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#CalypsoHistoryMonth: 5 calypsonians from Dominica you should know


Dominica may have one of the smallest populations in the Caribbean, but it has given the calypso world many talents and innovations.

Since the 1960s, Dominican calypsonians have been churning out the hits and experimenting with different sounds that resulted in the creation of a sub-genre of Calypso called Cadence-lypso.

Here are five calypsonians you should know from Dominica.

One can’t reference Calypso in Dominica without the name King Ency being brought into the conversation.

King Ency, born Norman Cyrille, holds a record six Calypso Monarch crowns which were won between 1980 and 1988.

Included in this almost decade of sweet Calypso music was his feat in winning three crowns back to back.

He was also the Road March King in 1982, 1984 and 1987.

Some of his beloved tunes include: "Watch Your Bottom”, “Bombers from South" and "Humble Servant".


Born Hayden Desiree, Lord Tokyo was a pioneer in the Calypso landscape of Dominica.

He is credited as being the first Dominican to locally record and release a single on vinyl with his song "De Man Doing de Pumpin”.

During his career, which spanned from 1960 until his death in 2015, he won the calypso monarch crown twice and he was a strong contender for the title multiple occasions.

Lord Tokyo has worked with the likes of the Mighty Sparrow and Lord Shorty (Ras Shorty I).

He helped Lord Shorty with the development of his song, “E Pete”, which is a mixture of calypso, cadence and creole patois and represented the Trinidadian music genius’ innovative way of mixing calypso with other genres and cultures.

King Dice


One of the young talents of modern Dominican calypso is King Dice.


King Dice, whose real name is Denison Joseph, is the youngest and only calypsonian to win the national monarch more than six times.

He is also the first to win five consecutive Road March titles.

King Dice is praised for his lyricism and high energy performances.

His most popular songs include "Tarzan", "Animal Farm”, "Puppet Master", "I Eh Fraid" and "Lights".

Solo

Another Calypsonian belonging to the “three-peat” club is Solo.

During the 1970s, Solo, born Melvin Constant ruled the Dominican calypso scene with several hard-hitting tunes such as "Black Man Leads the Way", “Janie Scandal” and “ Mass In The Cemetery” that spoke of issues facing Dominicans and the global community.

Solo continues to be active in the music industry at home and in the United States where he lives.

Tasha P

Calypso in Dominica has been male-dominated since the art form first began on the island.

But many women including the likes of Jahlee and Mighty Con Labby have risen above the adversity to pave the way for more female involvement.

One of the women walking in their footsteps is Tasha Peltier (Tasha P).

Tasha P is the first woman to win the National Calypso Monarch with her songs “It’s Woman Time” and “Let Children Be Children”.

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