By: Precious Mills
BASSETERRE, St.Kitts– From a field of nine participants, Kendra ‘Brown Sugar’ Hutton, a newcomer to the female calypso bacchanal arena dethroned Lady Diva following the competition staged on Friday 17th November at The Circus following the official opening ceremony for Sugar Mas 46 (St.Kitts-Nevis National Carnival).
The newly-crowned queen scored 392 points with a song called ‘Just Another Day’ which addressed challenges being faced in St.Kitts-Nevis as it relates to the issue of crime and violence in tugging at the hearts and minds of citizens and residents to show more love and concern for the nation.
Another first timer Karisia ‘Miss Independent’ Willett placed first runner-up with 383 points singing ‘Where Is De Leadership’ followed by Kimara ‘Lady Diva’ Williams in the second runner-up spot with 377 performing ‘The Elders’ while the third runner-up position went to Gloria ‘Queeny- G’ Esdaille-Robinson with 366 points for a tune called ‘De Real Criminal.’
Notably, Miss Independent, who is a two- time crowned Junior Calypso Monarch, returned to the performing stage after a seven-year break.
Dressed in a patriotic outfit which included a national flag shirt worn with a black jacket and matching pants, Brown Sugar commanded sophisticated authority with nationalistic pizzazz in touching the serious topic.
She sang in part: “Across the region and outer world, gun crimes were escalating. We used to swear such things couldn’t happen here. We saw our neighbour’s house on fire and did not wet ours, Now we’re left to wonder what is the root cause as the youths of our nation are shooting each other down.”
Brown Sugar’s chorus included the lines: “Is this just another day in my country, in my country? How could this be? How is this the land that we used to call our home sweet home? This can’t be the same peaceful place as a country where peace abounds. How could this be just another day in my country?”
According to her: “The blame game has a negative impact on the crime situation, But if we are serious about taking our country back, all de anti-crime marches and candle light vigils are a waste of resources til we show the iron will where police and civilians, we must do work as one, It is de only solution.”
Following the announcement of competition results, Brown Sugar’s head wrap worn as part of her performance clothing was removed to fit THE CROWN!
Although a first time competitor in the calypso arena, she is no stranger to the singing spotlight on the national scene which includes her top performances in the Kittitian Superstar Competition in the early 2000s. She has also been a back-up vocalist on many shows including calypso.
What is more, the Newtown resident also won the St.Kitts Music Festival Karaoke Competition held at Port Zante in June this year.
Miss Independent pointed at social ills troubling the St.Kitts-Nevis society including political bickering, economic challenges and also crime and violence as she jammed with her chorus asking “Where is de leadership? (Ah can’t find it!) Where is de leadership? Where is de leadership?”
Lady Diva’s song advised individuals to show kindness to the elderly.
“Take some time to sit and converse with the elders…[If they are up] on their feet, Give them your seat, Show them you have manners. It will warm their hearts and their blessings will keep you humble, They might even impart some knowledge that will surprise you…”
She questioned: “What will become of you too when you become old and grey? Whilst indicating “you can become abandoned and forsaken.”
Queeny- G recommended in her chorus: “Lewwe face de real crime, lewwe face de real crime, Lewwe don’t play blind, Time we face de real crime.”
Among those whom she lashed out at were parents who take money to cover up child molestation, parents who accepts gifts from children involved in criminality and persons who put blame on politicians “when we mek we family shame.”
“Who’s de real criminal? If you don’t see your role as being crucial you de real criminal. Don’t blame government for not solving crime when you contributing to it too, St.Kitts-Nevis sometimes the real criminal is you,” were some of her directed lyrics.
Upon leaving the stage, she told the crowd: “Ladies and gentlemen, we have to fix this issue. This is all of our problem. Crime is a real issue. Our children are being molested, our children are involved in criminality. Let us take the reins back and control our society.”
A controversial highlight performance saw that of Jennifer ‘Singing Jennifer’ Demming with a song called ‘Tek U Bum Out Me Face!’ That tune, which generally jabbed at a specific rejected sensual request in different relationship circumstances, was twisted around to competition judges in general, letting them know just how much she has felt cheated over the years.
The panel of judges that night became her symbolic target group.
“…Ah gon put it in song. Imagine a man sing he bruk he hand off a lettuce tree, Ridiculous- dey put him in front ah me. I sang ‘Reflection Ah De Old Days’ but it like when ah singing dey got plug in dey ears. 2015 ah sang about unity, Every de know Jenny had win dat female monarchy.”
Looking at the judges straight on, she turned her body around during her performance while on the lines: “Me grandmoda say ah could tek as much but not for long so judges this is for all ah aryou who doing me wrong, Ah don’t care if you say a rude and ah outta place, My intention is to put me bum in dey face” which sent members of the audience wild with laughter.
While she was addressing the judges, spectators were seen looking at the judges’ faces as if to grasp what kind of reaction Singing Jennifer’s lyrical lashing would have gotten from them.
Whatever was going through the judges’ minds however-whether offended or likewise- did not translate to their facial express, and like true professionals they looked composed amidst the debatable hot topic. By the looks on their faces, some of them even seemed amused.
After telling the judges what was on her mind, nearing the end of her song, Singing Jennifer expressed: “Well tonight Jenny know she ain’t gon mek no place so den ah gon put me bum in dey face.”
The other competitors and songs performed that night were: Anandee ‘Lil Miss’ (Danger Zone) Collins-Richards, Tiandra ‘Singing Sensation’ Francis (Skin Bleaching Mentality) and Sharon ‘Singing Sharon’ Cannonier (Sharon Singing).
Singing Sensation- the 2015 Junior Claypso Monarch and Singing Sharon were first time competitors also.
Macomere Fifi, a well-known female calypsonian from Trinidad and Tobago residing in Canada, was the guest performer.
Originally, a total of nine contenders were expected to take to the stage. However, the emcee had announced during the show that Kibiane ‘Queen Kibie’ Willett-who was slated to perform in the ninth spot- was at the hospital and unable to participate her song called ‘True Ambassador’.
Queen Kibie, a calypso veteran and most recently the 2015 Female Calypso Monarch, is the older sister of Miss Independent.
Lil Miss, during her performance, disclosed that her mom calypsonian Andrea ‘Singing Angie’ Walters passed away on the date of the show.
At the end of the song, she shared: “Today is the day that my mother passed away Rest in peace mommy. Sad moment! This for you!”
In 2012 at the age of 41, Singing Angie of Cayon, who was a top calypso monarch, died of natural causes.
The Proud Sound Calypso Tent (led by Wingrove Hicks of the Grand Masters Band) backed-up the performers at last Friday’s female calypso competition.