Guyana’s Beauty Queen and runway diva MeLeesa Payne has won yet another international pageant title. On October 10 she proved the best of ten world beauties to cop the crown and the Miss Tropical Paradise title in Jamaica. The 24 year old former Miss Guyana Universe competed against delegates from countries like United States of America, Jamaica, Barbados, Canada and others. Miss America placed second whiel Jamaica placed third.
Her prizes for winning the pageant include a cruise with Jamaican singing sensation Freddie McGregor from Miami to 10 Caribbean islands, a number of trips to and from Jamaica, 2 First class trips to the USA, a pair of earrings and an outfit from Corpa designs.
She also won the prizes of Best Gown and Best Interview at the pageant but while she was poised to compete at eth Miss Earth pageant she will not be going there. Financial difficulties have caused her to cancel plans to compete at the Miss Earth Pageant and as such she will focus on her career in dance. As a professional dancer she said “I disappointed in not getting sponsorship to go to the Miss earth but I preparing for the Classique Dance Company’s Battle of the Sexes show slated for December 5 at the National Cultural Centre.
'Many come and go but she's gonna be around for along long time' - Petah Morgan
She completed two music videos with Petah Morgan as a singer in one and an actress in other and it seems that Guyanese rising star Timeka Marshall has made quite an impression on lead singer of Morgan Heritage reggae band.
The artiste during his visit to Guyana for the Jamzone Summer Break Weekend dubbed working with Timeka on the Music videos Hush/ Secrets and Golden Brown an honour. While the local critics have had their say Morgan has concluded that “she’s a hard working young lady with a bright future in this (music) business.” Issuing major credits to Guyana for producing such great talent he said “she’s a total package and is good to go.” These praises come following Busy Signal’s recent commendation of Timeka as a sure Caribbean music seller with time.
He told entertainer too that “Timeka Marshall is a great artiste with much promise.”
Morgan also categorically stated “I’ve seen many come and go but to me Timeka is going to be here for a long time because she’s got the drive, she’s a brilliant entertainer and a brilliant song writer so she has my backing 100 percent on her musical quest.”
The local song bird may have been missing from the many local shows she sure is doing her bit to make her mark for the country in the regional music market. Her most recent release is the explosively sexy music video with Jamaica’s Busy Signal titled ‘Feel Fuh.’ The artiste who believes that music is one of; if not the sweetest things she knows entertainer understands has already recorded an inspirational gospel single that is sure to inspire music lovers. That has not been released just yet but according to an article in the Jamaica Gleaner Timeka has apparently made the land of ‘Wood and Reggae’ her second home in the best interest of her musical development.
Marshall who came to local fame after winning the first ever GT&T Jingle competition is steadfast on her quest to be the hottest singer out of Guyana. The Jamaican Gleaner Newspapers reported and she has confirmed on her FaceBook page that she is set to share the stage with Jamaican dancehall 'hot head' Busy Signal and Morgan Heritage's Peetah Morgan on October 30 in Antigua at the ‘One More Night’ show. Her face book post states “Coming to ANTIGUA on Oct 30th for show called ONE MORE NIGHT feat Busy Signal and Peetah Morgan.” Already Guyanese fans in Antigua are hyped about Marshall’s arrival there. “Hope when u come here in Antigua, You big up your GT people we will support you a 100%,go girl,” is among the post out of Antigua in response to the news of Marshall’s visit to that island.
The Antigua show is being touted as a mega Caribbean party to unfold at the Paradise Lawn.
Marshall is also set to appear at the Dominica Creole Festival along with Morgan Heritage with whom she released the hit singles “Secrets and Hush”.
According to the Jamaica Gleaner article Marshall's trek across the Caribbean is a labour of love.
While she underwent training in Barbados, the 20-year-old singer, is also diligently working in studio with noted musicians and producers such as Busy Signal, Shane Brown, Stephen McGregor and Peetah Morgan.
"Jamaica is the music capital of the Caribbean right now," she says.
Peetah Morgan's support of Marshall's talent did not stop at the video collaboration of their singles Secrets and Hush, but was the catalyst for the collaboration with Busy Signal titled Feel Fah.
