No stranger to the Junior Calypso stage, Maurice “King Maurice” Hansby took the crown in this year’s secondary division and Ny’kel “Prince Short Shirt” Emanuel defended his title in the intermediate competition.
Hansby, representing the V.I. Montessori School and Peter Gruber International Academy, has competed for years alongside former monarchs Na’Kaya "Princess KeKe" Esdaille and Kahmoi “Singer Boy Kahmoi” DeSilvia, but he took the trophy home for himself Tuesday night with a song titled “Second Chance.”
Rolling up on stage at the Lionel Roberts Stadium in a hospital bed, Hansby was accompanied by a nurse and doctor, while reigning Calypso monarch Patrick “De Soljah” Farrell held up his IV bag. Jumping up, Hansby began singing an inspirational song that thanked God for giving him another shot at life.
“it’s a fact, I know that, I was struggling on my back …. should I give up or keep on fighting,” Hansby sang. “Let me say, each and every day, now I go on my knees and pray, thanks, ‘cause you gave me a second chance.”
The song told the story of a young man that was able to live after landing in the hospital, but family friends talking about the performance afterward said Hansby was singing about his own experiences struggling with classes and grades in high school. He was able to bounce back and was inspired to write the song to give others the same hope, they said.
Ajahni “Soca Heavy II” Phillips, from Charlotte Amalie High School, picked up third place in the secondary competition this year, and Jo’nelle “Lady J” Hodge, representing Addelita Cancryn Junior High, won second.
In the intermediate division, Emanuel, a student at All Saints Cathedral School, also kept the tone positive with a song titled “Son of the Arts,” which paid tribute to calypso music and his family’s experience with it.
“If you ask me about my family you will see, how this art form comes through my veins naturally, calypso I will never, ever let you go,” Emanuel sang. “With great high self-esteem, I’m going to the extreme, hard work and love shall enhance me on this journey.”
Emanuel topped the intermediate division last year and was able to keep the crown with this year’s win.
Coming in third this year was Bertha C. Boschulte Middle School’s M’Kayla “Princess Kayla” Eustache, while Na’kai “the Young Professor” Berkeley from Addelita Cancryn Junior High was given the second place trophy for a song titled “Same Script.” Berkeley was a crowd favorite and got the packed audience in the Lionel Roberts Stadium going with lyrics that called out everyone from the territory’s senators to its new governor for maintaining the status quo in government.
“It seems like every election, they come with the same script for a different cast,” Berkeley sang.
In the primary division this, Jah’syi “the Mighty Jah’syi” Narcisse from Gladys Abraham Elementary was also able to keep his crown this year with another upbeat tune that called for positive role models to come out and “lay the foundation” for the territory’s youth. In the song, Narcisse spotlighted international leaders such as Ghandi and Martin Luther King Jr., along with local heroes such as Alvin McBean, Julian Jackson and Emile Griffith.
“Who’s going to lay the foundation for me?” Narcisse asked the crowd.
Coming in third in the primary division was Arturo “Lypso Turo” LaMotta from E. Benjamin Oliver Elementary. Amari “Amigos” Phillips from Lockhart Elementary came in second.