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Southex CEO and promoter George Singh, left, presents 2020 Chutney Soca Monarch Imran “GI” Beharry with his cheque of $300,000.

Chutney Soca Monarch 2021 will be going virtual.

And founder George Singh said their online audience has grown exponentially.

In fact, he believes the COVID-19 pandemic has opened a lot of doors for the industry, and he is making sure that the Chutney Soca Monarch is poised to take advantage of those opportunities.

The 2021 show will be pre-recorded but will be broadcast “delayed-live” meaning any disruptions in the show will be edited out.

But Singh said performances will be shown in full.

Artistes will still have to perform in one shot as if the programme was live.

Singh said in the last ten years they realised, while a live audience creates a vibe at the show that can be difficult to replace, the online audience for the show was growing at a much faster rate.

“That can vary from 50,000 to 100,000 live viewers,” he said.

But these events have a life that extend beyond their original broadcast schedule. Singh said 100,00 could turn to one million “if the event stays up for just one month.”

They have also identified an opportunity to develop an audience that extends far beyond Trinidad and Tobago.

In the past viewers have tuned in from the United States, Canada, the United Kingdom and the wider Caribbean. To capitalise on that CSM26 now has agents in three main markets – WR Reaz from Guyana, Ranjeev Ramdeen in New York and Vashtee Doorga in Toronto. They will be responsible for recruiting and screening candidates, and helping them stage their performances for the show.

Since there is no one event space, contestants do not need to come to Trinidad to compete.

“Registration, so far, has been strong,” Singh said.

And the music that has been released, is in his opinion, some of the best he’s ever heard.

He added, “The pandemic year might actually be the best year of music coming out of the chutney soca factory of Trinidad and Tobago.”

The semi-final competition is scheduled for January 30, and the finals are February 13, 2021.