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Voice completes Soca Monarch hattrick; can emulate Rudder in Sunday’s calypso final

Aaron “Voice” St Louis can become the first Trinidad and Tobago artiste in 32 years to hold calypso and soca titles in the same season, after he beat the International Soca Monarch field for his third consecutive title last night.

Voice’s song “Year for Love” held off Dexter “Blaxx” Stewart’s “Hulk”, which finished in second place, with Orlando Octave’s “Love You So” and Trevon “Turner” Turner’s “Champions” finishing third and fourth respectively.

Photo: Three-time International Soca Monarch champion Aaron “Voice” St Louis.
(Courtesy Soca News)

Turner, a newcomer to the Soca Monarch final, closed his performance by accepting a crown from iconic musician David Rudder but the bard will have to wait for his first silverware.

Ironically, Voice has his heart set on emulating Rudder, who was the last person to sweep calypso and soca titles in the two-island republic. In 1986, Rudder copped the Young Kings, Calypso Monarch and Road March titles with “The Hammer” and “Bahia Girl”—seven years before the International Soca Monarch competition was launched.

It is uncertain how Voice will fare in the 2018 Road March race—several of Trinidad and Tobago’s top soca performers no longer compete in the Soca Monarch—but he is considered among the favourites for the Calypso Monarch final, which is staged on Sunday.

The “San Juan youth man,” who is in his first Calypso Monarch final, will come up against a strong field of traditional calypsonians, including Sandra “Singing Sandra” Des Vignes, Selvon “Mistah Shak” Noel, Joanne “Tigress” Rowley, Helon Francis and reigning champion Hollis “Chalkdust” Liverpool.

Since Rudder’s remarkable success, Chris “Tambu” Herbert, Austin “Super Blue” Lyons, Winston “Mighty Shadow” Bailey and Kurt Allen have all appeared in Calypso Monarch finals and lifted soca crowns. But none won both in the same year.

Photo: Iconic Trinidad and Tobago artiste David Rudder.

Voice’s third Soca Monarch title brought him level with Iwer George among the ISM’s most prolific performers and behind only Super Blue (seven), Machel Montano (five) and Ian “Bunji Garlin” Alvarez (four).

Shurwayne Winchester has one Soca Monarch crown and three wins in the Groovy Monarch category while Montano also has two Groovy Monarch trophies.

Editor’s Note: Click HERE for Eric St Bernard’s preview of Sunday’s Calypso Monarch final.

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21 comments

  1. Love him all the way…..

  2. Lyrically this song tops most of the soca monarch contenders, so he would have scored well, or at least equally as well as Blaxx (though I would have given an edge to Blaxx lyrically) so I can see why some people think it’s worthy of the Calypso Monarch title too, but it’s not a strong calypso lyrically – it’s lyrics don’t compare to most calypsoes, and even if he could make a valiant attempt to emulate Rudder he would have to win the road march too. It’s a nice thought though for someone so young.

  3. He cannot emulate rudder he er win young Kings monarch and road March in one year

  4. Kudos to Voice. Powerful words in all his songs. I hope he can do the double.

  5. Apart from its dancing effect etc and its historic role I have to say that Year for Love moves me totally…what an epic moment in our affairs…That youth recharted the ruins and insisted on a new definition of manhood in the nation building aspect all at Carnival time with danceable…I tell you. ..

  6. Go for it VOICE – you can do it !!!

  7. Whilst thrilled for his success, are we assessing the same thing? If the measure is three titles in the season, all is well. However, the triple crown should perhaps now be Soca Monarch (noting this was a late competition to the mix) Calypso Monarch and Road March to truly demonstrate mastery across the genre and sub-genre. This should probably be weighed in upon by the cultural ambassadors amidst us.

  8. Who was the last one? My recollection is that Rudder won Young King Calypso National Monarch Calypso and Road March.