Home' Trinidad and Tobago Guardian : January 28th 2016 Contents B1
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Though not yet 30, Amrika
Mutroo can be regarded as a vet-
eran in the calypso business.
Mutroo is a 27-year-old Theatre Arts
teacher who has been performing for the
past 22 years in the field of calypso. On
Monday, January 18, Mutroo was crowned
the 2016 National Calypso Queen, at
Queen s Hall St Ann s, defeating 19 rivals.
Mutroo, who sang All Lives Matter, was
interviewed by T&T Guardian Entertain-
ment Editor PETER RAY BLOOD after
Q: Where did you attend school?
A: Little Lamb Pre School, Melville
Memorial primary school, Belmont Junior
Sec for two terms, Woodbrook Sec for four
years and then South East POS for 6th
Where did you grow up? Where do
you live at present?
I was born at Mount Hope, St Joseph,
stayed in Arima, St Joseph and Sangre
Grande for short periods before moving
to Belmont for about 17 years of my life.
I currently reside in Aranguez, San Juan.
Can you share a little about your
I have one little big brother and a very
loving, supportive mom.
When did you start singing/per-
I started performing at pre-school at
Little Lamb at around the age of four. I
was always getting lead roles at Christmas
time and graduation when older children
had to leave the school. After pre-school
I then moved on to primary school where
I heard Michelle Henry rehearsing her
calypso with Mrs Michelle Hazell and from
there my mom took the initiative after
realising I was singing down Michelle s
song from start to finish. This was 22 years
How did you get started in calypso?
Why calypso? Do you sing other gen-
res of music?
I don t think I chose calypso; I think it
chose me. After being around so many
other genres, my mom would play cassettes
in the house with music from Kenny
Rogers, Celine Dion, David Rudder, Gloria
Estefan, and then, being exposed to music
in the streets of my neighborhood, from
rap to dancehall and hip hop.
In school Mrs Hazell ran a choir which
also included a diverse range of music from
folk to parang. And then, while she was
training Michelle for calypso, I just at that
time got involved. The nature of compet-
ing---the preparation and the anxiety---
added up to much support, and took me
down the road to never giving up in calyp-
so. I realised that the love for the stage
and the feeling I had inside when I delivered
my music is what kept me going at it year
How long have you been singing
What are some of your achieve-
I ve sung calypso for 22 years. I ve won
titles and performed at events including
the NYAC Pioneers competition, Pathfind-
ers, Young Composers, Arima, Tunapuna
and Laventille Junior Monarch.
When I moved on to the seniors category,
I held titles such as Arima, Arouca, Man-
zanilla, Laventille, Sangre Grande, Valencia
and San Juan Calypso Monarch. One of
my greatest achievements in calypso was
bringing home the title of Ms Talent
Princess of the World after competing
against 42 different countries in Prague,
Czech Republic. I won with my own com-
position titled Just Me. I believe not only
in progressing and in working hard to
achieve, but also in paying forward and
giving back. Talent is God-given; be hum-
ble, wise, worthy and powerful.
How was this year s Queens final?
It was an honour, again, to make it for
the second time in the finals. The show
was fantastic; the queens were prepared
to perform their best and we were all very
supportive of each other as we maintained
an open group on Whats App where we
would share motivational quotes and wish
each other good morning and good night;
have sweet conversations which included
some serious topics as well as sharing jokes
and remedies for the flu.
How confident were you?
I was very confident in my performance
this year and from the start I believed in
my song, so my purpose was to deliver
what my heart and soul were feeling.
What did you sing? Composed by
I sang a calypso entitled All Lives Matter
composed by Christophe Grant, who wrote
based on all the issues I brought to his
attention that were of a grave concern to
me in the world today.
How does it feel to be a Calypso
Queen, alongside the likes of Calypso
Rose and Singing Diane?
It is very humbling. I ve been in this
industry for 22 years and only some know
Amrika Mutroo aims for the Big Yard
for a queen
was crowned the
on January 18.
LONDON---Joseph Fiennes will star as
Michael Jackson in a one-off TV comedy
set to broadcast later this year--- a
casting decision that has added fuel to a
raging debate about opportunities for
non-white actors in movies and TV.
The white British star of Shakespeare
in Love plays the black King of Pop in
Elizabeth, Michael & Marlon, alongside
Stockard Channing as Elizabeth Taylor
and Brian Cox as Marlon Brando.
The script is based on a---possibly
fictitious---road trip the three stars are
rumoured to have made in an attempt to
leave New York after the Sept. 11 attacks.
Sky Arts, which commissioned the
drama, confirmed the casting and said
Wednesday that the show is in post-
production and is due to air in 2016.
Jackson had vitiligo, a condition that
causes patchy loss of skin pigmentation,
and his complexion lightened dramatically
as he grew older. He died in 2009 aged
50.The casting news comes amid a debate
about lack of diversity in Hollywood,
sparked by an all-white slate of Academy
Awards acting nominees. (AP)
Joseph Fiennes to play Michael Jackson in TV drama
Continues on Page B7
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