Ted­dyson John Takes T&T by Storm

The Star (St. Lucia) - - LOCAL -

By

Toni Ni­cholas

Soca fans all over the world waited with baited breath on Mon­day for the names of the artistes mak­ing it to the fi­nal of the In­ter­na­tional Soca Monarch. This, af­ter a gru­elling and more than ten hours long semi-fi­nals held in Port of Spain, Trinidad on Sun­day 17th Jan­uary and viewed world­wide over the In­ter­net. Along­side some of Trinidad’s best were per­form­ers from Bar­ba­dos, An­tigua, St. Vin­cent, Gre­nada, even Ja­pan, and Saint Lu­cia.

For Saint Lu­cia’s lone Soca sol­dier, Ted­dyson John, had lit­er­ally taken Trinidad and Tobago by storm with his run­away hit ‘Allez, Allez’. And af­ter a per­for­mance that was con­sid­ered among the best at the semi­fi­nals, the in­clu­sion of his name on the list of fi­nal­ists should have been a mere for­mal­ity.

But it would take an­other day be­fore the an­nounce­ment and when it came on Tues­day evening, Saint Lu­cians at home and abroad cel­e­brated Ted­dyson John’s for­ward march to the In­ter­na­tional Soca Monarch fi­nal. The event will be held on Fri­day 5th Fe­bru­ary in Port of Spain. The other fi­nal­ists are Voice, Third Bass, Preedy, 5Star Akil, Hypa Sounds, Farmer Nappy, Lyrikal, Blaxx, Cloud 5, Sekon Sta, Pa­trice Roberts, Ri­cardo Drue, Ptern­sky, Rikki Jai, Shur­wayne Winch­ester and Shal Mar­shall. Two wild card en­trants are also be­ing con­sid­ered.

On Fri­day the STAR spoke with Ted­dyson John, who also hap­pens to be Saint Lu­cia’s two times Groovy King, about his whirl­wind suc­cess in Trinidad so far. “It is an over­whelm­ing feel­ing and I am happy that Saint Lu­cia, and not just TJ, is where we are to­day in terms of Soca,” he com­menced. “I mean it’s been a long time com­ing since we did it with Ricky T and Pres­sure Boom. Much re­spect to Ricky T but, as a Soca artiste, this is some­thing I al­ways wanted to achieve, not just for my­self but for Saint Lu­cia, and I am happy that Saint Lu­cians all over are cel­e­brat­ing with me,” TJ con­tin­ued.

Asked what it was about this par­tic­u­lar song TJ replied: “a com­bi­na­tion of the mes­sage and the tim­ing. ‘Allez’ is a song for the times and I be­lieve with all that is hap­pen­ing in the world to­day, it is a song that just up­lifts peo­ple. Even here in Trinidad, with talk of a re­ces­sion, I am meet­ing peo­ple ev­ery­day who tell me that the song helps them get through and lifts their spirit.”

Speak­ing on his prepa­ra­tion for the fi­nal TJ told the STAR that he has a good team be­hind him and it is all about “up­ping the ante” come 5th Fe­bru­ary. “We can’t go in soft; we have to come hard with a full pack­age and re­ally give the fans all over the world not just a great per­for­mance but a great show,” TJ­said. Asked about sup­port from en­ti­ties like the CDF, cre­ative in­dus­tries and the tourist board, TJ re­vealed that dis­cus­sions are on­go­ing with his peo­ple and prom­ises have been made but so far noth­ing has been con­firmed.

Still, like his song says, he is “mov­ing for­ward”, un­daunted, with a whole team of Soca war­riors be­hind him.

An ar­ti­cle by the Trinidad Ex­press ti­tled “Poor Vo­cals Plague Soca Monarch semis”, pro­vid­ing a rather vivid de­scrip­tion of the var­i­ous per­for­mances, sparked much pub­lic de­bate. Af­ter hav­ing high­lighted the ‘highs and lows” of the semis, the Ex­press ar­ti­cle saved this gem for last: “They [com­pet­ing artistes] will all be chas­ing St Lu­cian Ted­dyson John, how­ever, come Fan­tas­tic Fri­day night. The ‘Allez, Allez’ man gave a mas­ter class in per­for­mance art, strik­ing the per­fect bal­ance be­tween en­ergy on stage and crowd en­gage­ment, all the while main­tain­ing vo­cal in­tegrity.”

Amidst all of this TJ has a packed pro­gramme of events and fetes in­clud­ing pop­u­lar car­ni­val fetes like Army Fete, Ladies’ Night Out, Cen­tral Bank Fete, Kes Tues­day on the Rocks and many more. He is also part of Bunji Gar­lins Vik­ings’ set at var­i­ous events.

We couldn’t help but won­der how he keeps his en­ergy level up. “On a morn­ing I wake up, I pray, I give thanks and then I work out. Also I try not to get caught up in the par­ty­ing scene; it’s hard but I try,” he said with a smile. “I go out to per­form, meet the fans some­times, do some in­ter­views and it’s back in for me to get some rest. I am in this for the long haul,” TJ con­cluded.

Saint Lu­cian Soca sen­sa­tion Ted­dyson John is fly­ing the Saint Lu­cian flag high in Trinidad in the lead-up to

the is­land’s car­ni­val.

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