Newcomer sweeps prizes in TSTT 2017 calypso monarch competition
Port of Spain, Trinidad, February 16, 2017
Social commentary carried off the top prizes in this year’s TSTT Employee Calypso Competition, held recently at the Nelson Exchange Carpark, while fun-filled melodies describing the company’s race to outpace its competitors added to the evening’s excitement.
CSR in the Microbusiness Department, Jezreel Jones, took the 2017 TSTT calypso monarch title and four other prizes for his dynamic composition “Trouble Shoot.” Wearing a bullet proof vest and supported by props in the form of two young men shooting at each other with toy guns, Jones personified “Trouble” shooting at Trinidad and Tobago.
“The song is a form of wordplay. When I started working with TSTT I was familiar with the term ‘troubleshoot’ a handset for a customer. The idea was to make Trinidad and Tobago better by troubleshooting it.”
Jones, who has been working at TSTT for about three years, also won the prizes for Best Lyrics, Best Self-Composed Song, Best Melody, and Best Newcomer.
“I was in total, complete shock…I did not expect to win, I did not expect to get so many prizes,” Jones said. He said he has already made plans to begin work on a new song for next year’s competition. “I see it as an obligation to defend my title.”
He praised the competition as “an excellent initiative”.
“It adds to the culture of calypso in Trinidad and Tobago. The preparation and the judges were professional,” said Jones, who has been performing in competitions since he was 11 years old.
TSTT’s VP Marketing Camille Campbell, who presented Jones with his prize for Best Melody, said, “I am happy for Mr. Jones that he swept the prizes on his first try in our competition.”
Jezreel’s challenge trophy of ‘Best Self-composed’ was sponsored by The Telephone Workers Credit Union, while his prize for ‘Best Newcomer’ was provided by Maraj And Sons Jewellers.
The event which is produced and executed by the Employee Engagement and Communication Section, has been in existence for over 35 years providing employees the opportunity to showcase talents that many persons in the company might not know they have. The Competition is certainly growing and it is anticipated that more employees will take the opportunity to participate next year.
Engineer in Field Operations – North West, Lemour Joseph, took the prize for Best TSTT Composition with her rendition, “Rebranding Party”. She also placed fourth overall. “I was bearing our rebranding process in mind and I felt the company needed a boost, a showpiece to carry them forward,” Ms. Joseph said. “So I decided to write something showing our new venture.”
Like Ms. Joseph, several of the other female competitors chose to focus on TSTT’s initiatives to remain the country’s no. 1 telecommunications provider, with some using props that made obvious references to TSTT’s competitors in a race with the company.
Last year’s winner, Carlton Louison, placed second this year with his song “God ain’t no Trini at all”. Explaining his composition, Louison said, “We like to say God is a Trini, but seeing how we as a society behaved over the past decade, …we have not lived up to God’s standards.”
He said his plan for next year is simply “to get back the title.” He is also hoping to make it to the finals of the Dimanche Gras, in which he is competing this year.
Crystal Toussaint took third place with her composition “Two-Faced” which dealt with child abuse cases locally.