Ragga Soca Monarch results
- 1st Fimber “Fimba” Jardine — “Funky Business”
- 2nd Hance John — “Déjà Vu”
- 3rd Jamarie “L Pank” Stapleton — “Whole Night”
New York-based Vincentian soca artiste Fimber “Fimba” Jardine showed Saturday night that minding your “Funky Business” is, indeed, a winning strategy.
But Hance John, the defeated monarch and his fans, as evidenced by some social media posts, are also thinking “‘Déjà vu’ — yet again, we thought we had this one.”
For Fimba’s simple presentation of “Funky Business” staved off all 12 contenders for the Ragga Soca Monarch crown at Victoria Park.
The artiste’s presentation focused heavily on his singing with a few dancers in the background.
It seems that even if he had intentions to produce a more elaborate presentation, time would not have allowed him to.
Fimba arrived in St. Vincent from New York at 6:30 p.m., just two and a half hours ahead of the scheduled 9 p.m. start of the show. He, therefore, did not have enough time to even do a sound check with the band.
But he went on to win the Ragga Soca Monarch crown on his first try.
“It feels great! It feels great!” he told iWitness News after his crowning shortly after 6 a.m. Sunday, adding that he was “not really expecting to win”.
“Because I didn’t rehearse with the band,” he explained, adding that he had landed in St. Vincent on a flight from Barbados that went through Bequia.
“I try to rush straight here to get a little sound check, couldn’t make it happen, had to run straight home, come right back here and then, bow, I was first, so it was rough for me,” he said in the interview shortly after his crowning about nine hours after the Ragga and Power Soca Monarch finals show began.
“I wasn’t really expecting [to win] because I never rehearsed with the band, not one time.”
He, however, agreed that the song is a big song.
“It is, but sometimes it’s so much stuff that you got to work out with the band and with everybody and with everything that it was difficult to come here and perform that song with a band you never rehearsed with.”
What would become Fimba’s hit song began on a trip that he and fellow ragga soca artiste, Shernelle “Skarpyon” Williams — a finalist in Saturday’s show — made to Ontario, Canada last October.
“And he said he has a track for me — because he always believed in me and believed in what I am doing — and he played the song for me and I liked it,” Fimba recounted.
“When he played it for me, automatically, I just went into ‘Well, I doh care what people wanna say’,” Fimba said, quoting what is now the famous first line of the popular song, which is a chant to people to mind their own “Funky Business”.
“And I just kept that and from that, it was like, bow! Like I said, the song found me. I didn’t find it. I never wrote the song on paper,” said Fimba, whose calypso career began in the 1980s in the Junior Calypso Competition, which he won once as a Cane End Primary School student.
His song, written by Gerard “Rasum” Shallow, was “Be Yourself”.
Fimba went on to make the Soca Monarch finals four times. He also sang “Steel Bottom”, “That’s Why You Get Horn” with Adrian Bailey and “Me Nah Eat”.
The artiste has been living in the Unites States for about 14 years and has a family there.
He is also in the entertainment business there, in addition to his regular job.
But during Vincy Mas, he has been making weekly trips to his home country.
“Since Mespo carnival weekend, I was back and forth here every weekend because I got my family, I got my kids, I got a life [in New York], so I can’t come here and just bleach and let my life stop right there. I’ve been paying out my pocket flying back and forth here every weekend.”
And even as he has secured his first major success, Fimba is already considering how he can help other artistes.
“The only way from here is to see who I can bring up with me at the same time, see who I can help in the business, because it can’t continue along this line for long and not have somebody I can say, ‘Hey, I helped this person up or pulled this one up. I just see myself helping people right now, because, trust me, there is a lot of work in this right here,” he told iWitness News.