decision time: Adjudicators for the Digicel Groovy Soca Monarch at Sunday’s preliminary stage of the competition at Cascadia Hotel and Conference Centre in St Ann’s. —Photo: CURTIS CHASE

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Soca Monarch semi-finalists revealed today

By Verdel Bishop

Close to 400 artistes have battled for a spot for the semi-final round of the Play Whe International Power and Digicel Groovy Soca Monarch competition. 

The preliminary stage of the Play Whe International Power and Digicel Groovy Soca Monarch competition got under way Sunday at Cascadia Hotel and Conference Centre in St Ann’s. 

Five adjudicators in each category spent close to eight hours selecting the artistes who will move forward to the semifinal round of the competition.  

Participants were adjudicated based on a “listening” process which started around 9.30 in which the tracks they submitted were reviewed and analysed. By 2 p.m, the judges had already been through 100 recordings. 

Over 145 artistes registered in the Power Soca and Groovy Soca categories. 

A press release yesterday from Caribbean Prestige Foundation chairman Peter Scoon said the semi-finalists will be announced today at 10.45 a.m. at Guardian Media Ltd, St Vincent Street, Port of Spain

Head adjudicator Joseph Torrel, said this year has seen an increase in the number of participants in both categories. She said the positive response of the artistes speaks volumes for the future of the artform. 

“This year’s submissions have been good. We have seen an increase in the number of entries in addition to the popular artistes that we hear and know about we are seeing many up-and-coming artistes in the competition and this is good; it means that soca is growing and developing and it means that the youths are definitely interested and this is a good sign.  

“We are even seeing that some students who have entered in the schools junior soca monarch are also entering in the national competition,” Torrel said 

Participants have been judged on criteria including lyrics, melody and arrangement. 

Torrel could not confirm how many artistes will move forward to the power and groovy categories in the semifinal round of the competition.  

The semi-finals will be held on February 9 at Arima Velodrome. 

The finals will be staged on Fantastic Friday, February 28 at the Hasely Crawford Stadium, Port of Spain with the theme “Soca 22—Let the Rhythm Define You” to mark 22 years since the competition began.

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