Machel Montano: The Soca Warrior

Born on November 24 1974, Machel Montano is a Soca singer, record producer and songwriter based in Trinidad and Tobago. Today, he is noted for his high energy, charismatic, fast-paced, upbeat and often unpredictable on-stage performances; and is the front man of the popular Soca band The HD Family.

Montano shot to fame in 1986 when he became the youngest finalist in the history of the Calypso Monarch Competition, singing the aptly titled single "Too Young to Soca". This started a phenomenal career that has spanned over two decades.

The former child star has further made history in March 2007 as the first Soca artist to sell out two back-to-back shows at New York City’s Madison Square Garden. He returned to the Madison Square on March 28, 2008 for yet another sold out affair. Machel has established himself as a true ambassador for Soca and Trinidad and Tobago's Carnival, by being the first Soca artiste to perform before sold out audiences at Madison Square Gardens.

He has recorded songs with some of the most esteemed, creative and popular artistes in calypso such as The Mighty Sparrow, Calypso Rose and Black Stalin. Moreover, his collaborations also include many of the Caribbean’s most popular performers and International acts of Soca, Rap, Dancehall and Reggae. This includes artistes such as Alison Hinds, Pitbull, Beenie Man, Canibus, Red Rat, Shaggy, Denise Belfon, KMC, Walker Hornung, Vybz Cartel, Buju Banton, Mr. Vegas, Fresh and Doug E.

Machel’s band has been re-invented several times. In 2007, the band adopted the name Machel Montano HD (High Definition). The re-branding included a sophisticated HD tour bus, the only one of its kind in Trinidad and Tobago, complete with bedroom, bathroom facilities, internet access and an expansive audio/visual system. Just when fans thought that he had reached the pinnacle of his career, they were in for a new and improved Machel – HD style. Machel's style of music is constantly evolving, each year bringing new concepts and fresh performances. One of the biggest hits of Trinidad and Tobago’s (T&T) Carnival 2008 was Machel Montano’s irresistibly upbeat “Blazin D Trail.”

The visionary and versatile entertainer continued to raise the bar in 2009. Machel launched a children’s book entitled Boy Boy and the Magic Drum which served as a map to his first ever Carnival Children’s Show/Musical which bears the same name. Also that year, Montano released several new songs including "Raving" and "Mesmerize" along with exciting collaborations with Patrice Roberts, Lil Jon and new member to the HD Family, Umi Marcano.

Over the past 26 years, the single constant in Machel’s ever-changing, stellar career has been his trailblazing approach to T&T’s indigenous Soca music. He now stands as one of the most well-known Soca acts in the world, using his leverage as an artist able to sell-out shows. The song’s lyrics capture the effervescence of carnival’s climactic street parade, while its title provides an accurate summation of Machel’s exhaustive musical pursuits.

Montano is very well known in New York and has had sold out concerts in Madison Square Gardens multiple times. Machel has worked tirelessly to establish Soca as a viable entity that can impact beyond Trinidad and Tobago’s internationally renowned carnival celebrations. He now resides in Los Angeles where he is bringing the name and vibe of Soca to the rest of the world.  Navito (The Caribbean Current)



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