Exactly one week ago, the Calypso Semi-Finals competition hosted by the Dominica Calypso Association was held. Portsmouth’s youngster Lemar Irish whose calypso name – The Irish Kid, competed against some seasoned calypsonians. He was unsuccessful, and unfortunately will not compete in the biggest show of the Carnival Season, and arguably the biggest show to be held in Dominica on an annual basis. This was his first time participating in the Senior National competition ever; most likely this served as the initiation and transition into the big leagues.
Many of us who support the young singer, strongly believe that he performed exceptionally well enough to warrant him a space among the final nine who are heading onward to meet the defending monarch. Notwithstanding this setback, we must all come to terms with a spirit of acceptance, that “the judges’ decision is final”. As cliche as it sounds, this is the rule that always stands at the end of such contests where others are often disgruntled or disappointed by the results.
This post will not dwell on Lemar’s misfortune; rather, it will highlight his growth, level of maturity he displayed on stage, and even despite the loss, it will highlight his ability to still smile, and participate in the Junior Monarch Competition held on Friday 22nd February, as a guest performer.
You see, Lemar – The Irish Kid, was a boss competitor during his days as a Junior Calypsonian. He has won four junior monarch competitions on the national stage, and this is something no one can ever take away from him. These titles The Irish Kid will forever own. When he guest-performed at this year’s junior monarch competition, he was able to make light of his unfortunate fate in the national senior monarch competition, and still managed to wow the youthful crowd with his stellar performance.
Those of us who witnessed and or listened to him on Saturday 16th February, as he conquered the late night’s dew which can hurt any singer’s vocal folds, undoubtedly fought nerves, maintained his confidence amidst and among the big-wigs, and gave his utmost at that semi-finals, were awed by his abilities. He showed much maturity, prowess and comfort on that big stage. I have no doubt Lemar could easily hit the biggest stage of the Calypso Finals, and still pull off a masterful performance. While he may not be a “big-man”, I strongly believe he out-performed some of those who made it to the “big-man-thing”.
Interestingly, his song penned by Father Branker John (Former Calypsonian – De Brakes), encourages its listeners to ‘fight on’ in pursuit of their dreams. To quote from The Sun online article dated February 1st, 2019, “My song speaks about a positive message to the youths and Dominica and worldwide telling them don’t give up and always remain committed in what they do and have a positive mind set,” Lemor said.
“I am not threatened by being in the big league you must have confidence in yourself; my intention is move to the Semis and then to the Finals and I know that I am capable of so doing,” De Irish Kid said.
His message to the youth is simple: “Calypso is a good avenue to enter into to express yourself in song, so join it and have some good fun.”
His message to his peers is “be positive; in life you have to be committed, manage your time put your education first because without education you go nowhere; do some dancing, singing and play sports and have some good fun and the rest will fall in line.”
Today, as I ponder on these inspiring expressions from Lemar, it is my desire to encourage him to remain positive, to take his own message and allow it to propel him to greater positivism. I wish to remind him that he is still a role model to his peers, that they are looking at him as a star, so he ought to keep shining. Lemar must be encouraged to keep singing with his youthful voice, about the things that can enhance society, and transform the mindset of our young people. He must be urged to keep building on his confidence while continuing to utilize his skills, and talents in singing, football, and even enhancing his ability to comfortably handle our cultural and traditional dances.
As a resident from this blessed town of Portsmouth, and an ardent supporter of our young people, I commend Lemar Irish – De Irish Kid, and stand proud of him. Lemar’s song is one of a very few of this year’s calypsos which can actually cross the channel and make any sense to its listeners anywhere in the world.
In conclusion, I would like to remind the young man to keep singing songs which promote positive and wholesome messages, while being sensible and nationally conscious. Using your own song’s lyrics to spur you on, I say: “Fight On To Your Dreams Brother, Fight On. It won’t come to you on a platter. When Life tells you “no”, think Yes, think Yes”.
Below are some random photos of Lemar. I hold no rights to these photos and respectfully display them for the sake of commending the youngster.
The below links can take you to two of his songs which won him the Junior Monarchy. This event is usually organized by the renown and consistent Leo Club of Dominica. Commendations to this club for shaping our young talented children. They create champions like Lemar Irish.