King Paido has won Calypso competitions before, but there is a special feeling that comes with being crowned champion at a time when the Virgin Gorda Easter Festival Committee is celebrating 50 years in existence.
The entertainer, whose real name is Reynold Phillip, said he actually spent a year preparing for the contest he won Sunday night.
He was also the victor in Virgin Gorda in 2015, but he opted not to defend his crown last year.
In his absence, Ronald Veira, who uses the stage name Chico B, was crowned champion.
During his break from the stage, however, King Paido spent enough time to assess his cherished art-form within the local context.
That’s when he realized it is damaged and needed to be rescued.
He claims he is the rescuer.
“I have been planning for this (2017 competition) for a whole year. I didn’t compete last year and I listened to the show, and I said ‘no; no; no; I have to come back and raise the standard.”
“We have a lot of repairs to do in this art-form we call Calypso in the BVI on the whole – not only in Virgin Gorda but Tortola too. We have a lot of repairs to do. I don’t know who is damaging it, but it’s going,” King Paido told journalists moments after being crowned.
He stated that he hopes to help change the image of Calypso locally by – among other things – reaching out to students in school.
“We won’t be here forever. But I am gonna go as long as I can go. When I am gone, I want somebody else to take up it. So we go in the schools and teach the youths how to do it,” King Paido said, adding that he hopes all Calypsonians will unite in repairing the genre.
“We gonna work on that soon after this festival. We are gonna have maybe the Calypsonians coming together and figure out how we could keep the art-form alive.”
Meanwhile, in relation to his victory tonight, King Paido stated that he was confident in the quality of his two entries, which are entitled ‘Who Is Paying Attention’ and ‘Happy Fifty Years’.
He further stated that, despite the tension between some contestants, he did not allow himself to be distracted.
“I know I had two powerful songs… I knew I had a message in the first one, and the second one is contributed towards the 50th anniversary.”
PAIDO IS BACK
King Paido, in the meantime, thinks he is the epitome of Calypso.
“I am still undefeated (on Virgin Gorda). Last year, I was undefeated when Chico B won. But I come back. No Paido; no Calypso!”
The new Calypso monarch added that only illness can prevent him from competing whenever there is a Calypso clash in the territory.
“Win or lose I will be there. If I lost tonight, I would be like ‘OK; I will come back next year’. I am coming every year. Music is my thing. God gives me a gift and I am gonna use it.”
King Paido also told journalists that he is pleased to see new Calypsonians emerging and making their mark on the local contests.
“That’s what I love about it. The newcomers came in and they placed,” he said in relation to two newcomers who finished fourth and fifth in the Virgin Gorda competition Sunday night. They are Shevone Finlay who is known as Teacher AkuA, and Michelle Harrigan who uses the stage name Lady Liberty.
King Paido however expressed disappointment that some of the veterans didn’t compete this year.
“I see some of the older Calypsonians knocked out. This is the 50th anniversary (of the Virgin Gorda Easter Festival Committe) and they should have been here (competing) for the 50th”.
King Paido, in the meantime, stated that his next stop will be the Calypso competition on Tortola during the 2017 emancipation festival.
“I am a champion; I won three times in Road Town (Tortola)… This might instigate me to get tougher.”
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