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Champeon takes spot on soca stage

Friday, December 10, 2010
Soca artiste Champeon

The new age of soca is here. The new artistes are bubbling energetically, much to the joy of their young audience. A North Carolina resident of Trinbagonian heritage believes he’s got just what it takes to be among the new-age soca crowd. Meet Champeon, a 30-year-old music writer and vocalist. He’s been championing the soca cause in North Carolina, and in the past eight years he’s built up the momentum to bring what he’s got to the main forum for the art form, his homeland, T&T.

From writing to performing
Champeon, whose real name is Ronnel Ramirez, told the T&T Guardian he’s had a passion for soca music for most of his life, having been influenced by the icons of the art form, and contemporary soca stars like Bunji Garlin and soca king, Machel Montano. “I decided that since I could write the music, I should try performing. “When I did that, everyone realised that I was good and I was encouraged to start doing bigger things,” he said. In North Carolina, he joined up with a crew from his native land. They called themselves the Absentee Crew, and in 2002 Champeon said he got the opportunity to open at a show, which featured T&T soca artiste Sanell Dempster. From there, gigs in Miami opened up and since that time, he’s been striving to this juncture, where ahead of C2K11, he has offered two tracks—one groovy and the other, a power soca contender.

A man of many genres
The former resident of Mt Hope explained that he comfortably sang groovy and power soca, chutney and even reggae. His two songs for the upcoming season, Rub Me Down, the groovy which speaks of the need to ease the pain after the jump-up, and Move, which he said is all about the movement of our people, our festival, and even his life. He said they were both representations of what he believed he could offer the industry as the new age of soca developed. As a resident of the South Carolina, Champeon admitted that the soca market was very small as there aren’t many Caribbean people living in that particular state.
He said, however, the music was contagious and had been welcomed by the Americans who reside there. “My name is getting bigger in South Carolina. This year, I performed at the Charleston Carifest, which is similar to Caribana but on a smaller scale. It is growing, though,” said the father of two. Champeon told the T&T Guardian he believed that if soca music wasn’t seasonal, the world would have already known about it. “It starts in Trinidad. We have to play the music more, year round. We need to lessen down on the dancehall and other genres and play our own music and our new artistes,” he added.

To enter the monarch or not?
His stay in Trinidad, though brief, was aimed at releasing his new tracks. Champeon said he would return to T&T in late December or early January and for Carnival. “I haven’t quite made up my mind on whether I’ll be entering the Groovy and Power Monarch competitions, but I’m thinking about it,” he admitted. With tremendous spirit and the vibe of a true champion (pun intended), this new soca artiste invites everyone to be in tune to what he’s got to offer. “I have good music and I want to be able to represent my country through the music I sing,” he said.

• For more on Champeon, check out his Facebook profile
-—keyword: Champeon Champpeezy.


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