"Where the kaisonian in the whole thing? Why spend all that money on Machel Montano and, at the end of the day, it eh saying s--t."
These are the words of Brother Valentino. A calypsonian with heavy, socially responsible lyrics, who is not thrilled by Machel Montano's Olympic/Independence project.
Commissioned by the Ministry of Planning and Sustainable Development, Montano is to produce an LP of Olympic and Independence-themed music. Montano signed the contract before the start of the Olympics.
The Games of the 30th Olympiad in London were indeed rewarding for Trinidad and Tobago and brought a post-Olympic euphoria to the country not experienced since 1976.
With performances in cultural villages during the Olympics, and returning home on the same flight as gold medallist Keshorn Walcott, soca star Machel Montano limed with some of the podium-climbing athletes of the 2012 team.
Among the songs performed at his London gigs and at Walcott's welcome-home street fete were "Going for Gold", Montano's first single off the Government-sponsored album.
Minister of Planning Dr Bhoe Tewarie says Montano's team has full artistic freedom to do all the necessary collaborations for the project. According to Dr Tewarie, Montano has been prudent with the Government's grant, but did not reveal the total sum given. "I don't want to use a number and cloud the story. I would not say it's an enormous amount, but we will facilitate the process to ensure success."
"Champion" is the name of the second single off the album and features Grammy-winning Jamaican dancehall artiste Beenie Man. It is a reworking of his song, "Mr Fete", which made him the 2012 Groovy Soca Monarch.
Montano also released a video for the single "Going for Gold", featuring T&T´s 1976 100-metre Olympic gold medallist Hasely Crawford and footage of national sporting heroes, from Brian Lara and Ato Boldon to George Bovell and Richard Thompson.
Montano is not the only popular artiste who produced nationalistic music for the quadrennial sport festival.
Groovy Soca Monarch 2011 Kees Dieffenthaller was also in on the Olympic action. He has produced a song, titled "We are Conquerors", which has been receiving wide airplay, especially during the Olympic broadcasts. His song was played again and again during Walcott's street parade from Piarco to Toco and performed in the young man's home village.
Members of the public have been critical of the Going for Gold project, commenting on the websites of daily