NEWLY crowned 2014 Lotto Plus Chutney Soca Monarch KI said yesterday he still could not believe he had won.
“It has not sunk in yet. I am honoured once again to be able to carry the torch for chutney, a music that is fast-growing and being accpted all over the world,” he told the Express yesterday.
The Barataria-based JMC 3veni lead singer ran away with the crown he first won two years ago. In the end, the voice of the fans spoke loudest as KI won the popular text vote (50 per cent of the total score) to outpace a competitive field with his Carnival hit “Runaway”.
Asked if he had been affected by some earlier technical difficulties, KI said during a phone interview, “I’m not sure if they had snags earlier on but I performed late down in the show and everything was okay when I went on stage.” told Express.
Six-time monarch Rikki Jai teamed up with the new cross-culture hit maker Nigel Rojas to deliver a visually stunning showcase that included, traditional characters, dancers and a full choir with oversized hands. But many parts of Rojas’s performance went unheard as his microphone seemed to be doing an on and off jig.
“I always expect problems in competition. We had the same problems last year with this same sound company and we told the promoter about it. When we get there we have a couple minutes to make sure everything is ok before we hit the stage and we end up leaving a lot of things in the hands of people we don’t know,” Jai said in a calm understanding tone.
With respect to the issue of not all the prize money being paid from last year’s competition to winner Raymond Ramnarine who did not contest because of this, KI was diplomatic.
“I am pretty sure that was the first year we had that kind of problems,” KI said of the burning issue.
“We all were affected not only him (Ramnarine), but I am confident everything is being done to rectify that problem. We are all working hard to make sure that never happens again.”
Jai, meanwhile, said the assurances of Arts and Multiculturalism Minister Dr Lincoln Douglas that the Government would oversee the payment of prize money gives him added comfort there would be no recurrence.
“I don’t think we should have any problems. If the Government issues a statement that they will directly pay the artist then to me that’s like a letter of comfort.”
Efforts yesterday to contact Ravi B, who tied for second place with Jai, for a comment, were unsuccessful as calls to his cellphone were not answered.