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Charlene Griffith

in her finest form

By By Lorraine Waldropt-Ferguson

Many of us know her sultry voice harmonised alongside her sister Kelli in their sister band, 2Ntrigue. Some of us have seen her out-of-the box music videos with 2Ntrigue's signature fusion (Caribbean and R&B) music. But today at the Arima, Velodrome, T&T will see Charlene Griffith in her finest form ever as she makes her debut as a contender in the 2013 International Groovy Soca Monarch Competition.

She will spar off against mighty mike men Bunji Garlin, Iwer George and soca diva, Destra Garcia but Griffith is in no way intimidated as her popular soca tune, "Go Down Low" is taking the airwaves by storm.

"At the International Groovy Soca Monarch semis I want to represent. I want people to see my talents not only in Fusion music but in soca and Caribbean music. I intend to put on a show for my audience and put my best foot forward! I am here to compete but at the same time I will enjoy myself," contends the Arima born US acclaimed singer.

It may be her first time as a Groovy Soca contender and perhaps her first real taste of the soca arena as the lead vocalist for Soca brass band Traffik but Griffith is ready and confident of her challenge ahead. "I always wanted to delve into the soca arena having sung different genres of world music. This year my sister and I decided to take a break from 2Ntrgue and focus on solo careers and I thought it the best time to enter the soca circle. Being a Trinidadain and Caribbean woman soca is my first love and while I enjoy singing all music I want to perform my indigenous music on the International stage," asserts the stylish frontliner.

Indeed, her lyrics in "Go Down Low", a mix between Lauvre (old time calypso) and soca, are catchy and can be heard on the lips of many. "I want yuh to go down low..." Double meaning and teasing as well, the lines have a witty flair of long time calypso. The story behind the song however takes yet another Dominatrix turn just like Groovy Queen, Nadia Batson and her 2013 Carnival release, "Manager". "Go Down Low challenges the men to wine down low and show their dancing prowess at fetes. Most soca tunes command the females to show their agility by 'wukking up' but not much demand the same from men! That is why I sing and beg them to meet us half way. .........," the mother of one asserts.

Traffik has already begun mashing up fetes with this release and Griffith's next powerful release "Truck Driver" as well as vocalist, Steven Marcelle's, "Unnecessary Sponsorship". "Since I moved back home to Trinidad in November 2011, I have been enhancing my image and branding. I believe that we can go places through our music and that the world really loves our vibe and our unique culture. I want to be an ambassador to release our special talents to the world," claims the optimistic songstress.

Having started off as a gospel singer with a youth choir, Griffith has a raving singing repertoire and has opened for popular world artistes, Whitney Houston, Akon and Beres Hammond to name a few. She and sister, Kelli has also toured with Rupee for one of his world tours wowing crowds with their popular songs, "Kryptonite", "Let's Fall in Love" and "When You're Gone".

"I love performing on stage. I love to entertain my fans and give them music to groove to!" Griffith comments.

By 6 p.m. this evening people will be jumping out of their seats and "grooving" to the music of Traffik's lead vocalist. Will she secure a spot in the 2013 International Groovy Soca Monarch Finals and go on to contest the 2013 elite crown? As much as the competition is stiff, Griffith stands a very good chance. And on another note, will the men in fetes take her lyrical advice? Hmmmm, we will have to wait and see, this one may be hard to predict!

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