From Elimination to the Calypso crown, newcomer Trilla G makes history
From Elimination to the Calypso crown, newcomer Trilla G makes history

"I do not want Calypso to be a genre that is dead after Tewey Vaval," says Trilla G, the first newcomer to win the Calypso crown

Emerging from Calypso obscurity, Gael Jno. Baptiste, known in the entertainment scene as Trilla G, broke new ground in Dominica by being the first newcomer in Calypso to capture the coveted Monarch title.

The 23-year-old, best known for his work in the Bouyon scene, debuted in the national Calypso competition this year, winning judges' favour in each leg of the contest.

On the evening of February 18, 2023, Trilla G stepped before the eagerly awaiting audience to deliver his first rendition, "De Boy Cut", which he released on the night of the finals. At that moment, the artist firmly established himself as the one to watch, leaving the crowd cheering as he exited the stage.

Lyrical content was his strong suit, making him a clear and early crowd favourite.

In his second song, "Dick Taylor Ship," which many have grown to love, Trilla G sealed his victory.

The new Monarch said his participation in the Calypso competition was intended to display his lyrical prowess to a different crowd.

"I was already falling in love with the genre for some time now, but I was no Calypsonian," he explained. "However, I was determined to break the narrative that the Bouyon guys were not taken seriously in that arena. I watched them, I studied them, I learnt from them, I asked them questions, I sought advice, and they offered to give twice as much."

Succeeding his win, he appealed for the Calypso genre's revolutionisation.

Jay Dee dethroned

Trilla G, who dethroned Jay Dee and beat nine-time King Dice to the throne, said, "people keep saying that I am young and I may be the future of Calypso; I consider myself to be one of the bright stars in Calypso."

He continued, "but I think we can revolutionise the Calypso genre a little bit more, bring it back to what it used to be before, and try to create albums so that people can play at any time. I do not want Calypso to be a dead genre after Tewey Vaval."

While he claims that his choice to release his second song on the night of the finals drew criticism from some, he asserted that "they did not see the vision we had planned to execute, that which we did exceptionally to capture the crown."

Ahead of the finals, Trilla G revealed he sought assistance from many, including former calypsonians such as Father Brancker John and Alex Bruno.

"Father Brakes was instrumental in moulding me to become an awesome calypsonian. I absorbed his teachings like a sponge. It felt like destiny since he was among the few people to release a song on the night of the finals and win," he said.

"Mr Alex Pawol Bruno came on board - the super Calypso strategist and analyst. Surely, we were poised to be a serious threat for contending the crown."

He described his self-penned Calypsos as those which can be enjoyed at "any moment."

"My music is about sending a message, and that is what I came into Calypso to do, and anything else was just a bonus," he indicated.

You can accomplish anything

Speaking on his experience being on stage with veteran calypsonians, he said, "I was just enjoying the fact that I was rubbing shoulders with some of the best entertainers in Dominica."

He encouraged those who want to use their talent to do so to make a statement and create an impact.

"When I just started in the calypso arena, people said I came from Bouyon," he explained. "I just stuck to it and worked hard. If anybody decides to put their mind on something and work hard towards it, they will set a standard for themselves."

Trilla G added, "You can accomplish anything in life."

The artist hinted at his intention to release another Calypso song or an album soon.

"I stand tall and proud today as your new Calypso King. The voice of the youth who feel they don't have the courage. I'm here today to remind you that you can," he said. "All you have to do is go for it, whatever that might be. I promise to reign supreme and exemplify the youth and society."

Dice missed number ten

A close encounter eluded nine-time Calypso monarch Dennison "Dice" Joseph from securing the crown for a tenth time.

Dice also delivered a stellar performance of his two renditions, "Everything" and "Chi Bang Bang", which secured the first runner-up position. Two former monarchs were also in the top four positions, namely Chester "Daddy Chess" Letang, the second runner-up, while Daryl "De Bobb" Bobb secured the third runner-up spot.

Jude" King Jaydee" Delauney, who was the defending Monarch, having won the national Calypso competition in 2020, could not retain his title.

Reigning Stardom camp and former calypso Monarch Tasha "Tasha P" Peltier also came up short with the judges on the night of the grand finals.

The other competitors were: Jamal "Black Diamond" Lloyd; Phael "De Healer" Lander; Shanice "Shanice" Langford, and Don'Tre "Mighty D" Lockhart.

-By Ronalda Luke