Dubbed as a “saucy and seductive maverick,” Marshall recently shot the video to the single, produced by JukeBoxx's Shane Brown, which is enjoying heavy rotation in Jamaica, Barbados and Guyana.
This is on the heels of completing the music video for her sultry Stephen McGregor-produced single; All Night Director Jay Will was responsible for the concept and direction of the video.
During his recent visit to Guyana for the Jamzone Reggae concert Petah Morgan said Timeka
Featured on The Basia show
After spending time in Barbados honing her talent, recently Timeka accepted the invitation to visit Trinidad and share her most recent work with Ms. Basia before heading off to Jamaica where she is based to get back in the studio.
Host Alicia Powell interviewed the young singer as a featured guest and it was aired on Friday October 9. Timeka also used the opportunity to launch her latest music video for the single ‘Feel Fah’ featuring Busy Signal.
By Mondale Smith
Get ready for a Local theatre revolution
After pooling together their time, resources and talents a group of actors, comedians and one business minded couple have completed successful auditions to ensure that the Guyanese theatre gets new life and is also recorded for posterity. The Mori Jvon team includes business entrepreneurs Ron Morrison and his wife Olive Gopaul with support from a board of directors inclusive of Steve DeSouza, Henry Rodney, Pastor Timothy King, Howard Lorrimer and Russel Lancaster.
Rodney is the creative director while Lancaster is the production manager. On the team also is costume designer/ dance instructor Clive Prowel as well as Granny Ivelaw.
The group is guaranteeing that as of November 7 this year, theatre in Guyana will begin a road to total revolution.
Business man Ron Morrison and his wife former Miss Guyana Olive Gopsaul told entertainer that they are getting ready to launch Mori J’Von comedy jams on November 7 at the National Cultural Centre from 20:00hrs for special invitees.
Last Saturday they held auditions for actors and comedians and the turn out according to Morrison was most encouraging. “We were not surprised that in excess of 75 people came out to auditions at Theatre Guild.” Of the lot only forty have made the shortlist for what the promoters are promising will be the best thing in recent Guyanese entertainment. Without disrespecting international comedy shows such as Oliver and Bashment Granny Morrison says they have their place but we believe that Guyana has its own pool of equally if not more talented actors, comedians, singers and dancers and so our plan is to give local a chance to shine and earn in the process. “Rehearsal begins today at the Girl’s Guide Pavilion in preparations for the launch and I assure Guyana that this is going to be a comedy revolution because we are tired of the imported stuff,” Morrison told entertainer. The show once started will be filmed monthly before a live audience at National Cultural Centre as a totally private venture.
Morison said the show will feature a rotating line-up of stand-up comedians and actors in short comedy sketches, music, dance and poetry.
He made it clear that all actors are being paid and will be signing contracts from November 1, 2009 to April 30, 2010. Dealing above board the directors will be paid in excess of $100,000 monthly while the actors will receive professional fees in volumes of between $10,000 and $30,000 per appearance. The show will be filmed and goes into syndication by December 1 for rebroadcast nationwide. Morrison says the idea is being considered for the shows like Bashment Granny and Oliver to be broadcasted out of Guyana on one of the regional channels.
Veteran Comedian Habeek Khan will be receiving a life time achievement award at the launching of the show a fund will be set up in his honour to ensure that he is supported financially based on public financial donations of appreciation for his contribution to Guyanese theatre and comedy.
The popular RE School Tour kicked off recently at the St. Andrew Technical High School (STATHS).
This new seasons’ support was evident in the scope and numbers of the hot-list of popular and up and coming artistes, all uniting for one cause. To spread the message.
The over 700 students were treated to a 2 hour concert of exceptional quality and variety…… the performers delivered some of their well-known songs and a few news ones as well. Wonderfully too was the fact that without prompting or being asked, some of the entertainers adjusted their lyrics to compliment the continuing theme of the tour - 'Abstinence Mek Sense'.
