PHOTO: The 2017 Soca Monarch King Mr. Hype (center); First runner-up Rucas (Right end) and Rucas’ manager Patrice Henry share a moment backstage (Spokesman Snap)

By: Precious Mills

BASSETERRE, St.Kitts (DECEMEBER, 2017) – This year’s recently concluded 2017 soca monarch competition with the combined Power and Groovy segments saw Bjorn ‘Mr. Hype’ Bassue emerging as the winner with his up-tempo, high energy tune called ‘Crazy People’, scoring 591 points from a field of eleven (11) competitors on Friday 22nd December at the Sugar Mill (housed at the Warner Park Cricket Stadium)

Rucas, the 2016 Groovy King, placed first runner- up with 581 points singing ‘Headlines Only’ while Dejour captured second runner-up with 555 points for ‘Soca Rebel’ –a groovy tune and LAX & KT took the third runner-up spot with their upbeat  ‘Chopper’ song amassing a total of 547 points.

Backstage, this media house caught up with Mr. Hype and Rucas to get their take on the joined segments.

First off of course, Mr. Hype who is no strange to top Sugar Mas fame, having won the 2013 and 2015 Power segments, shared the emotional thrust which propelled the level of this performance for which he has successfully earned $EC 11,000.

“Well, I’ll be honest I was real humbled and I felt so much joy and self-worth because tonight for me was more about going the extra mile. I did this for very close friends of mine; one of my firmed in particular who died about a year ago so he would always call me every year and say ‘Boy don’t come home without that crown’ so this year I was like I had to go the extra mile and do this for Leron and all the people who support me and believe in me. This victory was for the fans and my friends, all of the people who believe in the Hype and who came out and just gave their all out there in the crowd. I’m really grateful.”

As it relates to the one segment, Mr. Hype, who interestingly says in his song “Imagine one soca King! We no need dat!”, told this reporter:  “For me I really had no issue with it because Power or Groovy because as an artiste you always have to bring you’re A-game, you have to come outside of the box and bring music and performance that people would enjoy. Once you study the criteria and bring everything correct, it doesn’t matter what the segment is, what is dropped or what is kept or what is new, you should come out on top once you do your homework.”

Rucas said he was content with his position.

“I’m content. I’m definitely content with my position tonight. In every competition, there must be a winner and unfortunately we were not able to win the competition tonight but I say my team and I are very content. We did put a lot of work into the performance tonight and we knew that with the new dynamics of the show it was going to be a bit challenging.”

Commenting on such new dynamics pertaining to the fused soca categories, he remarked: “Well, it is something that has been happening. It’s something that happening in Trinidad and Tortola and I  have also entered into these competition before; I went to the BVI and I was part of  that competition so I had the experience of one category competition and to say that I think that it is something  that I like, I would say that any competition  has to do with criteria so it doesn’t really matter (because) it comes down to  the criteria of the show and once you study that criteria then I think you do stand a good chance in any competition.”

Throughout the show that night following the level of delivery of songs, host ‘Pinocchio’ outlined that “performance matters” and in that case, many fans and supporters agreed that Mr. Hype literally brought that level of hype to the stage that night thus deserving of the crown.

Mr. Hype the star among his other onstage actors in what appeared to be a special mental sugar rush on his part about  the carnival festivity going wild with excitement.

According to the some of the jump-up lyrics: “We getting five J’ouvert morning, Arwe going wuk up and kick Up! Like a set a crazy people! Here de crazy people dem!”

Nearing the end of his performance, Mr. Hype was restrained and wheeled off stage by medical persons but he quickly escaped captivity and returned to stage further acting out his crazy love for Sugar Mas freedom.

Notably, KT & LAX one of the crowd’s top favourite was expected by many patrons to land higher on the placement chart as the audience was wowed by the use of a passing helicopter to spice up their delivery. Dressed in military outfits, the two artistes appeared onstage via a mission-like entry using a rope to descent from the ceiling of the stage.

Special guest performer Orlando Octave from Trinidad and Tobago had the audience rocking to his hit song ‘Single’  as well as ‘Church Gyal’ and other tunes. He also dished out some freestyle lyrics about the soca competition, the photographer taking his photo and much more which wowed the audience.

The other soca competition performers that night were: Nikhail, Jazzbo, Nicha B, Dagah, P Plus, Lil Miss, Jeezy Sparta, Steel, K- Warner and C-Mac.