Caston Cupid, one of the five Tobagonians in the line-up for Calypso Fiesta on Saturday is already on his way to achieving his main goal for the 2020 Carnival season.
Speaking with Newsday on Tuesday, Cupid said he is humbled to make his first appearance in the National Calypso Monarch semi-finals.
“I am ecstatic because I’ve worked really hard for this moment," he said.
“Year after year, after all the disappointment of not making it to now finally making it, I definitely want to seize this opportunity and not only be content with making the semi-finals but really give a challenge and push on to get to the finals – and maybe even win it all.”
The 32-year-old who hails from Mt St George said was not too surprised when he got the news.
“I was overjoyed and I was relieved… I was really considering that this year would be my year. After the prelims and the responses that I got from my performances, I was really confident that I would have made it… I was just waiting on that final confirmation.”
Cupid, who began singing calypso in 2011, officially has two songs for the season, however his song of choice for the semi-finals is Split, written by Sherwin Cunningham.
“Split is basically a play on Trinidad and Tobago in various aspects from politics to gang violence to even calypso, in a very classy way. Saying things that probably should be said but people tend to shy away from saying it, so we just found a classy way of saying it.
"It’s something that everybody knows but bringing it to the forefront and showing that we can do better,” he said noting that patrons can expect nine years of stage experience “wanting and waiting to be on that stage.
"Everything I’ve learnt and experience and even learnt from others across the years, I would give my utmost best, a really exhilarated performance that me and any of my supporters, or anybody else for a matter of fact, could be proud of. And really be a strong contender in this year’s calypso monarch even though it's really going to be my first time.”
His other song for 2020 is I am Trinbago.
Cupid is the five-time reigning Tobago Heritage Monarch and a finalist in the Tobago Calypso Monarch and the Windward Monarch. Additionally, he participated in Tuesday evening’s Young Kings finals.
Meanwhile, another Tobago contender is 46-year-old Alex Gift, better known in the calypso realm as Tobago Chalkie.
Hailing from Canaan/ Bon-Accord, Tobago Chalkie said this is his 11th experience at the semi-final round of the competition.
“Always consistent… this feels really good,” he said noting that he wasn’t shocked to reach the semis in Guaracara Park, Pointe-a-Pierre.
“I was not surprise because I always compose good, palatable stuff,” he said.
His song of choice Vision 2020 was written by himself.
“It is a nice, little, satire song… it is showing you where we came from, where we are at and where we are going towards that great vision we are all hoping to achieve.”
His other composition is a good dream.
No rookie in the calypso world, Tobago Chalkie said he first entered the calypso arena through the Tobago Scouting for Talent in 2007. He said he later entered the Tobago Calypso Monarch and placed second, while over the years, he has also captured the Tobago Young King title five times, the Tobago Heritage Calypso Monarch crown three times and won the Tobago Calypso Monarch five times.
His focus on Saturday is to give the audience his best performance.
Other Tobagonians in the semi-finals are Sharon Phillips with Aimless and Shamless or Phoenix Rise; Nicole Thomas with Give Her What She Deserves or Let's Change; Wendy Thomas-Garrick singing Envy or Educate Yourself.