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Myney, the female Sparrow?
One day she aims to be “the female Sparrow.” Herminey Victor has been singing since she was a young girl growing up in Vincennes, St David’s, Grenada. She has already won the island’s Road March title and is keen on becoming a National Calypso Monarch as well. She admits that Sparrow has a profound influence on her as she has been listening to his music her entire life and considers him not just a living legend of Grenada but also of T&T and the entire Caribbean.
Victor, known in the soca world as Myney, was actually born in Trinidad, in Snake Valley, Laventille. She revealed: “My mom and dad are Grenadians so when I was three I went there with them. I went to the Anglican High School in St George’s. Most of my aunts and uncles made up the choir at St Theresa’s Church Choir and they influenced me a lot.
“I used to try and mimic what they sang. If they sang high, I would sing high, and if they went low, I would follow suit. At school I also got into singing with my classmates. We would get in trouble a lot because we would be more singing than studying.”
Now a solo singer, Victor has done a lot of performing with groups in Grenada, including the popular Frontpage.
“After so many years of singing with bands,” she said, “I felt that I needed to define myself as a singer and performer so I went solo in 2008. I won the Grenada Road March in 2008 with the song Ten Thousand Masqueraders, which I composed, and became the first female to ever win this title.
“Back then I really loved Fay Ann Lyons; her sense of style, her voice and her stage presence. Over the years I’ve made a conscious effort to be me and to have my own style.”
Victor describes her childhood as “fun,” adding, “I grew up with mom and dad, and five brothers but wasn’t much of a tomboy.” The 27-year-old Capricorn said: “I used to do girlish things as I thought by doing so I would get a baby sister.
As a little girl, my dad and I used to sing together a lot as he had an extensive collection of songs and remembered a lot of songs. I used to be amazed by how many songs he knew, and asked him how he did it. He would reply, “Listen child, listen.”
Travelling is one of Victor’s hobbies, so her winning the 2008 Grenada Road March provided her with the opportunity to do something she really loves.
She said: “As the Road March champion I was able to travel and perform in England; I went to Barbados and performed in the International Soca Monarch competition there, placing sixth; I also went to St Lucia, Antigua and Carriacou.”
Aside from travelling, Victor has other hobbies: “I also love cooking, interior decorating, dancing and watching cartoons. I enjoy cooking creole dishes like oil down, pelau, provision and saltfish souse, and dumplings and stew chicken. I love many cartoon characters but particularly love the Minions.”
After her successful debut year as a professional artiste, Victor continued to hone her composing and performing skills. She said: “I have been writing for other artistes, including a young lady in Barbados and the young soca artistes in Grenada. I would like to write for some of the Trinidad artistes as well.
“In 2015, I decided to try something new and try my hand at composing and singing calypso as opposed to soca. Unfortunately I didn’t make it to the final of the Grenada Monarch competition but it was a good experience for me, especially for the overwhelming response I received from the public and the radio stations.”
Victor has her sights set on topping the field in the Grenada calypso monarch competition and, in preparation for that island’s 2016 contest, she is wetting her feet in T&T Carnival. She disclosed that she has been resident in Trinidad since 2010, in Felicity, Chaguanas. “I actually came to Trinidad to study,” said Victor, “but, things got complicated, forcing me to hustle jobs while still singing locally and in Grenada.
“Grenadian female vocalists aren’t really represented in Trinidad so I am here to really open that gateway for them to enter.”
Victor’s soca song for T&T Carnival 2016 is Rollin’, produced by Adigun Productions in Grenada, and it is receiving favourable airplay locally.
“The song has been getting great reviews here,” said Victor.
“I performed at the launch of the International Soca Monarch in Port-of-Spain and the response to my performance was great, generating over 40,000 views on Facebook. I don’t have too many expectations with this song as it is supposed to be merely my introductory step in Trinidad Carnival.”
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