Mr Killa

Mr Killa took the title in the Power Soca segment. —Photo: JERMAINE CRUICKSHANK

THE International Soca Monarch (ISM) competition has been dealt another blow with the withdrawal of defending champion Mr Killa.

Mr Killa (Hollis Mapp) announced his decision to pull out of not only the 2020 competition but all future competitions via a statement on social media yesterday.

This comes weeks after soca star Fay-Ann Lyons-Alvarez stepped down as chairman of the event, citing a lack of time and tools to properly organise the show.

In his statement, Mr Killa cited similar concerns, saying he had not been provided with the information and tools necessary to put on a quality performance.

Mr Killa took the ISM (Power) title last year with his energetic song, “Run Wid It”.

He said he was looking forward to defending the title this year, but it was with “great regret” that he had to step down.

“As the reigning Power Soca Monarch King, I was eager to defend my crown but I regret that my declaration was not met with the approval or acknowledgement of the officials sta­ging the competition,” he said.

“Since arriving in Trinidad and Tobago over a month ago, my team and I have been deprived of the details and tools necessary for me to properly prepare for my performance. As it is commonly known, I give nothing less than 100 per cent for each and every performance and my team and I have come to the unfortunate conclusion that it will not be possible to do so in this year’s competition.”

The ISM finals takes place on February 22.

‘Disappointing experience’

Mr Killa said the ISM seemed to be in a transitional period following Fay-Ann’s resignation.

Chief executive officer of Question Mark Entertainment Simon Baptiste was subsequently appointed as creative director of the event.

Mr Killa expressed disappointment with his experience thus far.

“My team and I have had a similar experience (to Fay-Ann) and we have chosen not to compromise my performance or the expectations of the fans,” he explained.

Mr Killa, a Grenadian national, said he cherished T&T for embracing him and enabling him to become the first non-T&T citizen to win the ISM Power Soca Monarch title.

“This was impactful not just for me personally but for the genre as it heralded that soca music had finally been embraced as an international product that had expanded beyond the shores of its birthplace of Trinidad and Tobago,” he said.

He added his focus would now return to recording and releasing new music.

“I sincerely wish the best for the ISM, its new chairman and the remaining competitors, but I will refrain from this and future competitions and instead return my focus to continuing to record, release and perform quality soca music to the best of my ability.”

Efforts to contact ISM creative director Simon Baptiste were unsuccessful yesterday.

He was quoted in an online report that he felt it was unfortunate that Mr Killa had pulled out of the finals.