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Junior Monarch Marq eyes success among the seniors

By Verdel Bishop

In a few years, Marq Pierre will more than likely be competing among some of the country's calypso greats.

While it is easy to believe he is capable now, he knows that nothing happens before its time. 

For now, he is content to bask in the glory of being crowned the 2013 National Junior Calypso Monarch—a prestigious title which the 16-year-old calypsonian earned recently for his delivery of "What if We Knew".

Pierre's song, which was written by his mother, Chezannise Park, dealt with a dream sequence 20 years into the future— when he is the prime minister of Trinidad and Tobago.

Through his song, Pierre asked young people to consider if in the next 20 years, they knew they would become the next prime minister, how would this shape their life now.

Besides envisioning himself as the prime minister of this country, Pierre also envisions another crown —the senior monarch crown.

He envisions a career as a civil engineer and as a music producer.

He also sees himself as a master of writing great calypsoes.

In an interview with the Sunday Express, Pierre said it was strategic thinking that helped him to win the Junior Calypso crown.

"It took me about one week to figure out how I was going to approach the song. I wanted it to be perfect. My mother wrote the song and it was perfect for me; all I needed was a strategy and it paid off," Pierre said.

"I sort of expected to win because I worked hard and I went in with a positive mindset. I had the right attitude for victory, and I have to thank God for all of it."

Marq also likes soca, but he opted to enter only the calypso competition this year since he needed to focus on his upcoming Caribbean Secondary Education Certificate (CSEC) exams.

He is a pupil at the Sangre Grande Educational Institute.

"Soca was not a priority this year so I took a break from it. I couldn't focus on both calypso and soca, so I chose only to focus on calypso so I could also have enough time for my studies."

He has already started to prepare himself for success.

"I've already started writing my own songs. I also study the work of some calypso icons. I looked at Calypso Fiesta and I looked at the performances; I looked at how the calypsonians executed their calypsoes. I paid attention to the competition, and I even did my own judging at home while the calypsonians competed. I look up to the late Mighty Duke and Kitchener. I also like Sparrow and Singing Sandra. I listen to all types of music," Pierre said.

Seeing soca icon SuperBlue back on the entertainment circuit was another learning opportunity for him.

Pierre said it was a boost to his generation who never had the opportunity to see SuperBlue during his earlier years. 

"It is so amazing. He has lifted the spirits of so many people. I think the young people more so because we really didn't experience him back in the days. He is an idol to a lot of people. I think that SuperBlue has changed the whole view of soca in T&T, especially where youths are concerned.

"The opportunity to see him perform is something amazing. I believe it's a one-in-a-million opportunity, and youths should take advantage of it because to see him today is amazing," Pierre said.

He intends to keep grounded through his success.

"A lot of people are congratulating me. This is my fourth time in the competition. Last year, I placed eighth, so to win this year is really a great thing. My teachers are encouraging me not to let anything affect my schoolwork. I won't let that happen. I intend to work hard. I see myself being successful.

"There is a lot that I want to do and I know I could accomplish them all. I like music, I like producing and I like computers. I see myself taking advantage of all the things that I like," Pierre said.

Pierre wants more young people to get involved with calypso.

"Some youths are talented but they think that calypso is boring. I think that more should be done to encourage youths to get involved in calypso because I believe it is very rewarding. There were a lot of young competitors this year, but more emphasis should be placed on encouraging youths who are really talented.

It's a great feeling to win. But there is still room for improvement for me. I am excited to see what comes next. I will stay in calypso. I can see the senior calypso crown within reach in a couple years."

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