Project Manager, Kandi King said, “The new season of RETV School Tour took-off with a bang featuring more than a few new and exciting elements; we had a record amount of artiste participating, from 12 to 23 and more varied performances; The actual concert extended from one (1) to two (2) hours with new sponsors on board in the form of mobile giant Claro, Mothers Patties and National Family Planning Board joining forces with title sponsor, Coke Zero.
Another exciting development is that we have extended the media platform for the airing of the RE School Tour one-hour programme with sister station FAME FM carrying live on-location reports; TVJ will be airing the programme from Saturday October 17th @ 4:30 – 5:30 and You can catch it again on RETV later that same day @ 7pm or at varied times during the week-long RETV coverage”.
Newcomers to the RE School Tour, Shantala, Tiger Bless, G Whizz, Stacious, Mixing Lab, I Octane, Unlimited Dancers, and Jahvinci, were warmly welcomed by the students.
Among the favorite entertainers who have consistently supported the RE School Tour and its message were Prodigal Son, Timberlee, Tifa, D'Angel, RDX, Etana, Goddy Goddy, Alaine, Konshens, Chino, Laden, DJ Nicholas, Shady Squad, and Voice Mail, all delivering sterling high energy performances that kept the students soaring.
The entertainment package at STATHS was sparkling but importantly the message of 'Abstinence Mek Sense' was consistently reinforced throughout the afternoon's proceedings, aided by Ministry of Health representative, Matthew Mothersill who spoke at different intervals about the importance of self-discipline. The students were enthusiastic, understood the message and hung on to every word he uttered.
Jerry D's Vibes Machine provided the musical thrills, while RETV presenters Snoop Roc emcee and Lady Rennae hosted the tour.
Among the goodies; giveaways and treats the students were treated to a few surprises as well, as title sponsor Coca Cola's Coke Zero, joined new platinum sponsor Mobile giant Claro, Mothers Patties and National Family Planning got in on the action.
The RE School Tour will be coming to a school near you across the island during the current season. The tour is presented by RETV and 3 Sixty Promotions.
No, we’re not kidding. Bourda market has its own queen; yes, the Bourda market downtown.
The queen is Shavonne Brown, who enjoys wide acclaim, it would appear, at Bourda. She has been described as a role model by her fellow marketers.
When East Coast International Restaurant, situated right next to the market, decided to honour someone and to show that something “good” can come out of the market, it teamed up with a group of businesses to put on quite a show.
But first, they had to find a queen. And Shavonne was the unanimous choice. She has been working in the market for the past 20 years or so. So, she was selected, given a make-over, dressed up and crowned.
But that was not all. The market decided that it had to do something for someone else – Earl Solomon, otherwise known to most as a junkie. Solomon has been a vagrant and on the streets due to his mental illness, but apparently has a voice of gold.
The organisers of the event decided to also clean him up and have him perform “Unchained Melody.” The audience was stunned, and could not hold back tears, said Claude Sinclair, one of the promoters of the event.
It turns out, Solomon, was a past teacher. He graduated from the Cyril Potter College of Education with a trained teacher’s certificate in 1995. He majored in English Language.
However, a mental illness pushed him to the streets. You could imagine then the surprise of the audience to see him clean-shaved and decently dressed, and oh, the voice!
Georgetown Mayour Hamilton Green showed up for the event.
Among those who teamed up to make the event possible were Deslyn Hair and Nail Salon, B. Sukhai and Sons Fruit Stall, East Coast International, Terry’s Grocery Stall, Fransons New Look Boutique, Banks DIH, Star party Rentals and Shelly’s Dressmaking.
By Mondale Smith
Apache Waria has been in the music business for more than 10 years.
His style of music ranges from Reggae, Soca, and Chutney to "Ragga Soca", which is a combination of Reggae and Soca music. He has released over 10 cds in his recording career and has performed at more than 1000 shows around the world in venues in Holland, Surinam, Trinidad, Guyana, United States and Canada. He is best known for his single "Wine and Go Down" aka "Tun Tun Dance," in collaboration with Terry Gajraj. Apache was born in Guyana, and is very proud to be a Guyanese. He did songs like "Guyanese Oman" and "Love Me Country" in the early stages of his career. He has been working with Musik of Melody Records, and has also collaborated on a new single titled "Them Never Know" with Musik of Melody recording artist Dignitary.
