First-timer crowned Young King

Fyz­abad-born Ronal­do Lon­don has been crowned the win­ner of this year’s Young Kings Ca­lyp­so Com­pe­ti­tion at the Queen’s Park Sa­van­nah on Tues­day night af­ter his début per­for­mance.

De­spite lack­ing the flair and pizazz of elab­o­rate stage props and cos­tumes as many of his fel­low con­tenders, Lon­don was able to win over the crowd and judges with the ren­der­ing of his song, Man’s Imag­i­na­tion.

His ca­lyp­so was a com­men­tary of how the imag­i­na­tion of mankind led to dark am­bi­tions of greed and hate; some­thing far from what God cre­at­ed him to be.

“Man start to imag­ine all kind of vague things, all kind of strange things. Imag­ine, man start to imag­ine all kind of evil plans against his fel­low man. Man start to imag­ine that he is a su­per­pow­er, a next man land he must con­quer un­til he start to op­press man,” he sung.

His lyrics sug­gest­ed that the on­ly way this can be fixed is “if man learn to love man as they did in the mas­ter’s plan, man could stop the fall of man.”

In an in­ter­view with Guardian Me­dia on Wednes­day, the 21-year-old nephew of vet­er­an ca­lyp­son­ian Bri­an Lon­don said: “I am feel­ing just the same as yes­ter­day. Calm and just flow­ing like every oth­er day. Win­ning this com­pe­ti­tion means noth­ing to me.”

He said he en­tered this com­pe­ti­tion to “share the mes­sage and give off en­er­gy to the younger gen­er­a­tion so that one day they would do the same.”

“I am lead­ing the fu­ture gen­er­a­tion with­out fear. The younger gen­er­a­tions don’t like com­pe­ti­tion.”

Lon­don said his mis­sion is to change ca­lyp­so from be­ing con­fined to com­pe­ti­tion and get the genre to be recog­nised through­out the year. He said he al­so took part in the com­pe­ti­tion to show the el­ders that the younger gen­er­a­tion would change every­thing soon.

“We have no choice, we have to en­ter to change things. Can­not sit back and think it will change, have to start with self,” he said via What­sApp.

Tues­day night saw 16 con­tenders vy­ing for the ti­tle of Young King at the Queen’s Park Sa­van­nah.

Last year saw a num­ber of ca­lyp­so icons pass­ing such as The Mighty Shad­ow.

Many per­form­ers chose to pay their re­spects to him in their own way, ei­ther by men­tion­ing him in their songs, don­ning his trade­mark black coat and hat or through pic­tures of him along with oth­er passed leg­ends cy­cling through the pro­jec­tor screen be­hind them.

For­mer Na­tion­al Ju­nior Ca­lyp­so Monarch Aaron Dun­can, who placed 9th in the com­pe­ti­tion paid homage to all the ca­lyp­so­ni­ans and artistes who paved the way for young artistes like him­self in his song, Thank You.

As part of his per­for­mance, he brought on stage vet­er­an ca­lyp­son­ian David Rud­der.

Ed­ward “D Bill­nah Man” Ram­dass had the crowd’s full at­ten­tion with his song Fix it Mr Grif­fith, an ex­pres­sion of con­fi­dence to the Com­mis­sion­er of Po­lice Gary Grif­fith.

“We know you could fix it,” Ram­dass belt­ed out as he pa­rad­ed around the stage dressed in a cam­ou­flage jumper and ac­com­pa­nied by dancers dressed as po­lice of­fi­cers, pris­on­ers, and the CoP.

They por­trayed the CoP ar­rest­ing crim­i­nals and danc­ing as a slide show dis­play­ing im­ages of the com­mis­sion­er on du­ty played be­hind them.

Reporter: Rishard Khan