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‘Rumist’ brings Chewalee Ragga Soca crown

‘Rumist’ brings Chewalee Ragga Soca crown


The 2016 Ragga Soca crown was taken by a man who made his debut into the music industry this year.

Chewalee Johnson, with his performance of ‘Rumist,’ managed to edge out more seasoned performers Shaunelle Mc Kenzie and Kamara “Keido” Foster, who placed second and third with ‘Wet & Wild’ and ‘Frass’ respectively.

The 2016 Ragga Soca winner could not contain his tears, as he took the stage to be crowned by Miss SVG 2016 Nikianna Williams.{{more}}

Shortly after, Johnson told reporters that he was lost for words, adding that the win was for his daughter, whom he said had not seen him during the season because of his involvement in a number of cultural activities.

“To be honest, I just want to go home and hug up my daughter,” he said.

When SEARCHLIGHT spoke with the Paul’s Avenue resident on Wednesday, he said he got into music because his community has a rich history of music and he did not see anyone taking up the mantle.

“So, there’s a disconnect in that regard, so I decided I have to take up the mantle and hopefully it would encourage others to do the same,” he added.

Johnson said he has a natural love for music, adding that he also plays pan and that his mentors are calypsonian Glenroy ‘Sulle’ Caesar and Lester Ihora, who produced his winning song.

Reflecting on his performance, which paid homage to local Sunset strong rum, the performer said he had planned the concept for his Ragga Soca Monarch performance within five minutes of hearing he was selected for the competition.

“Colour scheme orange, black and white, which signifies the colour of the Sunset bottle, the transparent bottle which had a young lady inside dressed in white dancing represents what fuels our Carnival, even the rum celebrates and enjoys our music.”

He noted that the two other bottles, from which fire was supposed to come, signify the burning heat of the Sunset rum, adding that the High Voltage Mas camp designed all of the bottles.

Johnson told SEARCHLIGHT that he sees himself travelling and performing, while also “dabbling” in other genres and working with other artistes to do the same.

“I would love to write for others as well, but everything comes with time and there’s no rush; with God’s grace all dreams would become reality,” he said.

The competition also saw performances by Phillip ‘Wetty Beatz’ Bastien – Under Day; Ozarie Matthews – Bend Ova; Roaen ‘Maddzart’ Primus – Function; Hance John – Zone; Keith Currency – Fetter; Shane ‘Hypa 4000’ Husbands and Kevin Lyttle – Burn up de road; Jamarie ‘L Pank’ Stapleton – In the water; Claydon ‘Dymez’ Roache – Malice; and Lancelot ‘Mad Skull’ Gloster – Mamma don’t worry.

Last year’s winner of the Ragga Soca competition did not take part this year. (AS)