Three peat for Ricky T!

2011 triple king Ricky T on stage after the Party Monarch results were announced.

Ricky T’s success in 2011 is an example of resilience,  hard work and determination, even when all the chips are stacked against you. And work hard he did!
Looking back at his career between say 2006 to the present, a few things quickly comes to mind. The first is that karma can be a bitch as they say. The second thing is how singer Jimmy Cliff incorporates Mary Howitt’s poem “The spider and the fly” in his song “You can’t keep a good man down.” Cliff sings; “Oh come into my parlor/said the spider to the fly/ without this here parlor/you can never get by/but I said I don’t trust no shadow/trust no shadows of a doubt/your parlor is looking nice/but I’m not one you can tie/Oh I know you can’t keep a good man down/no you can’t keep a good man down…”
“What’s the analogy, the link?” you may ask. It appears that the road has been more than just rocky for Ricky T over the years with his success having attracted several spiders that have lured him into their parlor of selfish gain. And when there seems to be attempts to break him free from the webs of deceptions, those same spiders appear to be vengeful, stopping at nothing to keep Ricky T and his talent down.
That Ricky T has been a constant target of contempt by conspirators is not any Looshan urban legend. It is a fact that can be proven with some of the negative text messages and e-mails which the artiste has received. Some of the crimson spiders have gone even further to verbally malign the artiste within their circles.
Is Ricky T perfect? No! He is certainly a work in progress, but someone with immense talent which can be groomed and directed along the right path.
In 2006, Ricky T won first Road March with “Container” produced by 758. The following year, he signed with 758/SLU Records and wins the Road March again with “Pressure Boom,” his biggest hit to date locally, regionally and internationally. He then toured extensively and is even embraced by Machel and his HD camp who takes Ricky T all the way to Madison Square Gardens in 2008. That same year Ricky T scored a hat trick; Power Soca Monarch, Caribbean Soca Monarch and Road March with “Wheel and Come Again.”  Questions started to arise over his personal earnings over what his team was making and whether there was a solid contract in place. Several of the disputes got played out in the local media in 2009 following his Soca Monarch victory with the 758 produced “Like a Jumbie.” Following accusations by Ricky T that he felt the team was no longer behind him, 758 decided not to renew any said contract and went further by attempting to bar him legally from singing “Jumbie” in Trinidad for the 2010 international Soca Monarch.
In 2010 Ricky T sought out a new manager in the person of Ian Sanchez and a new producer Imran Simmons, an acclaimed pannist and arranger for Diamond Steel. They came up with “Cyar Stop me” a song chronicling his discontent with his former camp and placed second at the Power Soca Monarch to 758’s DJ HP, but won the Caribbean Soca Monarch.
This Carnival season, with old wounds yet to heal, Ricky T’s camp expressed to this writer his intention to take part in the Calypso competition, groovy and power Soca monarch competitions. Ricky T then released in May, 2011 his first calypso “My sock,” which immediately spawns an e-mail from an unidentified sender which seeks to castigate the singer about his lyrical content, urging persons and their children not to support or listen to him. The e-mail is carried by one newspaper. However, the “Tizzle” and his camp presses on and releases “What causing That,” “Mad Ting” and the groovy “Indian Girl.” Still, for at least the first four weeks into release the songs received limited airplay. With several DJ’s now in the soca pot and affiliated to various camps, persons with far less talent and creativity were getting more airplay and false “forward” on air than Ricky T. (more on this later).
Two weeks ahead of Carnival Ricky T himself lands into hot water during the Power Soca Monarch prelims. During his performance he asked fans to run out of venue and return with a Bounty tent following similar antics by Sir Lancealot and Superman HD. But more pressure would come still, when one of the directors of Red Unlimited who is also a member of the Carnival committee took to the airwaves to explain why (after calls from certain quarters) Ricky T was not on their annual “Color me Red” show featuring headliner Machel HD. The explanation had to do with what was deemed the artiste’s attitude towards payment at a past Red Unlimited event. However the comments may have only inflated Ricky T’s public support. On Wednesday July 13, the night of the Machel event, Ricky T is in the audience as a normal patron having not been granted the courtesy of a pass. On stage, the Trinidadian soca giant points out Ricky T and calls for him to join on stage later where the two performed “Pressure.” Some of the organizers appear stupefied but the audience loves it and Machel brings him back to “mash up,” referring to him as the Soca king of Saint Lucia.
The following day, Thursday July 14, Ricky T snatches the Groovy Soca Monarch title with an amazing performance of “Indian Girl.” Then on Saturday July 16 he cops the Power Soca Monarch title with “Mad Ting.” And on Wednesday July 20th following two days of the parade of the bands and last lap jump up, Ricky T was awarded the Road March title.
“Do you feel vindicated?” I asked him on the night. “Well I am very happy to tell you the truth, no negative vibes, not holding anything against anyone, just happy,” he expressed. “At first it was a little tough in the season, not really hearing my songs and just some of the negative vibes, but thanks to my management and my friends you know they helped me to stay focus,” he went on. “So this victory is not just for me but for the fans that have stood with me and my supporters, but first I must give thanks for to the most high he is the one who has really been there for me. And I really want to big up Mr Ian Sanchez, my father, TOT, Aftermath, Block X, my Faux a Chaux and Marchand posse, my family, Mongstar, Ambi and of course all the other Soca artsitse,” he says. Asked about the future Ricky T says; “I am just looking forward to moving ahead with my career performing all over representing Saint Lucia and I hope we can just come together and have a better carnival next season and just allow the artistes to eat a bread during the season regardless of which camp.”

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