He is encouraging Guyanese music lovers to grab a copy of his new album "Time to Jam” Remix that is now available in stores worldwide (produced by Waria Productions), and also to check out the music video for the single "Waistline" featured on "TIME TO JAM" Remix. Phone: 212 591-1542 / E-mail: firstname.lastname@example.org
By Mondale Smith
Save for Shakira Baksh copping the 2nd runner up position in the Miss World pageant in 1967, Guyana is yet to field a beauty ambassador who make it to the top twenty line up of any international pageant.
Amongst the more recent local line-up fielded to the international pageant to date who impressed locally but failed internationally are Indra Changa, Olive Gopaul, Odessa Phillips, Alexis Glasgow, Suzette Shim, Jamine Herzorg, Desia Braithwaite, Candace Charles and Christa Simmons.
However, hope has not faded on the local front, through Kaierouann Imarah Shaade Kensha Radix who says “I am very proud to be an ambassador for Guyana and am excited to have been chosen because I think I can bring a lot more to the table this year.”
Selected online by Kenneth Chung, the Miss Guyana World Franchise Holder, the scholarly but fierce 24-year-old local catwalk diva, is Guyana’s beauty ambassador to the 2009 international pageant slated for South Africa, December 12.
She said “I will represent my country with pride, intelligence, poise and confidence and I will showcase the country not just from the stand point of a tourism ambassador.” The confident ever smiling beauty stated she will be promoting Guyana on the world stage through a traditional dance for talent.
Her wardrobe to the pageant and for the charity ball in London will include creations from local designers Vashti Harlequin, Ronda Dunbar, Keisha Edwards, Lou-Ann Jackson amongst others.
There was no pageant staged this year but a selection process was done online and was opened to all eligible Guyanese beauties locally and in the diaspora.
“I simply submitted my biography and pictures to the franchise holder and found out by e-mail that I was selected,” she told Kaieteur News.
That mail reached her one day before she was supposed to leave Guyana for the United Kingdom to start her master’s degree in international relations and diplomacy.
As prelude to heading to South Africa she will be spending a week in London for several charity balls etc.
After the crowning she is scheduled to pay several courtesy calls on President Bharrat Jagdeo and other dignitaries as part of her duties in Guyana. She is in the process of completing the filming of her presentation for the Miss World ‘Beauty with a purpose’ charity segment of the pageant which will be shown to the other contestants and judges in South Africa. This will afford them the opportunity to see what humanitarian project Imarah has been involved in.
Who is Imarah?
Imarah, a charming twenty-four year old beauty is a graduate of the CobhamHall girls school Kent, England with ten G.C.S.E subjects including French and Dance. She went on to complete three ‘A’ Levels in Russian History, English Literature and Classical Greek Civilization. A recent graduate of Oxford Brookes University with a Bachelor's degree in International Relations and Politics, Imarah has deferred her place on the Masters Degree programme at the University College Kensington, London to take up the once in a lifetime opportunity to represent Guyana at the Miss World Pageant. “Luckily for me I have an unconditional place at University in London.” She says she will be return to her studies next September after the pageant and her one year reign as Miss Guyana World is completed.
An easy miss congeniality, her interests are diverse outside of her academic pursuits and her many hobbies include swimming, reading, modelling, singing, floral arrangements and dance /choreography.
In pursuit of her A-Levels, Imarah undertook the Duke of Edinburgh Bronze Award and learnt the invaluable benefits of being a team player, navigational skills such as map reading and enjoyed the challenges of outdoor camping.
Guyana’s beauty ambassador is an ardent Scuba diver who is both Scuba Schools International and PADI trained and is certified in the Open Water and Advanced Open Water diver’s courses with five specialties. She is a trained Wreck diver, Navigational diver, Deep water diver, Peak Performance diver, Underwater Naturalist and Search and Recovery diver. All these specialties have enhanced her abilities to be a safe and more qualified diver. She says she most enjoyed the underwater naturalist specialty as it was focused on caring for and maintaining the underwater environment in light of climate change and human degradation of the environment.
