Machel Montano (born November 1974) in Trinidad and Tobago is a soca singer, record producer and songwriter based in the Caribbean.
He is the frontman of the immensely popular soca band Xtatik, and is noted for his high energy, fast-paced, and often unpredictable on-stage performances. During his his career, which spans over 25 years, he has recorded several songs alongside many of Caribbean music's most popular acts, such as Alison Hinds, Beenie Man, Calypso Rose, Burning Flames, Drupatee, Red Rat, Shaggy, Sparrow, Denise Belfon, Destra, Wyclef Jean, Vybz Kartel, M.O.P, Black Stalin, Mr. Vegas, Doug E Fresh and many others. He now stands as the most sought after soca act in the World.
Born in Carenage (North Trinidad) his family moved to South Trinidad when he was very young, Machel attended Presentation College a prestigious secondary school in Trinidad where he was in the choir. Machel first shot to fame as a young boy with the song "Too Young To Soca". In 1984 along with his brother and neighbours the group Pranasonic Express was started and in 1989, the band became Xtatik. The band developed and was re-invented by leader Machel several times as Xtatik 5.0, The Xtatik Circus, Xtatik The Road Marching Band, The Band of the Year and many others. Every year Machel has a new concert to keep his band and his performances fresh.
This year (2007), they are known as Machel Montano HD (High Definition) and he promotes the concept by saying that he is the first human being to go HD. He is part of the huge campaign in Trinidad and Tobago promoting safe driving - Arrive Alive. Part of the hype surrounding the ever-evolving Machel this year is his HD tour bus, a 20 year old bus from the Public Transport Service Corporation was re-done and includes a bedroom, bathroom facilities, flat screen TVs, inernet access and expansive audio systems. The HD concept seems fitting as the band Xtatik has in the last few years the band has risen to a new level of musicality as each performance is very tight musically and has foreign influences such as Ernesto Luis Gutirrez, its Venezualan percussionist. Kernal Roberts, the son of the late, great Lord Kitchener, internationally famous calypsonian has picked up the role as Xtatik's drummer and musical director and has brought new life to the band.
Montano was also instrumental in the promotion of soca music in the UK on the BBC's black music digital radio station 1Xtra, where he co-presented the International Sounds of Soca show for four years with DJ Slic. He has released many successful singles, with and without Xtatik, during his career, such as "Big Truck" (Xtatik's most successful single, which won the Road March title in 1997), "Outa Space" (with Beenie Man), "Music Farm" (Xtatik), "It's Carnival" (with Destra), and his most recent back to back Road March title wins for 2006, "Band Of The Year" (with Patrice Roberts) and 2007, "Jumbie". Most recently, Montano has taken on a new stage title, refering to himself and his band as "Machel Montano HD" (High Definition), which he claims is a representation of the the evolution of his music over the last 25 years and highly improved style in which his music shall be presented to his fans over radio formats, television, and during live performances.
Artist Website: www.machelmontanohd.com
with Machel Montano (2007)
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