February 18, 2009 – Roseau, Dominica... Caribbean audiences look out! The Eastern Caribbean – Xplosion (EC-X) will leave their stamp on the 2009 International Soca Monarch stage as they vie for the crown on Fantastic Friday. In a frenzy of excitement and energy, the Eastern Caribbean’s soca royalty diligently prepare to assert the strength of their music amongst the finest at the world’s premier soca music competition on Friday February 20, 2009.
The EC-X arrived in Trinidad and Tobago on Monday February 16, 2009 to a packed schedule of rehearsals and publicity engagements leaving little time for rest. The contingent members who are Soca Monarch title winners in their homelands include Claudette “CP” Peters, Ricky T. and duo, Luni Spark and Electrify. They are all grateful for the opportunity to be finalists in the prestigious competition and welcome the exposure it brings.
The petite Antiguan soca diva, CP, is eagerly anticipating her performance, “For me it is about having fun, I plan on representing Antigua to the fullest. When I step on stage, people of the world can expect me to bring it on.” CP’s 2008 Antiguan Party Monarch winning entry, Bring It On, is a favourite which was penned by Kernel Roberts, son of the great Trinbagonian calypsonian, Lord Kitchener and recorded in Trinidad and Tobago. It features interludes of iron rhythms and her undeniable, strong vocals which were honed during her childhood days of singing in church.
The man of few words with the commanding bass timbre, Ricky T., maintained the mystery of his performance only sharing, “I will bring the heat. Things are going to get hot!” The St. Lucian three-time Road March titleholder is best known for his 2007 hit Pressure Boom, which tore up the air waves during Trinidad and Tobago’s 2008 Carnival affording him the opportunity to perform extensively with Machel Montano’s HD band. This year his offering is a hard-hitting composition entitled Wheel And Come Again that encourages all selectors to keep the soca vibrations flowing consistently.
The dynamic Grenadian brothers, Luni Spark and Electrify, are preparing for a high-energy presentation. Luni Spark shared, “You can look out for sparks as we bring the electricity to the stage. Fantastic Friday will be fantastic!” This young pair is destined to make their mark in the soca arena with their renditions that offer a rapso-flavoured delivery and elements of urban genres such as hip hop and dancehall. The siblings have already made history in their homeland being the first duo to cop the Soca Monarch crown which they secured for the past two years.
The EC-X’s participation in the upcoming competition has presented an opportunity for the Organisation of Eastern Caribbean States (OECS) to examine the competitiveness of the OECS soca music product in the regional/international marketplace. The OECS region has shown major advances in the soca music arena evidenced by the successes of Arrow (Montserrat) and Kevin Lyttle (St. Vincent and the Grenadines) that has garnered the attention of the world. The OECS is looking to the results of their upcoming market testing exercise to inform the future development of their soca music products. Mr. Colin Bully, Executive Director of the OECS – Export Development Unit said, “It is timely that we explore how the fans feel about soca music from the OECS, and we are proud to support the contingent. This product testing activity is being supported under the OECS Component of the Caribbean Trade and Private Sector Development Programme (CTPSDP). We wish them great success."