She participated in fish spotting while on her dives to help monitor the amount of fish species in the water and to measure the impact of climate change on the fish and their habitat. Her sense of adventure has taken her to countries such as Egypt, Margarita Island off Venezuela, Thailand, Nigeria, several European destinations as well as the wider Caribbean. Through travelling and diving, Imarah has enjoyed the experiences of socializing with the many peoples of the world and learning about their cultures, history and way of life.
She also has a fervent interest in dance and began classical ballet training at the tender age of three.
Since then, she has continued to master other dance forms such as Ballroom, Tap, Jive, Hip hop and Latin. During her time at Oxford, Imarah choreographed a dance for the University's Afro-Caribbean Society Talent Show in her first Year.
Imarah has taken part in many fashion shows both in Guyana and abroad including the inaugural Guyana Fashion Weekend. She has appeared as a model for London based designer Anetha Daniels in GEM Magazine, has graced the cover of Extra and has done photo shoots for major companies in Guyana. Further she has served as a hanger for some of Guyana’s best designers including Michelle Cole, Olympia Small Sonaram, Ronda Dunbar, Anetha Daniels.
Imarah has also appeared on television in US Aids awareness commercials and in music videos for local Guyanese Artistes and also won a competition in the United Kingdom to be the face of the Tigeress Clothing brand.
Imarah describes herself as an extremely strong, motivated and socially aware individual who is always taking an interest in society’s less fortunate. When in Guyana, she visits with the children at the Durban backhands orphanage to help out in any way possible.
As at 2008 she has taken on a drive to provide meals for the less fortunate on the West Bank of the Demerara River in memory of her ‘grandma’ Khatoon Rahaman, who taught her the benefits and blessings gained through charitable acts. She says “There is nothing more satisfying than knowing you are assisting someone who is in genuine need of a helping hand.”
Speaking of her future she said after she completes her masters, she hopes to work in the area of Human Rights with the United Nations or an affiliated non-governmental organization. She is very interested in children and their fundamental rights. Imarah is a passionate person in her values and morals and is totally committed to fulfilling her dreams while contributing and playing her role to make this world a better place for future generations to enjoy. She feels strongly about issues of racial discrimination, world poverty, social injustice, climate change, conservation of wildlife and the environment.
Those who know her describe her as a relentless worker “when she sets her mind on achieving a goal she sticks to it as a personal motto that there is no such thing as luck.” She says her life’s philosophy is “when opportunity knocks one must be prepared.”
By Mondale Smith
Nominated for Best New Comer Artiste of the Year
Happy and sad situations, grateful times, being with family and friends and using her God given talents Jessica Ann Xavier draws inspiration from life itself.
Not just yet as popular on the local music circuit, her name is certainly one to look for in Guyana's music industry in the not too distant future. In fact she is one of the Nominees of the 2009 Accolade Music Awards of Guyana in the 'New Artiste of the Year' category up against Young Fyah, Lisa Punch, Cleon Cadogan, Lil J, Typheon, and Mark Batson. For this she is elated and is hoping that the best person wins.
Jessica hopes someday to positively affect as many people with her music or simply "make them feel like dancing away their stresses."
Her strong belief is that music influences moods and attitudes and stirs emotion. As such musically she's working to create a different vibe and told Weekend Entertainer that she is currently working on "a really nice dance song".
Physically and vocally gifted, Jessica is currently the Managing Director of J.A.X Sales Executives and has been singing "forever".
"Ever since I was two years old I've been hogging microphones at my uncle Raymond's house...I even have a recording of me with my little husky voice, singing how much is that doggy in the window," she reflected.
With a to die for smile and sheepish but assertive persona, recalled her first recording in her uncle's dining room at just 2 years old. "It still is amazing to hear my voice then and now." To her it sounded like a little boy with a husky voice trying to sing.
Professional, about two years ago she was given the opportunity to record with Kingdom Friends Record Productions, under the direction of Danley Major.
As humble as could be, with a heart of gold, the lover of charitable causes has mainly been singing for charities such as Rotary Events, Mother's Union and World Aids day programmes.
