The International Soca Monarch
competition is an annual dual-contest soca music
event, the finals of which are held on every Carnival Friday in Trinidad and Tobago. Contestants in the event may vie for two separate crowns or titles, the International Soca Monarch
for uptempo songs, and International Groovy Soca Monarch
for slower-paced songs. Recently an additional award has been added, called the People's Choice
, which involves text message voting by bmobile
subscribers. Subscribers can vote multiple times for their favorite artist during the competition and the artist who receives the most votes is given an additional cash prize.
The International Soca Monarch competition has become the mecca of soca artists in Trinidad where the event has been hosted since its inception; and the region, as many artists who have competed on its stage have moved on to successful careers. Dubbed the "Super Bowl of soca music" it is also a highly anticipated and well-attended event that has been graced with such internationally acclaimed recording artists as Machel Montano
, Maxi Priest
, Alison Hinds
, Destra Garcia
to name a few.
from around the region and the world are eligible to compete in the preliminary round of the competition and must attain the required number of points to advance into the semi-finals and subsequently the finals which is an action-packed event that is televised and broadcast live to viewers in Trinidad and Tobago, the Caribbean and other regions of the world. The show is also streamed online and is said to reach more than 150 mi.
Began in 1993 as a local competition for soca artists in Trinidad and Tobago, called the Soca Monarch, the event quickly grew in popularity as it always featured the more popular artists and favored songs for each Carnival season. It was redubbed The International Soca Monarch when for the first time acts from around the world became eligible to compete for a place in the finals and a chance at the envied title of Soca Monarch.
At the inception of the competition, all soca artists competed for the same prize. In its current format, a distinction has been made between faster-paced soca songs and their slower counterparts which can still become crowd favorites. Therefore, since 2001 artists with these slower-paced songs now have a chance to compete separately from the usually more hyped-up Power soca songs/artists, and vie for a different title, the International Groovy Soca Monarch
. Therein is a sign of the evolution of soca music into two sub-genres.