The National Cultural Foundation
St. James, Barbados
It was in the wee hours of the morning on Sunday, July 22, 2018 that Dequon Alleyne, stage name Quon, began his reign as the Scotiabank Junior Calypso Monarch. His was a true story of strength of character, determination, of a passion for the Calypso art form and a quality performance that won him the crown. ‘Why I Sing,’ the song that clinched it for him was not just a good melody with some touching lyrics, but it was his journey, his memories, he felt it and meant every word.
This Sunday, February 24, 2019 about nine days after of his 18th birthday, Quon will be departing these shores heading to the twin island republic Trinidad & Tobago, for what has become a norm in the tenure of the junior monarchy representing Barbados during the Trinidad Carnival. This year the monarch will be escorted by National Cultural Foundation (NCF) chaperone Miss Karen Oliver.
It is an exchange programme made possible compliments the Trinbago Unified Calypsonians’ Organisation (TUCO) North Zone affording the reigning Scotiabank Junior Calypso Monarch the opportunity to perform on the Trinidadian National Junior Calypso Monarch Final stage and at a Roving Tent. Likewise, the Trinidad Junior Monarch will be expected to perform at the Junior Finals here in Barbados later in the year as part of this reciprocal arrangement.
Quon was at the NCF headquarters in West Terrace, St. James on Monday, February 18 to collect his travel documents and was accompanied by his dad Don Alleyne as the NCF CEO, Mrs. Carol Roberts-Reifer walked him through what would be required of him on his Trinidad trip to represent Barbados. The CEO engaged Quon in a light discussion on a variety of topics pertaining to his interests in the competition art forms, his future generally and on junior monarch specifically.
Even though he is still yet to decide, Mrs. Roberts-Reifer was elated to discover that Quon may be considering a run for the senior title in the Pic-O-De-Crop Competition as well as defending his Junior Calypso Monarch title and on further quizzing without giving a definitive response, he expressed a keen interest in competing in Sweet Soca not necessarily for 2019, but certainly on the cards for the future.
Roberts-Reifer an avid reader herself and always a proponent of writing, probed the young monarch on his interest in songwriting and threw out a challenge for him to consider getting into the field. She urged, “Consider writing your own songs, at least try it and show it to a mentor who will give you good advice and criticism, because not all criticism has to be negative, but just keep working at it.”
The NCF CEO went on to clarify why she was making the suggestion pinpointing the need to hear what the younger generation is really thinking as opposed to what people write for them. To which Quon responded gleefully that he is a part of the process, he thinks about what he wants to sing and say and then sits with the songwriter to discuss his topic, ideas and style.
A notable step in the right direction for the CEO since the objective of the Junior Calypso Monarch programme is to create a well-rounded artiste, not just the performer, but the songwriter, articulate speaker and if possible that individual with a musical mind that will continue to build on the legacy of Kaiso.
Dad Mr. Don Alleyne who was looking on proudly during the discussion, joined in when prompted by the CEO to add that Quon, the third of his four sons is a very good boy, describing him with a smile, as the only one of his children with a love for Calypso.
Alleyne, a former Calypsonian himself with the sobriquet ‘Burn Cane’ said that his son showed a particular interest in the art form from a very young age. “When he was probably about 3 to 4 years old, he would grab the microphone at home and sing sometimes not even in words you could understand, but regardless he was putting on a show,” he added. Quon had it in him from a babe so it was no surprise to his dad that he continued at it and is at this stage today.
The NCF CEO wished the young monarch the best of luck on his travels, with the parting words represent Barbados and do it well.
Written by: ncf_boss