On the entertainment circuit, she has also done opening acts for the Peace Fest concert which featured Jah Cure and others as well as the Best of Both World with Duane Stephenson, Freddy McGregor and Tarrus Riley all of whom were blown away by her urbane vocals and lyrically conscious vibes.
A writer too, she penned 'Don't Cry' after a family member lost a loved one. That song tells the story of a person loosing someone dear to them and the comforting words of their friends and family, just saying 'Don't Cry…dry the Tears from your eyes... everything is going to be ok."
That song was released in March of this year in time for the Peace Fest.
She's currently working on a couple more tracks, but confessed that she's "trying to take things a bit slowly so as to ensure a positive outcome and not anything rushed."
Planning for long term her intention is to release an album and has also quietly done some work in Jamaica.
The local music industry
"Guyana is a multi racial country bursting with talent that can impact the world eventually and I personally believe that we have come a significant way in recognizing our creative talents in music."
From her experiences she is convinced that the nation has a host of young artistes with voices still unheard and she says "we need more facilities to enhance the musical offerings in Guyana and we would show the rest of the world how much we have to offer." This she believes would also motivate young people to take music serious as career choice.
Vocal training, Stage Prepping, Interview training are among the facilities that she believes are needed to enhance music and musicians in Guyana.
Speaking sincerely, she expressed the belief that "Guyanese artistes are underrated and aren't given the opportunities they deserve to come out from hiding from the rest of the world. But we have made significant strides in trying to develop the music industry and it is well recognized and I do believe that in the coming years we can only see more improvement."
She says "to start my musical career my major inspiration was Navada Fernandes. I owe my motivation and inspiration to sing to her and my uncle Raymond as well, who ever since I was a child, made me fall in love with music and inspired and motivated me to keep singing and writing." But all in all she says LIFE is her biggest inspiration. "Everything about it...everything there is to be grateful about it...it's my daily dose of inspiration."
In the face of young men often being pressured to fit into a mode that leans ever so often to negative choices, Yohan Jackman stands out as proof that the opposite is still true and possible.
Born May, 1987 to Raphael and Hazel Jackman, he grew up in the Wortmanville area of Georgetown with his older brother, Yaphet.
Throughout his upbringing and education, he was always interested in various creative and cultural subjects in school and at his church, First Assembly Of God, Wortmanville.
It was very early on that his gift of singing was recognized by his Sunday school teacher, Lynette Fraser, who encouraged him to "sing more and often" paired him with another young man, Rayon Brandt (residing in the USA).
Since then, Yohan has been active in the Worship Team of his local church. After Graduating from St. Stanislaus College in 2006, he began working on his first album, which he says is under very tight wraps but is always celebrated whenever he sings. He claims that he is waiting for the right time to come along before entering the studio.
Yohan is into urban gospel music and worship. "Kierra Sheard, Smokie Norful, Izzy, Die-trick Haddon and quite a few other gospel artistes have influenced my style of singing," he said. "I strive to give my best to God at all times. He’s done way too much for me just to sit and be quiet. I believe my purpose in life is to lead God’s people into His presence through worship.
He did a video for his church’s weekly program "Choices" last Christmas but noted that it wasn’t the first video he has done. He however said from experience "every shoot is a different experience but I loved the idea of putting some Christmas Spirit out there on the airwaves!"
Entertainer: What are some of the challenges you have faced this far, and how have you been able to overcome them?
Yohan: Quality to me is more important that quantity. I want to make sure that when I do any recording, it’s properly done and can compete in the international arena right up there with the best. So finding a great studio is definitely a challenge. Our local standard is improving, and I’m very happy about that. But I’m still shopping around. The copyright situation is also a very touchy one. Artists should be able to benefit in some way, even though it might not be their primary goal.
Entertainer: What can patrons to the upcoming Gospel Fest expect from you?
Yohan: I’ve done a lot of concerts in and around Georgetown for the year so far, working with Ocie Thomas, Amanda Peters, People of Praise and a whole host of other exceptional artists. I’ve also done pieces at the Upscale Restaurant for Xpress YoSelf GY. I’ve also done some work with Guyenterprise and Global Fund on a few AIDS projects. My next show is Gospel Fest 2009, which will be at the National Cultural Center on September 19th – 20th. The presentation never fails to be one with a difference. I’m working on a few pieces that will be great.
