If Katelin Sultan's song played on the radio, no one would ever guess she is just eight years old.
The standard two Warrenville TIA Primary school student will be nine on February 17, and is the youngest competitor in the 2023 Chutney Soca Monarch semi-finals.
Both Katelin and her dad, Neeshad Sultan qualified and they will be competing against each other and 28 others for a spot in the finals.
Katelin’s song, Tell them Ah Ready, written by Vishan Mohammed and produced by Maha Productions, pays homage to the legends of chutney.
“Everybody keeps asking me, why I never sing a chutney. Grandpa Sundar leave and he gone. All that he started, I will carry on.
“Tell them that I ready. I come to give them chutney. Tell them don’t study my age, I ready for the stage,” she sings.
In the song Katelin incorporates some classics like Anand Yankaran’s Ranga Dal, Terry Gajraj’s Guyana Baboo and Devanand Gattoo’s Shake it Baby
Katelin will be competing against Gattoo, "one of her all-time faves," and said she hopes he will be “happy and proud" that she paid tribute to him in her song.
Katelin’s mom and manager KerryAnne Sultan told Newsday Kids, “She never did any vocal training. This is all natural. She has the ability to just listen and do it.”
Asked what chutney means to her, Katelin said, “My chutney song is a very positive song, what people could dance and enjoy themselves to."
Katelin said her friends at school are always “shocked and surprised” by her achievements. She said her principal “always call my name on the speaker-box, for me to go to the office and five minutes later I does be singing a couple qasidas,” Islamic poems in song.
Despite being Muslim KerryAnne said her home is very multicultural.
“We support all religions, we in everything. We don’t stick to our religion alone. We grow the kids up to be a part of
On competing against her dad, Katelin said, “I feel happy. I know he is a very good singer. I know he will always support me too. We support each other. We get along very good. I feel very happy to compete with him.”
If only one of them made it to the finals, Katelin said she will feel sad.
If she wins the grand prize, “Half the money going to charity. I like to feed the poor. I could give homes. The rest of it, I might buy something for my family, buy something for myself. I’d use it to buy a nice dress.”
Her dream is to open an shelter for animals like her dog, Maxie.
“She was a stray puppy. She came in the old apartment about a year before we moved out here. She was a very mangy dog, she didn’t have a single fur."
Katelin said the most famous person she met was her grandpa in New York, then she reconsidered and went with Uncle Ravi B.
Her mother reminded her that in December 2021 she opened the show at the Magnificent Four concert at Centre of Excellence before an audience of 4,500. The top performers of Indian Idol: Arunita Kanjilal, Pawandeep Rajan, Mohammed Danish and Sayli Kamble came to Trinidad and Tobago and Katelin was chosen as the show’s opening act.
Katelin said she was so happy when she was selected.
“I start to flip and jump and dance. It was a dream come true.”
Katelin had been following Kanjilal closely online and learning a lot of her dance moves. She said she had wanted to go to India to see Kanjilal, but Kanjilal came to her.