The Saint Lucia Calypso Association was formed in 1975. Previous to that the Development of Calypso was undertaken by the Carnival Committee. Prize monies at that time were a mere $50. In recent years the Calypso Monarch walks away with a new vehicle and a generous cash prize. There are presently five Calypso Tents namely South Calypso Tent, Soca Village, Ambassadors, Take Over Tent and NG Soca Stage. There are over 120 registered Calypsonians in Saint Lucia. The Tents are the producers of the songs that will be judged during the Quarter Final rounds. The Saint Lucia Calypsonians Association is the producer of the semi-finals, where 18 Calypsonians compete with two songs for the final nine positions to compete against the Reigning Calypso Monarch. Both competitions are judged using Seven Judges, the High and Low Scores eliminated and the total of the five other scores represent the performance score. The competition is judged on Lyrics, Presentation, Melody, Arrangement and Rendition.
At the Junior Level, the competition is held before Independence Day with more than forty participating schools island wide and is presently organized by the Ministry of Education and the Association of Music Educators.
Among the more popular calypsonians in Saint Lucia are Invader, Six Time Calypso Monarch Mighty Pep, Six Time Monarch Mighty Pelay, Lady Spice the first female Calypso Monarch, Educator, Mr. Brown, to name just a few.
Soca Music is a faster rhythm of the calypso, with emphasis on bump, jump and wave and originated in Trinidad in the late 70’s in response to demands of a younger generation who wanted less social and political commentary and so the era of jump and wave arrived with people like Maestro, Super Blue, Crazy and others. In Saint Lucia, our Soca Monarch Competitions began in 1997 and is fast becoming a popular show during carnival celebrations. Past winners include Yardie, Invader, Pelay and Alpha. In 2002 the first Female Soca Monarch, Black Pearl.
Previous to 1969 Saint Lucia imported its Road March from Trinidad. Presently Patois plays a vital part in the lyrical content of our Road March songs... .Zordi, Malaway, L’argent are typical examples of the use of English and Patois in our Road March songs. This com petition is adjudicated by judges appointed by the Cultural Development Foundation, who are placed at different locations along the approved Carnival band route, where the song that is being played to accompany the Carnival Bond is recorded, in respect of the name of the song and the time that the song was played. The scores are tallied from the six locations and the song with the most performances is declared the winner.