Entertainer: What are your thoughts about the music industry?
Yohan: We’ve come a very long way, but we still have a long way to go, but personally my genre of music (Urban Gospel) hasn’t really penetrated locally. It’s a different sound because it incorporates elements of spirituals, blues, R&B and jazz into Gospel music, but I believe that the Guyanese public will embrace it.
Entertainer: How far do you hope to go with your music?
Yohan: I only want to go as far as the Lord is willing to take me. I serve a Global God, so the possibilities are endless. I don’t want to limit Him with the margins that my finite mind would come up with. I’m very excited about the future and I know that a whole lot is in store for me and my ministry.
By: Mondale Smith
Ready to claim 2010 Calypso monarchy
While some are yet to think of Christmas, one calypsonian is thinking of the 2010 Republic celebrations. A sharp contrast to the average 24 year old, Kenroy Sherwarth Fraser aka 'Mighty Believer,' is one of the nation's youths working to keep the calypso art form alive amidst popular talk of its decline.
Many veterans have publicly sounded an SOS to save the art form from total demise locally and he believes that it will live again with more input from all stake holders including Corporate Guyana.
Calling for promoters to include Calypsonians in their programmes as a remedy, he says there is also a need for more unity among calypsonians and if he has his way, he could become the 2010 senior Calypso Monarch.
The one time Junior Calypso Monarch with several 2nd and 3rd place prizes, graduated to the senior competition three years ago always made it to the final round but has never placed in the top three.
Much more prepared this time around, the youth believes that he has what it takes in composition, delivery style and stage performance to win the 2010 monarchy. "I'm putting all calypsonians on notice that I believe that the 2010 Calypso Monarchy is mine."
Fraser who has already completed his composition for the 2010 Mashramani competition said he's "coming to blow the crowd and the judges away" with a song that focuses on Guyana being the true El Dorado.
Hesitant because of the non-existence of modern copyright legislation he does not have any professional recording but boasts an ever growing repertoire of "lots of Calypso, culture and reggae music" which he is hoping to record and release as an album in a year's time.
Calypso lovers would recall his composition "everybody calling for a change" that dealt with issues during the crime wave. There is also the humour reality check song titled "man in woman suit" which details a hypothetic tale of meeting a beauty and taking her home only to find out that she was really a he in disguise. In another memorable song of his was tasked as doctor with injecting a sick woman who was in too much pain.
Graduating in his writing skills this year he went conscious singing 'whatever a man sow that's what he would reap' and spoke to politicians and the man in the street telling then that "the evil that you do will follow you."
On calypso and the Music industry
The artiste opines that the music industry will develop but he has observed that the main players are more focussed on money. "There is much talk of the development of the industry but I realise that most studios have their favourites and bias for friends and relatives and it shows in their production which to me is harming as opposed to helping," he said.
"I believe that the art form is hard pressed and suffocating to some degree because calypsonians are self censoring their compositions for fear that they would be sidelined."
A soldier by profession who exudes positive vibes, the married father of two hails from Belladrum Village West Coast Berbice, loves engineering and does just that as an able rating in the Coast Guard Unit of Guyana Defence Force.
Coming from a family of military men, he boasts six years in the GDF and contrary to reports from some who have opted to AWOL (go absent without official leave) he say "the army is a good place" that offers much opportunities to youths as they serve their country.
Originally he signed up for the minimum three years in the military but notes that since signing up in 2004 "I was able to qualify myself as an engineer, improve my qualifications and I have also benefited from training locally and overseas." Optimistic that he might one day be Chief-of-Staff of the armed forces he said above all the army is ideal for discipline and bringing one's body and mind to the same level where one can be all that one wants to be through commitment, dedication and discipline. He enjoys weight lifting, writing and composing but says he's totally into engineering. He joined the army for three years but has stayed on for six and he says he has no plans to quit anytime soon.
By: Mondale Smith