CHILDREN should be serious about their education, listen to their parents and become productive citizens. These are the messages young chutney artiste Avindha Singh wants his peers to get from his music.
Avindha, nine, is a student of Tamana Hindu Primary School and won the 2019 primary schools Intellectual Chutney Soca Monarch competition.
Avindha told Newsday Kids how his musical family inspired his love for singing and why he wants his music to be a positive influence.
"I saw my dad singing so I decided to try it," he said, recalling a memory from age four.
His father, Rishi, has been a musician for 35 years and founded the Maya Orchestra in 2004. The orchestra plays chutney, soca, chutney soca and reggae music.
During the orchestra's rehearsals sometimes at the family's home in Sangre Grande, he watched the band rehearse and mimic the singing. After years of observing, in 2019 he knew he wanted to sing.
Soon they were writing songs and it was Take Your Education, a song written with songwriter and family friend Krishna Maharaj, which stood out.
The song spoke of the importance of children being focussed in school and how focus can help them live comfortable lives.
"I see a lot of children getting out of hand, so I wanted to send a message about education, listening to your parents and paying attention in school.
"These things are important so children can have a good life with money to buy a house and car with a good family."
His father decided to sign him up for the school's chutney soca monarch competition to get the message out. Winning was not his main goal.
"I just wanted to get the experience by taking part in the competition, but I won.
"I knew Mr Maharaj and my dad were counting on me and I was counting on them."
Despite being nervous on competition day and being a little off-key, he was focussed on hyping the crowd and providing good entertainment.
Since winning, he has been working on new music and being even more confident when he performs. He is also trying new music such as Bollywood and soca.
He said to curb his nervousness he focusses on freeing up and letting the music take over.
Yesterday, he auditioned for the 2020 edition of the competition and hopes to retain his crown. He was, however, tight-lipped when asked what his defending song will be, only hinting that it deals with a current issue in society.
Although he is busy building his musical portfolio, he has not neglected his studies and is staying true to the message of his music.
"I study hard to be able to have a good and comfortable life while helping others."
He hopes to continue singing but may eventually follow in the footsteps of his father, his biggest inspiration, and be a teacher.
He may even go into politics and has considered being prime minister one day in order to help others.
He also finds time to play with his friends, who call him "the star."
Avindha Singh, the 2019 primary schools intellectual chutney soca monarch, gets strong support from his father, Rishi, and brother, Rohit, as he prepares to defend his crown in the 2020 competition.