By Sue-Ann Wayow
EIGHT-year-old Katelin Sultan has proven that she is ready for the big stage, creating history as the youngest competitor to make it to the Chutney Soca Finals.
Sultan, competed against 28 other contestants to secure her spot in the final round of the competition.
She is also the youngest competitor to reach the finals in a major Carnival competition breaking Machel Montano’s record.
Montano was 11 years old when he made the finals of the Calypso Monarch with his song Too young to soca.
The Chutney Soca Semi-Final played to a packed venue at Screamers in Debe last Friday as artises put on their best show yet in an attempt to woo both judges and audience.
During her semi-final performance, Sultan, accompanied and supervised by her parents, did an elaborate presentation of her song Tell them Ah Ready to secure her spot.
The song, written by Vishan Mohammed is produced by Maha Productions, pays homage to the legends of chutney with Sultan singing pieces of famed chutney songs at the end of her rendition.
Dressed in red, white and black, Sultan sang out, “They tell meh, ah too young to chutney, they tell meh ah too young to make yuh shake yuh waist. They tell meh ah too young to party, they tell meh ah too young to mash up d place.”
The young singer from Cunupia is thrilled about her place in the finals especially as it takes place on February 17, the day she turns nine.
Speaking with AZP News on Monday afternoon, her mother Kerryann Sultan said it was the best birthday present for her, just being able to reach the final stage.
Little Katelin also told AZP News she was happy at being able to compete in the prestigious Carnival competition for the first time.
She also said, “I will be happy for anyone who wins. I don’t need to win.”
But she did send out a challenge to GI Beharry – defending champion – who also happens to be her uncle.
She said, “I can’t wait to meet him and I can’t wait to beat him.”
Beharry on Facebook posted, “Very very very very happy and proud of my little niece Katelin as she makes her way to the finals of Chutney Soca Monarch!”
Katelin first got the news that she made it to the finals from her class teacher in school and then later on from her mother.
Katelin told AZP News that the first time, she sang the song was on December 15, 2022, in the recording studio.
The video that can be found on her Facebook page she shares with her younger sister Kaylee, was shot in south Trinidad courtesy of sponsor FireOne Fireworks.
In her preparation for the finals, Katelin said she will continue to practise at home.
A proud mother Kerryann Sultan said, “She is very loving, humble and caring towards people. She is really different. For the semi-finals, she wanted to give flowers to all of her fans and we told her that would not really be possible. We were able to get some bouquets and give out at the end of her performance to those who were near the stage.”
She added, “She is really innocent. She is very down to earth and does not yet quite understand about fame and all those sorts of things. She is amazing.”
Katelin also told AZP News that not because she sings means she neglects her schoolwork.
“I am a very bright child in class,” she said.
Her father Neeshad Sultan, a competitor in the semi-finals, did not make in into the final.
But he is very proud of his daughter and continues to support her wholeheartedly, Kerryann Sultan said.
To her fans, Katelin in a post on social media stated, “All praise to God Almighty for his many blessings this being another one for me as I had faith and believed that I can make a positive change and I did it!
“I actually made it to the grand finals of Chutney Soca Monarch not only that but I created history for my country being the youngest finalist ever. So grateful to everyone who made this possible! I’m sad daddy didn’t make but he is very happy for me and my Mom can’t stop crying tears of joy. Congratulations to all the finalists.”
Ricardo Melville, aka Daddy Chinee topped the semi-final round with We are One, while Kenneth Supersad was close behind with his rendition Moonilal.
The finals have moved to Fantastic Friday on February 17 at the newly renovated Skinner Park in San Fernando.
The 13 performers making the finals are:
- Kendall Jaggernauth
- Nari Raghubir
- Kenneth Supersad
- Jairam Dindial
- Ricardo Melville
- Avinash Sookraj
- Nigel Gobin
- Katelin Sultan
- Shazzie Ramsumair
- Rick Ramoutar
- Ramrajie Prabhoo
- Edward Ramdass
- GI Beharry(defending champion)