The Rounds: Soca Monarch prize money slashed

>> Monday, January 11, 2010

In this edition:
- Trinidad Carnival Update (Trinidad and Tobago)
- Barbados Music Awards (Barbados)
- Toby Dee wins St. Croix Party Monarch (USVI)
- Slammer Cutter video launches this week (Canada)
- Birthdays:  Don Trent  (Barbados), Nigel Nicholas (St. Lucia)

Good Evening Soca Lovers,

I’m Nurse Karen and these are Dr. Jay’s Rounds. Uh Oh, big trouble for little Trinidad. Has anyone else noticed that Carnival 2K10 has not officially launched? Usually, Trinidad and Tobago’s National Carnival Commission puts a formal start to the festivities sometime before the close of December.

But even though there’s tons of new music, thousands of costumes in various states of construction, and high priced plane tickets are running low. It’s not officially carnival time in T&T. On Friday, The Ministry of Culture made a few announcements explaining a few budget cuts that will effect the way carnival is done this time around.

I won’t run it all down for ya, but I will say this. It just became 37 per cent less lucrative to be a soca artist. The Top Prize for the international soca Monarch competition will be reduced in 2010 from $1 Million TT to the equivalent of $100 000 US. That’s basically TT 400 grand less.

There’s a little good news though. The prize for Groovy Monarch has gone up 25 per cent, but it’s still peanuts in comparison. None the less a positive step for the more commercially viable expression of soca.

The Barbados music community is celebrating its achievements in 2009 at the 5th annual Barbados Music Awards. The fancy pants gala pays tribute to late pop superstar Michael Jackson (who isn’t Bajan, in case you were wondering) …it will feature performances from people like Edwin Yearwood, Jaico, and Fantasia Barrino of American Idol fame. But the most interesting guest in my opinion is Jo Jackson…as in Michael’s Daddy. Huh? Check my blog this week for the results.

Slammer Cutter and Nurse Karen in Trinidad ( Feburary 2009)

Good news, Toronto’s Slammer Cutter has completed his video for "Bad Weather". You’re gonna love seeing the “HangOver Man” dressed up like a weather man. Awww, so cute!!! Check for "Bad Weather" online on YouTube and Facebook this Wednesday.

Toby Dee is smiling ear to ear this week as he celebrates his Party Monarch win at Cruzian Festival last Sunday. He remains the only Monarch in St. Croix history, having won the title all three years since the competition was added to the carnival.

Before I go, allow me to wish happy birthday to groovy artist Don Trent from Barbados who will be 24 on Thursday. Then Friday we send some birthday love to St. Lucia as artist / producer Nigel Nicholas of Slaughter Arts turns 29 on January 15.

Nurse Karen and Nigel Nicholas in St. Lucia (July 2009)

I’m Nurse Karen and those were Dr. Jay’s Rounds. For more info on any of the storied I’m following, check out Nurse dash Karen dot com or follow me, Nurse Karen on Twitter. Now, back to de Docta!

Love and Soca!

Nurse Karen
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