Neil “Iwer” George

Neil “Iwer” George.

The Most Consistent Artiste in the History of Soca.

That’s the only title missing from his laden musical war chest, says soca veteran Neil “Iwer” George.

Of course, that’s not a real title up for grabs this Carnival 2023. Instead its one made up by the Point Fortin-born living soca legend. And one he believes he has earned.

“I want to be known as the most consistent artiste in the history of soca. Give me that award and I will be happy,” a cheeky Iwer said during a phone interview with the Kitcharee on Friday.

Pressed on who exactly should present him with that award, Iwer replied “there is only one man” that could ever bestow such an illustrious and immeasurable title.

“God!” he blurted as if it was the most obvious response in the world.

“Thas not a title men could sit down and discuss. That is a direct blessing from God. And I deserve it for my consistency,” he added emphatically.

It’s hard to refute that argument. For nearly four decades Iwer has been a staple in Carnival, delivering not just fete and road hits, but building a lifelong affinity with grassroots fans of the genre.

In celebration of that relationship, he has released “The People & Iwer”, a jump-and-wave ode to his loyal brigade. The Andrew “Hitz” Phillip-produced track has been connecting deeply with fans everywhere Iwer has been this season.

Iwer has released two other tracks “Show Love” which features KMC (Ken Marlon Charles) and is produced by Badjohn Republic & Aromatic Beats while the Badjohn Republic, XplicitMevon and AdvoKit Productions team up “Jump Up Nah”.

The unbreakable connection he shares with fans of soca across the globe is a testament to the love he has poured into the craft, Iwer reasons.

“Ah have real love for it. I came in soca as a young child and I pay attention and learn. Every day, everything I go through and I see (other) artiste go through I learn and I try not to make the same mistakes dem make,” he revealed.

Iwer plans to celebrate the “Mother of All Carnivals” with back-to-back concerts entitled “Carnival Come Back Again” on Carnival Monday and Tuesday. He will first host masqueraders and feters on Monday at the Queen’s Hall garden from 6 p.m. to 3 a.m. Masqueraders are invited to join him on the Tuesday from 6 p.m. to midnight for a las-lap soca event

Calling for his dues

Putting on shows of that magnitude is a privilege Iwer has had to earn.

For the first decade and a half of his career Iwer George was soca’s nearly man. He lived at the pinnacle of the genre with potent fete-shaking material, but always seemed to fall short of his ultimate goal of winning the International Soca Monarch title.

In 2003 all that changed when he copped his first ISM crown with “Ah Home”. Four short years later he was again soca’s apex predator this time with the undeniable “Fete After Fete” chant. But being the frontrunner never really suited Iwer nor his fans and by 2012 he was back to lamenting an unfair system with “No Pain” leading a choir of his fans singing “If yuh feel they rob meh las year put yuh two hands in de air”.

Unable to complain anymore about ISM Iwer now turned his attention to the Road March title. After a series of nearly wins, he finally took that crown in 2020 with his raucous-inspiring fete-turner with Kees Dieffenthaller “Stage Gone Bad”.

Iwer smirked at the mention of him still being the Road March king due to the pandemic and all its restrictions on Carnival.

“One thing about soca, once you sow you will reap. The fact that He (God) didn’t give me before now is HE make sure he give me in abundance,” Iwer quipped.

It would appear Iwer has also been blessed with hale health. Remarkably at 58 he is still able to deliver more high energy performances than men half his age.

“Well I have been bruk up in the past eh. A bruck up meh back, knee, ah went through everything. The ting is I know what I have to do. I doh allow myself to get too heavy cause I know it go damage meh knees.

“So, I wake up every morning 5 a.m. and I spend a lot of time praying in the morning. By six I doin meh exercises, which is mostly stretching. And well I love to walk my pets,” he shared.

Monk, the monkey and Puppy Duck the dog, are Iwer’s “best friends” in the world.

They keep me happy and bring joy to my heart. They are real friends,” he said sentimentally.

“What I like about dem being my friends is dey doh tote or sell out my stories,” he added with a mischievous laugh.

Iwer says he saves all his cardio for the stage and challenged everyone to find anyone who sweats as much as he does during a performance.

“The stage is really my cardio; 30 minutes of stage is a lot of sweat. Nobody in Trinidad and Tobago does sweat like me, not even footballers,” he chuckled.

At a recent event Iwer introduced his son Marlon to sing one of his songs followed by an original. With his father at his side the young George moved the crowd during a good showing. Iwer says he has “six more from where that come from”.

“I have seven kids and Marlon is one of seven succession plans. All of them in music, write music and perform. Which one or ones of the kids will get the blessings I will leave it up to God. What I know is if they never make a hit of their own they could sing they father song and be rich like Bob Marley children. That’s the legacy I’m leaving them and T&T,” Iwer concluded.

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The Most Consistent Artiste in the History of Soca.

That’s the only title missing from his laden musical war chest, says soca veteran Neil “Iwer” George.

Of course, that’s not a real title up for grabs this Carnival 2023. Instead its one made up by the Point Fortin-born living soca legend. And one he believes he has earned.

“I want to be known as the most consistent artiste in the history of soca. Give me that award and I will be happy,” a cheeky Iwer said during a phone interview with the Kitcharee on Friday.