Rick Ram wins Chutney Soca Monarch for first time

Chutney Soca Monarch 2024, Rick Ramoutar. - Angelo Marcelle
Chutney Soca Monarch 2024, Rick Ramoutar. - Angelo Marcelle

Bavina Sookdeo

Rick "Rick Ram" Ramoutar has etched his name in the annals of Chutney Soca history with his first victory at the Chutney Soca Monarch Competition, at Skinner Park, San Fernando on February 10.

In an interview with Sunday Newsday following his win, Ramoutar, who walked away with $400,000, shared his sentiments, gratitude, and insights into his journey to the top.

“It’s really good to win the title for the first time,” the Biche resident said, reflecting on his achievement. His victory wasn’t just a personal triumph but a testament to years of dedication and perseverance in the competitive Chutney Soca arena, as he has been in the competition for the past 17 years.

Ramoutar acknowledged the pivotal role played by his support system.

“Thanks to my wife Vanessa Ramoutar and our kids Kandy and RJ, Michael Salickram and the Shiv Shakti Dance Company, Big Rich (The Pungalunks), Tony Cutts from Guyana, Master Saleem, Vicadi Singh from Guyana, KI, to all the fans, supporters and family members, Vashti Doorga, George Singh and Southex promotion,” he said.

Ramoutar’s journey to this illustrious moment has been punctuated with notable achievements, including being named the 103FM’s Chutney Soca Road March Competition winner in 2024, after placing second in 2023. In 2012, he was also named South Super Saturday King, and in 2008 he placed second in the Synergy TV’s Chutney Star Competition.

Asked about his winning rendition, he said Luuuzzaarr (pronounced Loser) was inspired by a social media attack he faced last October. Written collaboratively by him and his wife, the song’s creation was a testament to their resilience and creative synergy.

“It took us about 15 minutes to write,” he said.

The meticulous arrangement and daily rehearsals in the lead up to the finals ensured a polished performance.

On stage, Ramoutar’s presentation was a spectacle of creativity and cultural pride. Crafted by Michael Salickram and Vanessa , it seamlessly integrated elements of Ramoutar’s background and journey, culminating in a vibrant display featuring dancers, a fire truck, and symbolic props representing unity and resilience.

“We had the fire truck come in to ring the alarm on bullying and we had the dancers throughout the song bringing in the karma spinning wheels with emojis. Then we were joined by our brothers from Guyana, Tony Cutts and Vicadi Singh, and Master Saleem from Trinidad,” he recounted.

Despite the challenges of coordinating multiple performances in a tight schedule, as Ramoutar had competed with his wife in the same event, he remained undeterred.

“Our challenge was pulling off our two productions on time,” he said, highlighting the logistical hurdles they had to overcome. But the rewards outweighed the obstacles, as evidenced by his triumphant win after years of persistence.

2024 Chutney Soca Monarch winner Rick Ramoutar, left, and Queen of Chutney Soca Rawytee Ramroop celebrate their win. - Angelo Marcelle

Asked how he felt competing against his wife, Ramoutar said he was rooting for her and insists that she is his backbone. Reflecting on his motto, “Family first, together we rise, divided we fall,” Ramoutar emphasised the importance of unity and collaboration in his journey. His advice to aspiring artists echoed this sentiment, urging them to prioritise people and community in their pursuit of music.

Looking ahead, Ramoutar remains committed to producing clean and positive music, further enriching the cultural landscape. As for the use of his prize money, his intentions reflect his altruistic spirit, aiming to allocate a portion to charity while reinvesting in music and cultural endeavours.

To his critics, Ramoutar extends gratitude as their feedback serves as constructive guidance, propelling him to strive for excellence with each performance and composition.

“Critics help us grow and better our craft,” he said.


"Rick Ram wins Chutney Soca Monarch for first time"

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