Reigning Chutney Soca Monarch, Samraj “Rikki Jai” Jaimungal said he is determined to take Chutney music to “higher heights” regardless of the outcome of next week’s competition. This, even as the veteran entertainer released a remix for his popular, “Drinker’s Anthem” this past week, which features Jamaican Dancehall Star, Marion “Lady Saw” Hall. He said:
Reigning Chutney Soca Monarch, Rikki Jai
“Of course, I am defending my crown next Saturday and I always come out to win, but looking ahead down the road after the competition, I’m seeing a lot of doors opening and a lot of opportunities to take Chutney music to places it has never been before.”
Jaimungal said he has begun working with some of the top acts in the music industry, in order to bridge the gap between their worlds and the Chutney arena. He said:
“Machel and all the big guys in Soca have done it and we have all seen how these collaborations can bring several different worlds together. It has not been done much in the Chutney arena, so I feel it is my duty to do so now that the world is watching sweet T&T. I was looking for a female who had the character to jump on the track and my friend Edwin Howell at VP Records suggested Lady Saw. I sent her the song and in a few days time, it was done and history was made!”
Speaking to OvertimeTT from her home in Jamaica, Hall said she has attended a few Carnival events in the past, but has never experienced the actual festival before - and is hoping to do so this year.
“I am trying to attend Carnival this year and 'bun down di place' with Rikki showcasing de Drinkers’ Anthem Remix. Right now, I’m working on my next album, which is called 'Alter Ego' and will be released later this year, so I'm trying to work some time to come to Trinidad into my schedule as we speak. I've been to a few Carnival events, but I've yet to have the full experience of Trinidad Carnival. I really hope that I can change that this year! I hear some many great things about it, so I know it's the bomb.”
Queen of the Dancehall, Lady Saw
Hall said she loves Soca, but was not that familiar with Chutney until now.
“My manager James 'Jazz' Goring sent me Rikki’s track,” she said, “and as soon as I heard it I loved it. My DJ, Missy Soprano loves Soca and has been pushing me to do something on a Soca track and this came up at the perfect time. Rikki isn't the first Soca artist that I've worked with cause I’ve done some hot tracks with Edwin Yearwood and Arrow in the past, but it’s a first for me with a Chutney artiste. It’s all about vibes and the right creative fit for me and this one is perfect!”
Aside from defending his sixth Chutney Monarch title next Saturday night at the Queen’s Park Oval, Jaimungal will also return to the Calypso Fiesta stage in Skinner Park, San Fernando next Saturday morning in the hopes of qualifying for the Calypso Monarch Finals at Dimanche Gras, Carnival Sunday night.