The King of Soca biography of Machel Montano by first-time author Elizabeth Montano is one step closer to publication. The cover for the book has been chosen and will be the classic shot of Machel at nine cradled by three of calypso’s doyens: late Mighty Shadow, Lord Kitchener and now 86-year-old Mighty Sparrow.
Pre-orders are now available to the public. Interested parties are encouraged to place orders
directly on the website www.kingofsoca.com.
Check out the full statement on the developments related to the King of Soca below.
“With the release of its front cover, the much-anticipated King of Soca biography of Machel Montano by first-time author Elizabeth Montano is one step closer to publication. Revealed on Wednesday 1 June, the book cover spotlights the classic shot of Machel at nine cradled by three of calypso’s doyens: late Mighty Shadow, Lord Kitchener and now 86-year-old Mighty Sparrow.
Lloyd Patterson was the photographer for Everybody’s Magazine, the New York-based publication where the image first appeared. According to the book’s author Lady Montano, the 1984 Junior Calypso Monarch was sought out by the event promoter to open for the top-brass calypso acts at a Mother’s Day show at Madison Square Garden in New York City. It would be Machel’s first of many performances at the historic venue.
The vibrant King Of Soca cover design that includes the iconic image was shared during a hybrid event hosted by Tropical Fete Inc in collaboration with the Brooklyn Public Library. It featured Lady Montano speaking with award-winning journalist Patricia Meschino for just over an hour about the book, which covers Machel’s 40-year journey in music. The event kicked off the Library’s official celebration of Caribbean Heritage Month in the US.
In giving her reasons for the choice of image, Lady Montano says, “It evokes for me two compelling ideas: first, here are these cultural giants lifting up Machel and, in a way, presenting him to the world at such a young age, just two years after he started performing. Second, looking back now, it feels like the moment signalled a kind of passing of the baton from one generation to the next, without any fore-knowledge of where Machel would be today.”
One of the few living legends of his generation of calypsonians, the Mighty Sparrow echoed this sentiment in his reflections on the 38-year-old photograph, “I remember thinking, ‘what if he would become like one of us.’ I knew he was good, but never knew how good he would become.” He added, “It’s a good thing the photograph was taken. I can’t believe it’s been 40 years [for Machel].
It also means I’m 40 years older!” For the eight-time Calypso Monarch, this work “is important for young people to see what it takes, to know the stories of our own stars.” In addition to the bold presentation of the King of Soca book title, the front cover qualifies the unique perspective of its author as mother, educator, confidante and former manager, stating:
“The Ultimate Insider Reveals How Machel Montano Became One of the World’s Most Popular Soca Artists.”
Pre-orders are now available to the public. Interested parties are encouraged to place orders directly on the website www.kingofsoca.com. For regular updates, follow @kingofsoca on Facebook and Twitter, and @kos_kingofsoca on Instagram.