For the past days, singers, composers, and producers selected as judges of carnival songs have been given the daunting task of getting the right song which will become the hymn of the fifth edition of Carnaval International de Victoria 2015. When getting down to practicality, pressing on the play button of the stereo, and listening to thirteen carnival song entries seems to be every body’s cup of tea. But the tedious task imposed when sampling out the song one by one and putting their lyrics, themes, and beats under microscopic lenses, a meticulous task whereby the judges have to use their singers’, composers’, and producers’ second senses to task to get the right song.
For this fifth edition, the good sign is that more female singers have responded positively to the carnival song competition, compared to previous years. In terms of entries, a slight improvement has been observed with 13 in 2015, compare to about 10 in 2014.
But the judges were expecting more, in terms of the quality and standard of the end product. The entries fell short of the judges’ vision of “The’’ original carnival song. Through the eyes of the experts, Seychelles’ carnival song should reflect the colors, language, rhythm, and beats of the islands’ jovial Creole way of life.
Patrick Victor’s carnival song, “Carnaval de Carnavals” in 2011 managed to produce the ideal illustration of the judges’ vision of “the” carnival song. The John Wirtz and George Payet remake of the 1976 Independence Song which was made a hit in the 2013 carnival media campaign, is another good reference where one song presents the perfect blend of Seychelles beats, mood, and lyrics. It is true, that for the past two years, carnival songs have not managed to measure up to these successful tracks, which even up until today these lyrics are still crystal clear and as catchy as the day they were launched, to the young and old alike.
A new trend has been observed in these songs. Over the years the songs have been revolutionized; natural beats have been replaced with computerized, synchronized sounds. Brazilian and Trinidad and Tobago influences have overtaken Seychelles’ colorful Creole beats. Seychelles carnival songs have evolved with technology. For the better or for the worse? This question will be answered on February 7 at the Tequilla Boom Discotheque when the Carnaval International de Victoria song winner will be announced and the countdown will begin. It will then be up to the general public to decide and debate.
Seychelles is a founding member of the International Coalition of Tourism Partners (ICTP) .