Today, Caribbean Prestige Foundation (CPF) which is the driving force behind the two competitions which have become a main feature of “Fantastic Friday” (the Friday before Carnival Monday and Tuesday), will make it known if Beenie Man has made it to the semi-finals.
Judging in the preliminaries was held over the weekend at the Cascadia Hotel in St Ann’s where the chief judge was musician Josephine Taylor. In the past, Beenie Man partnered with Dieffenthaller in producing a song, “Too Drunk to Wine.”
Following the 2012 London Olympics, Beenie Man and defending Soca Monarch Machel Montano paid tribute in a song titled “Champions”, to athletes of Jamaica, Grenada, the Dominican Republic and Trinidad and Tobago who medalled at the games.
Beenie Man is one of several artistes from the Caribbean, USA and Canada who have entered to compete in this year’s edition of the two competitions.
Of the more than 400 artistes including the first ever Soca Monarch Austin “Super Blue” Lyons, to enter the preliminaries, 40 to 45 will be selected for the semi-finals of both competitions to be held at the Arima Velodrome on January 28. CPF executive chairman William Munroe told Newsday yesterday, based on what he has heard, the majority of songs this year are of good quality.
“It does not mean that if some songs did not make it to the semis, they were not good. Out of the 400 there were about 250 real good songs. A lot of the songs also tied,” he said.
“Those who didn’t get in, please support those who did. The show at the Arima Velodrome will be great. That is where we have to select ten finalists for the Groovy and ten for the Power. So out of 400 we will end up with 10 and 10,” Munroe said.
Noting that artistes, “even the big names,” would be nervous, Munroe said, “even if their names are not called to the semis, the artistes should continue and continue until one day they hit the jackpot.”
Soca was no longer limited to Carnival, he noted. Among the big names in soca to have returned this year are “Super Blue,” who last performed 13 years ago and Maximus Dan (Edghill Thomas) who has returned after a six year hiatus. Asked about the prize money, Munroe noted that the first prize in the Groovy Soca category has gone to $1 million this year from $500,000 last year.
The first prize in the Power Soca category would be upward of $2 million, he said, but we are, “still negotiating.” The prizes for artistes from the fifth to the tenth place, he said have gone up by 50 percent.