TJ

The Star (St. Lucia) - - LOCAL - By

TToni Ni­cholas he say­ing “Pa­tience is a virtue” may now be close to the heart of Saint Lu­cian mu­sic sen­sa­tion Ted­dyson John. Af­ter a car­ni­val sea­son of mixed re­views here in Saint Lucia in July of 2015, the per­former watched, maybe to his amaze­ment and that of oth­ers, as one of his songs ex­ploded onto the in­ter­na­tional scene. The song ‘Allez’ from back in Oc­to­ber had made it onto in­ter­na­tional Soca playlists on ra­dio sta­tions around the world. And the mu­sic video, the last time we checked, had re­ceived over a quar­ter of a mil­lion views on­line.

TJ started do­ing mu­sic as a young boy - ev­ery­thing from Gospel to Pop and Jazz - and went the Soca route in 2007, win­ning the first ever Groovy Soca Monarch ti­tle that year with the song ‘Com­ing Down De Road’. The fol­low­ing year he hit the spot again with ‘Wine Up On Me’ and has been un­stop­pable in the Soca arena ever since, hailed as one of the best Saint Lu­cian per­form­ers.

Amidst per­for­mances in Toronto, Miami and Bar­ba­dos, TJ em­barked on a heavy pro­mo­tional tour to the mecca of Soca - Trinidad and Tobago - dur­ing the third quar­ter of 2015. Un­der his belt was the song ‘Allez’ which was now quite fa­mil­iar to many thanks to the air­play the song was re­ceiv­ing. Dur­ing that pe­riod TJ was able to se­cure a num­ber of book­ings to per­form dur­ing Trinidad’s car­ni­val which of­fi­cially opened on Box­ing Day, De­cem­ber 26th, 2015 and will cul­mi­nate on Tues­day Fe­bru­ary 9th, 2016.

Last week­end TJ blazed two of the big­gest car­ni­val fetes in Trinidad - Soka in Moka and Tribe Ice - which he says was an ex­hil­a­rat­ing feel­ing. But be­fore he could even com­pose him­self the good news ar­rived on Tues­day.

When the names of the semi-fi­nal­ists of the In­ter­na­tional Soca Monarch (ISM) were an­nounced, TJ was among the fifty-nine. Oth­ers se­lected hail from Trinidad and Tobago as well as Gre­nada, Bar­ba­dos, St. Vin­cent and An­tigua.

TJ, who en­tered the com­pe­ti­tion through the sub­mis­sion of his hit song ‘Allez’ for the pre­lim­i­nary com­pe­ti­tion in De­cem­ber, is the lone Saint Lu­cian to ad­vance to the semi­fi­nal stage. He is also set to com­pete in the ‘Carib Break­out Artiste of the Year’ com­pe­ti­tion which is all part of the ISM pack­age. This com­pe­ti­tion will be judged strictly by dig­i­tal me­dia - so­cial me­dia and text mes­sages - and all re­sults will be based on fan votes.

Tra­di­tion­ally held in pre­vi­ous years on Car­ni­val Fri­day and dubbed ‘Fan­tas­tic Fri­day’, the ISM com­pe­ti­tion has un­der­gone some changes for 2016 as it cel­e­brates twenty-four years. The sep­a­rate In­ter­na­tional Groovy Soca Monarch and In­ter­na­tional Power Soca Monarch com­pe­ti­tions, for which the top four were an­nounced in each cat­e­gory, now fall un­der one event at the In­ter­na­tional Soca Monarch 2016 for which one per­son will be crowned.

The semi-fi­nals and fi­nals of the com­pe­ti­tion will be judged us­ing the fol­low­ing cri­te­ria: Melody - 25%, Ar­range­ment - 20%, Lyrics - 20%, Per­for­mance - 20% and Crowd Re­sponse -15%. The event will be held on Sun­day Jan­uary 17th at the Queens Park, Sa­van­nah.

This is not TJ’s first out­ing at the com­pe­ti­tion but this is his first oc­ca­sion on his own ef­forts, with the help of his man­age­ment team and per­sis­tent net­work­ing with Soca DJs and pro­mot­ers around the world. In 2008 TJ was part of a history-making con­tin­gent and one of four artistes funded by the Cul­tural De­vel­op­ment Foun­da­tion (CDF) to com­pete in the In­ter­na­tional Soca Monarch. The oth­ers were Ke­rian Piper, Mar­i­anne and Ricky T, with Ricky T ad­vanc­ing to the fi­nals. TJ’s camp is hop­ing to go all the way this time and is putting ev­ery­thing in place to en­sure that he makes it through to the fi­nals.

On Tues­day evening TJ posted to his In­sta­gram to fans and fol­low­ers: “Just got the good news! Thank you so much for the sup­port. I made it to the Semi Fi­nals of @so­ca_­monarch 2016 (In­ter­na­tional Soca Monarch). God is great. #allez #step­for­ward.”

As the dig­i­tal vot­ing com­mences fans, supporters and well-wish­ers from across the globe are all en­cour­aged to rally be­hind TJ as he con­tin­ues in his pur­suit of ex­cel­lence and the fly­ing of the St. Lu­cian flag.

More in­for­ma­tion on the In­ter­na­tional Soca Monarch and Carib Break­out Artiste of the Year can be found on the web­site http://so­ca­monarch.net/

Flash­back: In 2008 TJ was one of four artistes sup­ported by the CDF to en­ter the semi-fi­nals of the

In­ter­na­tional Soca Monarch. L-R: Ricky T, Mar­i­anne, TJ and Ke­rian Piper.

Ted­dyson John has re­leased a remix of his hit song

Allez fea­tur­ing Bunji Gar­lin.

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