St. Kitts and Nevis (WINN);The Carnival Committee Chairman announced last week that this year the Soca Competition would be restructured, eliminating the separate Groovy and Power categories and opting to go the way of Trinidad and several other countries of having an open competition.

This led to the usual social media debate, with some persons showing favor with the change and others expressing displeasure. There was even talk of a rumored artiste boycott of the Soca Competition.

WINN FM spoke with some artistes who preferred not to go on record, and the feedback was mixed, although most had concerns about the lack of formal communication from the Committee prior to the decision being handed down, and a possible unfair advantage for Power artistes.
While he raised similar concerns, Reigning Groovy Soca Monarch Rukas says no matter the format, he is looking at the bigger picture and so will definitely be defending his crown.

“Personally I think the Carnival Committee should have consulted reigning monarchs and any other artistes who want to enter the competition and basically have a meeting with us and let us know exactly what they are thinking about doing, let us know exactly what the show will entail now that its merged and that would have probably made for a smoother transition.
“I think what’s happening right now is a lot of people are worried about Power having an advantage over the Groovy and I think that’s a big concern for everybody, because quite naturally Power would have an advantage.
“But I am not shying away from competition; I will be entering the competition. I’m just waiting for the meeting to get the proper information as to how they’re going to deal with the show. I’m thinking that they will change the criteria, because at the end of the day they have to judge the show in a way where it’s a level playing field when it comes to Power and Groovy
“I’m really hoping that now they’ve changed the competition and made it one segment they will now consider raising the prize money, because we do put a lot into it in terms of preparation; for instance last year alone I spent almost $6,000 out of my own pocket to pull off that performance and at the end of the day I got $10,000.”

LAX, one half of the reigning Power Monarch duo LAX and KT also has some reservations about the change, but said he’s going with the flow and will make the necessary adjustments in order to win again.

“If life gives you oranges or apples you either choose oranges or apples; so in other words, you either enter or you don’t enter if you don’t like it. I’m not going to be making any big fuss like other people.
“I believe in whatever I do I will always be successful; I’m not afraid of anybody.
“A lot of artistes are saying they would like to go to Trinidad, I guess this is a start for you because if you go this is what you’re going to be in so get used to it, get comfortable with it, get used to it.
“I’m not saying I’m happy the Committee did it but I’m just looking at the benefit of it in that if you’re trying to make it to the international stage then this is a training ground for you because you would have competed with Groovy and Power.
“I’m just gonna do what I have to do; gonna look at their criteria, study it, learn it, and make sure our song is strong in every way for the criteria so we can gain maximum points wherever.”