THE winners of the Chutneymusic.com Rani & Raja Competition (CRC) are Naviata Mahato and Ricardo “Daddy Chinee” Melville. The results were announced after the finals on February 6.
In a release, event co-ordinator Jason "DJ Floops" Sookram said he was pleased to announce the successful completion of the competition, which began in November.
The release said Mahato topped the CRC 2021 Rani (Queen) finals with her song Choday Balaam. She was ushered in by tassa drums.
Princess Ashanie of the US was second, the UK's Sirf Kiran placed third; Tanty Sandra of TT, fourth, and Asha Rambaran Saywerth of South Africa, fifth.
The release said the road to victory for "Daddy Chinee" was far from smooth, as he did poorly in the CRC preliminary but poured his heart and soul into his performances going forward.
"He urged everyone to live in unity and reflected on his own experience of being a mix of races – Indian, African and Chinese.
Second-placed Joel Connector Davis of Canada narrowly missed the top spot. The judges liked how he used African drums in his performance, and he looked very fluid on stage, the release said.
Edward Ramdass opted for his tried-and-true wife to be his rani and placed third. Rickson McDonald, a multiple people’s choice winner placed fourth and Khayam Deo, who had a Kaura (Caura) Lime on the CRC 2021 stage, rounded out the competition.
The judges included culture advocate, linguist enthusiast, lyricist and senior doctor Dr Visham Bhimull of Caribbean Hindustani Inc; performer Dr Sharda Patasar; and accredited Bollywood music director and chutney music advocate in India Sneha Khanwalkar.
Head judge Bhimull chose to give his comments from Maracas beach where he praised the entrants. He welcomed tourists to come to TT to learn its culture.
The release said Khanwalkar opted to profess her love for chutney music and TT in her native Hindi language and the earnest sentiment struck a chord with viewers. She said if she had known about chutney music earlier in life, she would have become a singer.
The judges will host several workshops geared towards improving song composition, performance and Hindi usage.
CRC 2022 is scheduled to begin in November. Bollyney (using a Bollywood melody and singing in chutney style) would not be accepted. If covid19 is over and sponsorship is available, the finals could be done on a physical stage in TT, the release said.
Chutneymusic.com announced that its yearly countdowns would be formally merged into the Chutneymusic.com awards. It said it has already reached out to the National Council for Indian Culture (NCIC) to hold the 2021 awards ceremony.
1 – Navita Mahato (TT)
2 – Princess Ashanie (US)
3 – Sirf Kiran (UK)
4 – Tanty Sandra (TT)
5 – Asha Rambaran Saywerth (TT)
1 – Ricardo “Daddy Chinee" Melville (TT)
2 –Joel “Connector” Davis (Canada)
3 – Edward Ramdass (TT)
4 – Rickson McDonald (TT)
5 – Khayam “Sugar Daddy” Deo (TT)