The baton of competitive soca supremacy was well and truly passed, following the results of the Power and Groovy International Soca Monarch competitions, at the Hasely Crawford Stadium, Port of Spain, on Friday night.

Power Soca champion Machel “Monk Monte” Montano successfully defended his crown, for what he says
is the final time before passing the reins to new Groovy Soca Mon­arch Olatunji Yearwood.

Montano said while he remains a source of support for all local artistes of all genres who are seeking advice and direction, he has firmly set his sights on his lifelong dream of winning a Grammy award and taking his music to mainstream inter­na­tion­al markets.

“I want to make soca music now to touch the world. I believe we have something to offer and I believe now is the time. I believe we are being guided to do so and I want to follow that guidance,” Montano said follow­ing his win on Friday.

The five-time Power Soca mon­arch and two-time Groovy Soca mon­arch said the time was right to change lanes and step away from the competitive arena.

“The whole Soca Monarch battle is no longer for me. I don’t believe I have anything to battle anymore. I always compete with myself and right now, myself challenging me to win a Grammy,” he said with a coy smile.

Montano told the Sunday Express he has reformatted his management team and his approach to his music, all with the aim of finding the right sound that will bring the level of international success that has eluded his grasp.

“The first, most important thing is to retreat into ourselves, into the music so deep that we can bring out a body of work, an album that we think is ready for international success. It’s about making soca a little more palatable, and with the team we have behind us, we are now well on our way to achieving that,” he said.