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Darryl “Farmer Nappy” Henry during his winning performance of “Backyard Jam” at the virtual 2021 International Soca Monarch ompetition on Friday night.

Sascha Wilson

In celebration of his first “iconic” win at the International Soca Monarch (ISM), Darryl “Farmer Nappy” Henry plans to have a live concert for his fans. In a telephone interview on Saturday, an elated Henry said all he cared about was winning the title.

“I just want to thank everybody. I just wanted the title. It is not about the money,” said an emotional Henry.

Dubbed “The Monarch” by the ISM, the pre-recorded competition was aired before a virtual audience on Friday. Henry outshone the ten other competitors with his hit “Backyard Jam” to claim the first prize of $150,000. Taking second place was Olatunji Yearwood with “Drunk History”, while third place went to Viking Ding Dong and Mical Teja with “Horning First”.

The third-place duo dedicated part of their performance to support the call for an end to violence against women. Although there was no live crowd, the artistes gave energetic performances with props, dancers, video presentations, and stage antics.

Henry, who spoke to Guardian Media, said, “I just wanted the title, is the title that important, is not about money. In this pandemic, this title is very iconic for everybody because this pandemic is like Rainorama when it rained out in January and the Carnival was in May. This is iconic, soca monarch and road march for me. So it was very important for me to get this, this year.”

He said the virtual competition was not strange to him. “It’s an experience, it’s like doing a video, you basically doing a video.” While there was no crowd, he said, “At the end of the day, you still had to do what you had to do. It went down good.”

Grateful for the public’s support, Henry said it was time for him to have his concert. “I want to have some celebration, some victory, something. But, I want to have it after Carnival and for the people, for South people, and for Trinidad. I want to say thanks very much to Navindra NH Promotions with my management for pulling this off with me.”

Despite the COVID-19 restrictions he is hoping to have a live audience at his concert. “Not no virtual. You see how the protocol is in NAPA and SAPA, where you could have a quarter of the people and stuff, is that I want. So if the Prime Minister lifts it a lil bit and it have more people, that will be just in my zone.

“But, I have to do it for the people them. Everybody keeps asking me when I doing my concert, but I feel the time is now for us to celebrate this.”

In a Facebook post before the show was televised, ISM’s creative director Simon Baptiste thanked the team and the contestants. “This message is to remind people who love our music, our culture, and our arts, that what you will witness in this two-hour televised event are human beings who will give their all to their performance. Most haven’t earned pay cheques in the last eight months because of the pandemic, and yet they did whatever was in their power: financially and creatively, to present their fans and our viewers with everything they could muster. Please don’t take that for granted.” He regretted, however, not being able to include regional and international artistes.