Sunday, February 18, 2018

They know you if you’re a winner

New Calypso Monarch speaks out:


‘SPEAKING OUT’: Roderick “Chucky” Gordon

Mark Fraser

Newly crowned National Calypso Monarch Chucky (Roderick Gordon) says the prejudice shown against young unknown musical talents needs to be put to an immediate stop.

Chucky, speaking after his win on Sunday night at the Dimanche Gras show, Queen’s Park Savannah, Port of Spain said he intends to use his clout as the holder of the most prestigious calypso title in the world to speak out for those without a voice.

“I feel like I have a responsibility now. I always told myself to deal with issues it better to be in a place on top where people are more willing to listen to what you have to say. I love the art form and making myself a part of different pieces of work. What I don’t enjoy is the fact that people don’t pay attention and don’t support you unless you are a winner,” he explained.

He said to ensure the growth and survival of local performing arts there needs to be greater structure for new talent and more willingness to give them a fair listen.

“My name has been building, so yeah, sure, when people hear Chucky they respond. But what about the unknown artiste who has not had that experience and exposure, but has good quality work? How do we treat with them? These are things we need to address through policy and frame work.”

Chucky says he vows to do all in his power to help shine the spotlight on emerging talent in T&T.

“At times this could be a really fragmented disconnected place where people aren’t so willing to accept cultural diversity. What I can do is bring these issues to the attention of the public and hopefully help change things,” he concluded.

Expressing pride in his victory yesterday were his mother Glenda Gordon, aunts Margaret and Roslyn Joseph and sister Mandisa. He is the son of the late Roland Gordon, a well known musician, calypso judge and cultural activist, who died in 2010.

They made the trek from Success Village, Laventille, to lend their support to Chucky at the Dimanche Gras show.

Glenda Gordon said Sunday night: “I am happy. He worked hard. He was committed to his craft. His father would have been immensely proud of him. Please let the country know we are from Success Village, Laventille.” 

Gordon lives with his aunt Margaret who said: “The first time Chucky won a competition it was with a song ‘Macaroni Pie’. He has worked really hard. Don’t forget he was the Independence Monarch with ‘Bear With Me’.” 

Interviewed yesterday, Chucky praised Margaret.

He said: “She was backstage and doing everything. I live with Margaret and we go through all the processes. Aunty Margaret doesn’t make mistakes. If I make mistakes she will tell me. She told  me when I was singing “Wha Yuh Think” I was moving too much. ‘You are singing it like soca. It is a calypso. People have to hear every line.’ She is critical with everything. She was  harsh with the presentation. She is very critical.”

He added: “The victory is now sinking in. It hadn’t sunk in at the Big Yard. It is now soaking in.  I am now realising it in all the comments in the Facebook and Twitter.  I am now hearing it on the news. It is registering.” 

Chucky said his strategy was paying attention to crafting a second song.

He said: “ A number of calypsonians don’t focus on a second song.  But I had “The Wedding” in the pipeline which discussed the marriage between chutney and soca.”   Asked how he intends to spend his $1 million, Chucky said: “I plan to  open a production studio. I will invest some. I thank God for helping me.”