Sunday, February 25, 2018

...Duo back in studio

Shortly after he was found guilty on all five charges of assault and using obscene language, triple crown soca winner Machel Montano went back to the studio yesterday, alongside friend and acclaimed producer, Kernal Roberts.

Roberts was also convicted of two assault charges by Magistrate Maureen Baboolal-Gafoor in the Port of Spain Magistrates' Court.

Both entertainers declined to comment in light of the fact that they are yet to be sentenced for these crimes, but chose instead to spend the rest of the day "doing what they do best" and "trusting in God to do the rest".

Although the verdicts handed down were not in their favour, the general sentiment of the two hit-makers appeared to be one of relief that the five-year-long ordeal was finally coming to an end.

Elizabeth Montano, avid supporter of both and mother of Montano, also declined to comment, as did most of the HD Camp and their closest advisers. Businessmen and promoters, Johnny Soong and Anthony Chow Lin On, could not be reached for comment and even friendly rival, Neil Iwer George, remained mum on the matter.

Fellow defendants, Rodney "Benjai" LeBlanc and Joel "Zan" Feveck, were found not guilty of the charges laid against them. While LeBlanc was said to be "unavailable" by his manager, Feveck responded from a gym with words of support for his mentors.

He said: "There's not much I can say at this stage, but I am definitely grateful and thankful to God for seeing me through this and I'm glad it's over. My prayers are still with Machel and Kernal and that's about all I can do right now. Benjai and I will be there to support them on January 17, when we hope that this whole affair will be thrown out entirely."

Roberts, son of the late great "Grandmaster, Lord Kitchener", Aldwyn Roberts, is a producer, drummer, singer and songwriter, who amassed a string of Road March winning compositions in 2006, 2007, 2010, 2011 and 2012. He is currently the Creative Director at Rama Studios which operates out of "Rainorama" Kitchener's former home in Diego Martin.

Born in Carenage, Montano's family moved to Siparia when he was very young and from that residence in South Trinidad he attended Siparia Boys' RC, then Presentation College in San Fernando.

Montano first rose to fame as a nine-year-old boy with the song "Too Young To Soca" while he was still in primary school. In 1984, along with his older brother Marcus and neighbours, the group Pranasonic Express was started and in 1989, the band became Xtatik.

Montano is father to three children son Nicholas and daughters, Meledi and Malaya.

More recently, Montano performed with a group of musicians from the Caribbean region under the name Machel Montano HD and has sold out shows in major arenas around the US and Europe.

He recently completed and launched a CD and DVD Project commissioned by the Ministry of Planning and Sustainable Development, entitled Going For Gold, which celebrates the country's 50th anniversary of Indepen-dence, as well as recent Olympic victories.