No Fuss: Daddy Chinee Wins Chutney Soca Monarch 2023

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‘My song was about my country and people who talking it bad and letting them know to an extent that Trinidad and Tobago, we don’t fuss and fight’ – Daddy Chinee

By Sue-Ann Wayow

WITH a  dramatic presentation representing the cultural landscape of Trinidad and Tobago, Ricardo Melville (Daddy Chinee) secured the Chutney Soca Monarch (CSM) crown on Saturday morning.

Wooing both judges and audience, he has dethroned the former reigning monarch, GI Beharry who placed third. Kenneth Supersad came in second place.

The results were announced around 2 am on Saturday after an almost six-hour show that was free to the public.

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Belting out his song We are One, to Skinner Park in San Fernando, the Daddy Chinee’s presentation began with a marching band, followed by tassa, dancers all dressed in red, white and black costumes waving flags, moko jumbies and fire breathing men.

Paying tribute to country and people, Daddy Chinee sang about no matter what the nation faced, there should be unity as everyone was one family.

Kenneth Supersad… second place CSM 2023

Speaking with AZP News backstage, Daddy Chinee who hails from Cunupia said, “My performance was about my song ‘we are one’. My song was about my country and people who talking it bad and letting them know to an extent that Trinidad and Tobago, we don’t fuss and fight. We does come together and fight no matter what cultural differences, religious, we come together to celebrate Christmas and Divali together.

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“So the song is just reminding people about the people that we have. We are a loving people, a country of one.”

He said his presentation was not just about him but his production team and his wife.

With a laugh he told AZP News, “And I hope they did enough to win this thing today.”

Taking a photo with Katelin Sultan, fifth place in overall competition and Queen of CSM

Katelin Sultan wins Queen competition 

She did not win the Chutney Soca Monarch crown, but nine-year-old Katelin Sultan won many hearts at the venue and online to win the Chutney Soca Queen competition.

There were three female competitors  with Ramrajie Prabhoo placing second. Shazeena Ramsumair was the other female competitor.

Sultan celebrated her ninth birthday on Friday beginning with an endorsement from superstar Machel Montano whose video was played at the beginning of her presentation.

MC Rumshop also had the crowd sing “Happy Birthday” for her which, she said, was a surprise and slightly confusing at first.

Sultan also shared her birthday cake with persons backstage.

Drupatee Ramgoonai

She told AZP News, “I really loved how the other people performed and the crowd was so big and they were so supportive. They made a lot of noise for me and I really enjoyed it… I feel so happy having all these supporters and fans following me and always backing me up”

Sultan added, “I met Uncle Machel Montano this morning and I was so surprised. I got a really good start of my birthday.”

Additionally, she danced on stage with Nisha B and Ravi B during their performance on the show.

The little  girl also said she was looking forward to getting much needed rest after the competition.

Bheem awarded posthumously 

Radio announcer and render of Indian songs the late Anil Bheem, who passed away on February 4, was not forgotten as his daughter Prithvi Bheem sang her father’s hit song The Indian Anthem as the opening act.

Bheem was scheduled to do the opening act for the show.

Ramrajee Praboo. AZP News/Sue-Ann Wayow

Prithvi was given an award on behalf of her father by Southex’s owners George Singh and his wife.

Many of the artists who sang also made mention of Bheem along with the greats of Chutney and Soca thanking them for their invaluable contribution to the musical arts.

The CSM from start to finish also had performances by Boodram Holass, Neval Chatelal, Ravi B and Nisha B  and others.

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AZP News also met up with chutney legend Drupatee Ramgoonai who said it has been a long time since she has been in a Chutney crowd and she was enjoying herself.

Woman faints during Supersad’s performance

A patron, who appeared to be intoxicated, fell and hit her head while Supersad was performing his song, Moonilal is the Man with the Dhantal.”

Fire officers and police attended to her and she was taken away in an ambulance.

Medical personnel attending to woman. AZP News/Sue-Ann Wayow

Supersad said he heard about the situation afterwards and he hoped that she recovers soon.

He said, “I pray that God would bless her and that she would have a speedy recovery.”

As a veteran in the industry, Supersad said he fully supported the younger ones including Sultan who he knows  since she and her sister Kaylee were babies and are called “Papa Kenneth” by them.

In support of Kenneth Supersad. AZP News/Sue-Ann Wayow

“The last time I did a video, she did my hairstyle,” he said, as he greeted Sultan who was also backstage at the time.

Supersad said Sultan did “extremely well”  in her performance.

Backstage at CSM 2023. AZP News/Sue-Ann Wayow

He also spoke briefly about his song saying that the Indian instrument, the dhantal was also used a weapon to defend oneself.

Supersad who has done songs about people before said, “I observe when you do songs with people, there are a lot of people with the same name so they look forward to the song. This year, there is a lot of Moonilal out there and I am singing about one in particular who is a champion, who is a veteran and who is a fighter for the people so I was very proud to sing that song tonight.”

He said Moonilal helped him to write some of the lyrics and the team he worked with, also worked with former CSM winner Rikki Jai.

Patrons at CSM 2023

The 2023 Chutney Soca Monarch was sponsored by the National Carnival Commission, National Lotteries Control Board, TSTT, Sangeet 106FM, TTT, Angostura, Fire 101.7, Blue Waters, Stamina Energy, Paria Suites Hotel & Conference Centre, and the Ministry of Tourism, Culture & The Arts.  


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