Of the 40 calypsonians chosen to compete at this weekend’s Calypso Fiesta in San Fernando, calypsonian Sugar Aloes (Michael Osouna) is notably absent.
Sugar Aloes said his decision to stay out of the competition was based on the bad experience he had at the last Calypso Fiesta, when he was pelted with oranges and roti, for what he believes was his decision to sing at People’s Partnership campaign events.
He told the Express yesterday: “I have never declared my allegiance to any party. I do what I do best and that is sing. I sang against all governments and that was to enlighten the grassroot people.
“I performed for the Partnership. That was a job. We all take jobs. I looked at what happened at Skinner Park and I took note. Not one Indian person pelt me. It was my own people. We are too racist when it come to our own people.”
Osouna said he also took note of a sign displayed at the fiesta last year which read “Aloes work for curry dollars”. As a result, for the second time since entering the competition in 1979 with “The Important Man”, Sugar Aloes has opted to stay out of the competition.
He said he did not submit his name for the competition this year, in part, because of “nepotism” on the part of the judges.
Despite what happened during his performance last year, Sugar Aloes said he was “unfazed and undisturbed” and sang to the end, but was judged unfairly.
Sugar Aloes, manager of the Kalypso Revue tent, said he was disappointed that judges adjudicated his performance based on “crowd response” and nothing else.
As a result, he said: “I omitted myself from the competition. I did not submit my name this year. I lost trust and confidence in the judges. I made no mistakes or glitches in my presentation (last year) and I had a problem with that. I was judged on crowd reaction.”
Sugar Aloes said he had two songs this year, “Changes” and “Political Traffic Light” and fans desirous of hearing his songs will have to come to the tent. He said he will not be heard from in competitions for a long time.
He said several other big-name artistes in the calypso and chutney soca fraternity have sang on political platforms and were not ostracised like him.
He said everything changed when he was approached to perform at the Peoples Partnership two-year anniversary and sang “She’s Royal” for Prime Minister Kamla Persad-Bissessar. He said he will never apologise for taking a “job”.
Sugar Aloes said while he would not be competing, he will be at Skinner Park to support the seven persons from the Kalypso Revue tent who secured places at the semi-final round: Marlon Edwards, Allana Sinnette, Skatie (Carlos James), Bevon St Clair, Chalkdust (Hollis Liverpool), Devon Seales and Brian London.