no worries: Machel Montano

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Machel focused on his music

By Nigel Telesford

Triple soca crown winner 2012, Machel Montano, says he is focused on defending his crowns and making his upcoming events "better than ever".

Responding to questions on CNC3's Morning Show yesterday, one day after appearing in court for sentencing on charges of assault and obscene language but which was postponed, Montano said his faith will carry him through the rest of the season.

Montano told the Express his most recent collaboration with Kerwin Du Bois and South African group Ladysmith Black Mambazo ("Possessed") was a perfect example of why he needed to stay focused on his music and performance aesthetic, even in the midst of his legal situation.

He said: "I was in talks with Kerwin Du Bois while we were working on the Going for Gold project about the surge in groovy soca and the fact that we should really work on something not aimed at competition, but at putting the groove to the world—and he came with a rough sketch which was 'what name stop' and it was about our dying love for soca and playing mas and feteing.

"When I heard the music, I felt the inspiration immediately and I saw a vehicle for a long-standing dream of mine.

"I asked Kerwin to research the group and see how he felt and he fell in love with the idea. We reached out to Ladysmith and they liked the song and agreed to do the collaboration.

"The logistics of it meant that I would have to assemble a team and head to Africa to record on Old Year's and ring in the new year on a 17-hour flight! We shot a video and documentary while out there just to capture the history of what we consider to be a major step for soca."

Responding to public criticism about the postponement of his sentencing on Thursday, Montano said he was focused on embracing happiness and enjoying life, instead of being concerned about negative possibilities.

He said: "I've been in this position before. I've been in this position in the times of real unity when I had to go through ten years of lawyer interactions and things like that. So I've seen this and I know that this is a part of my life and this is the test of greatness.

"You're faced with great challenges. Nothing is given to you that you can't handle and once you have your faith and you keep your faith, life goes on and life is a gift. You have to wake up and smile —I woke up this morning smiling from ear to ear."

Montano promised another majestic production at his upcoming "Machel Monday" concert, scheduled for February 4 at the Hasely Crawford Stadium.

"Of course Machel Monday will be the best ever. We are producing a concert with a message, but a party like no other! Of course, there is an element of international surprises and besides the long list of guests to guess from—not only stars that came before will be returning—but this time we intend to bring in a Trinidad international star also.

"We will showcase some of the upcoming talent in T&T. ... That's the night I want to celebrate with my fans in an intimate way and make special presentations of songs that have been special to me over the years! We will be floating over earth, wind and fire," he said.

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