Chutney queen committed to spreading musical love, joy

Rawytee Ramroop performs Wining Down to the Ground at the Chutney Soca Monarch finals, on February 10, at Skinner Park,  San Fernando.  - Angelo Marcelle
Rawytee Ramroop performs Wining Down to the Ground at the Chutney Soca Monarch finals, on February 10, at Skinner Park, San Fernando. - Angelo Marcelle

Bavina Sookdeo

Amid the vibrant performances at the Chutney Soca Monarch 2024, 44-year-old Rawytee Ramroop was crowned the Queen of Chutney Soca.

Captivating the audience at Skinner Park, San Fernando on February 10 with her powerful voice and dynamic stage presence, Ramroop was brought to tears when she heard her name announced as the winner. Asked how she feels about her new title with her song Wining Down to the Ground, the artiste said she was shocked, “very happy but blessed.”

With a musical career spanning over 25 years, Ramroop’s journey is one steeped in passion, perseverance, and unwavering dedication. From her humble beginnings singing religious hymns to commanding the stage as a lead vocalist in her family band, Modern Electrical Rhythms, Ramroop’s evolution as an artiste is a testament to her indomitable spirit and tireless work ethic.

Her musical journey commenced at the age of 11, under the tutelage of her father performing at numerous satsangs. A self-taught musician, Ramroop’s innate talent and boundless ambition propelled her to explore various musical genres, eventually leading her to the pinnacle of chutney soca royalty.

Throughout her musical career, she entered many competitions and has performed in Holland, Suriname, Guyana, Canada and several other countries. Ramroop is also the holder of a first degree in leadership and management with a minor in accounting.

While Chutney Soca Queen is a major title for her, the singer has several other accomplishments to her credit, including placing third at the Mastana Bahar Competition in 1996 and being awarded Best Chutney Song overall for the song Sasu Hamare from the National Chutney Foundation of Trinidad and Tobago in 2008. She was also awarded the World Chutney Queen title from the Massive Gosine Roving Chutney Calypso Comedy Tent and Nal Ramsingh. In 2015, she was awarded the title Best New Artiste in the Chutney Soca Monarch Awards.

Beyond her musical endeavours, Ramroop balances a full-time career in the public sector and mother to her 11-year-old son.

Asked about the idea for her song Wining Down to the Ground, the singer said it was written by Kelvin Kissoon and Big Rich (Zaheer Khan) and it was produced by Big Rich of the Pungalunks Factory.

“The idea for the song is 100 per cent Big Rich. I went with one idea but he said, 'No, I want you to go into the competition with something that is Chutney Soca Monarch quality,' and I always have trust and faith in Big Rich so I did it.”

Prior to the competition, Ramroop and her team had just one rehearsal. Her props on the night of her performance included dancers who did a skit on a wedding and a barahi (Hindu celebration when a baby is born).

“I tried to bring back traditional elements” she said.

Rawytee Ramroop leader singer of Modern Electrical Rhythm, performs at the Divali Nagar, Chaguanas in 2022. - National Council of Indian Culture

“I also had tassa and the Biraha Raja (Naresh Timal) on stage and I tried to bring back the legends of chutney.”

Asked about the challenges she faced with her performance, Ramroop said, “Just before my performance, my two main back-ups got stuck in traffic and they were not able to make it. However, a singer from my band, Lutchman Gangoo, was there and he filled in for them.”

The artiste said, “I have always looked at CSM and I think the standard has risen every year. We cannot stop the critique at the end of the day, but CSM is the only platform that provides this opportunity for artistes like myself. I want to applaud CSM.”

With her motto being “Never compete with others but compete with yourself”, the chutney queen advised those in her field, “Just keep working hard, stay grounded and keep God in your heart.”

Ramroop expressed her heartfelt gratitude to her supporters for their unwavering faith and support, among them her family, God and her production team.

As she basks in the glow of her latest achievement, Ramroop remains steadfast in her commitment to spreading love and joy through music. Her future plans include the possibility of competing again next year.

“My biggest aim is to see people dance and enjoy themselves. I also want to assist those in need, and I want to get chutney to where it has never been before” she said.


"Chutney queen committed to spreading musical love, joy"

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