, Chanka, Priamsingh and Jaikaran will be done posthumously.