By Nigel Collymore
Thaip ‘Bunty’ Singh has emerged as this year’s Chutney Monarch with his popular song “She Want Me Be She Raja”.
At the Better Hope Community Center ground, East Coast Demerara Saturday night, Singh captured the hearts of the judges while last year’s winner Stephen Ramphal placed second.
The song tells a tale of the women he would constantly have to fight off in order to remain faithful to his wife.
The Chutney King faced an uphill battle from the start of the night as he delivered the competition’s opening performance to what was at the time a very small crowd.
This, however, did not hurt Singh’s confidence.
“Going first was a disadvantage for me so I had to bring my ‘A’ game. The ministry has set the competition up in such a way that you have to impress and you have to invest.
“Winning was not a hard road for me because my song gained the most views on YouTube so the support is there. I love music, I could give my soul and my heart out for the music and for people who are in my field,” the Chutney King told the News Room after winning.
The competition took an emotional turn when defending titleholder Stephen Ramphal took the stage.
From the first few notes uttered by Ramphal, it was evident that his vocal plea for unity was met with serious challenges.
Ramphal battled to get through the performance of his song ‘Jo Saneet Main Gaata’, but nearing the end, the almost incapacitated artiste could no longer stand and had to be placed on a stretcher backstage before being taken to his tent for treatment.
Ramphal’s team told the News Room that the young man was fighting a tonsil ailment that worsened as a result of pushing his voice despite having a serious cold.
After gathering himself to collect his prize, Ramphal told the News Room that he performed against his doctor’s orders.
“I was told not to perform at the Monarch. But I had a message to share, I like to challenge myself and God knows I challenged myself tonight, my voice will not stop me from doing what I got to do.
Meanwhile, grabbing third place was a newcomer to the Chutney stage Remesh Brijnauth aka Tony Cuttz.
His song ‘Neighbour roti’ highlighted his love for a cultural Indian dish, sharing valuable moments shared with his family and friends.
“I was nervous as hell, we had big names like Bunty and Stephen and I’m just a newcomer. It was really exciting but I was so nervous, third place is an encouragement; next year I will come stronger.”