The winner of this year’s Chutney Soca Monarch will walk away with $300,000 in cash as a first prize, while the second and third place will get $100,000 and $70,000 respectively, a statement by the organiser, Southex said.
All other competitors will receive $35,000 each.
The prizes were confirmed by the Ministry of Community Development, Culture and the Arts.
Southex says a sum of $750,000 has been allocated to the prizes for Chutney Soca Monarch 2018.
Ravi B will not be defending his title this year, however Omadath Maharaj, the other joint 2017 winner has confirmed that he will be defending.
Citing personal reasons for not defending his title, Ravi B and Karma will however be the featured opening act at the 2018 Chutney Soca Monarch.
They will be joined by Nailah Blackman and the Khalnayak Dance Academy, all featured in what should be one of the most hyped, energetic openings of the Chutney Soca Monarch.
Eleven of the biggest names in the Chutney Soca arena will compete for the title on Saturday 27th January at Skinner Park in San Fernando.
The Chutney Soca Monarch is in it’s 23rd year and is the most important Indo-Caribbean event in the world.
The winners of this competition go on to stages across the region and the world representing not only the unique genre of music but also Trinidad & Tobago as ambassadors of our music and culture.
Ravi B's letter is below:
"While it has always been my dream to be a beacon of change to Chutney-Soca music in Trinidad and Tobago, it has also been my wish to see the growth of the Chutney-Soca Industry to match the standards of other established music industries.
In doing so, I have decided to do some self-analysis which can serve in the Industry's best interest.
Apart from the usual, entering the largest Chutney-Soca Competition, the "Chutney Soca Monarch" I also place great emphasis in the annual operation of my band Karma and working closely with some of the younger artistes that show great potential.
That being said, my decision for 2018 has been made with two (2) main objectives: the re-branding of my band Karma and the creation of opportunities for the younger artistes to showcase their talent. Therefore I will not be defending the CSM this year.
To the well-wishers and supporters of my music, I wish to thank you for your support in the previous years, I know this may be disappointing to you but I will return in the near future.
I wish to thank George Singh for having such an avenue where we as Chutney-Soca Artistes are able to compete respectively, giving our best show to our fans worldwide. My Best Wishes to all artistes entering the CSM in 2018."