The launch of the second International Bashment Soca Monarch Competition, hosted by Salt, was held this evening and was streamed live on the Caribfyah YouTube Channel.
The first iteration of the competition was held last July at the Kensington Oval in Barbados, with a winner-takes-all prize of $40,000 USD. Barbadian soca ariste Lil’ Rick emerged the winner with the song “Bend It”, beating out Jagwa de Champ, Jah Reddis, Rhea, Scrilla, Porgie & Murda, Stiffy, Marzville, Jus D, Stabby, Freezy and Sita.
Competition ambassador, DJ Ras, kicked off the launch by announcing several changes that have been made to the competition for this year; the competition will now be held at Pirate’s Cove and will include a beach party, there will be no other competitions on the night, artists can submit songs that are a 50/50 fusion of bashment soca and any other music genre, songs submitted for this year’s competition must have been written and produced on or after January 1st, 2018 and there will no longer be a winner-takes-all prize: the prizes will total $120,000, with the winner taking home $60,000 and other prizes, second place receiving $15,000 and other prizers and third place $5,000 and other prizes. Furthermore, all entrants will receive appearance and performances fees.
Michelle Staughn of 4D Entertainment, the promoters behind the competition, explained that the decision to no longer have a winner-takes-all prize stemmed from listening to the artistes, who expressed the desire for at least those who place second and third to get a prize. The location change was due to Pirate’s Cove having a “greater party atmosphere” and it’s reputation for hosting similar events.
Registration for the competition opens on April 1st and closes on May 30th and there will be a public vote, like there was last year. The event will take place on Saturday, July 6th, from 9 PM.
International Soca Monarch winner, Mr. Killa, will headline the beach party and be joined by top artists and DJs who have yet to be announced. On March 29th, early bird tickets will go on sale at $30 and will be available for purchase online through TicketPal.
Ms. Pamela Roach, the Marketing Manager of Yello, explained that the goal of the competition is to give young soca artistes and performers the chance to develop and that Yello’s involvement is a reflection of their “…resolve to support and promote our local and regional heritage and culture, knowing how important a role culture plays in uniting communities and businesses across the region…”
Of particular note in Minister of Small Business, Entrepreneurship and Commerce, the Honourable Dwight Sutherland’s address, was the announcement of plans to create a one-stop shop at the Ministry of Commerce, which will “…allow the Department of Commerce and Consumer Affairs…to become the administrative agent for a one-stop shop for [the] issuing of permits and licences via an e-service platform.” He stated:
“…we intend to include seasonal licenses…a ninety-day license for the festival, whereby you can have one licence as opposed to repeatedly going for liquor licences and event licences, we will have a broad base seasonal licence that will cover the entire Crop Over season…and this will cover activities for national and local festivals…[W]e’re looking at multi-year licences for businesses and hotels as well and…we intended to enact new legislation that will govern the execution of entertainment licenses for the gathering [in] 2020 and beyond…before Crop Over this year you will have a new regime, and thereafter by the end of the year. For our 2020 gathering, you will have something called an entertainment license.”
Follow Yello Barbados and the International Bashment Soca Monarch on their social media pages for updates on this year’s competition.
Watch the launch below: