For reigning Chutney Soca Monarch King, GI Beharry, poverty played a major part in how his life would pan out. He sees his journey as a testimony to others that anything is possible.
Speaking on the Mid Morning Heat with Kevin Baker and Linx this morning, the father of two who has been crowned Chutney Soca Monarch King twice, in 2020 and 2022, gave listeners some insight into his life’s journey.
Reminiscing on his youth, GI admitted that he had early ambitions of becoming a soldier in the US army, saying that he loved watching the show, GI Joe as a child. Growing up in an area of Princes Town that was deemed a crime hotspot however, afforded little options for the youth. He says his mother’s sturdy guidance throughout his childhood, was what essentially made the difference in his life. “I come from real humble beginnings,” said the entertainer, explaining that his father was absent from his life and poverty was quite present. “My mother encouraged me to become involved in music,” he revealed, telling of his eventual successes on the Mastana Bahar show back in the 90’s. “I placed second in the finals of the Children’s Mastana Bahar and third in the grand finals in 2003,” he said. Despite setbacks during his youth, GI told of his never-give-up attitude and with determination, he would go on to become the frontline singer with Ravi B’s band, Karma.
“I still go on the block and hang out with the youths from time to time. Some of them know me and some don’t. You have to stay in the loop with the younger generation,” he asserted, highlighting the need for young people to see and be connected to real examples of success from among them. Noting the recent achievement of Kareem Marcelle who hails from the Beetham, GI said these achievements of people who are from communities deemed ‘depressed,’ are important to serve as signposts for others. Marcelle recently passed the Bar, to become an attorney at law. “I was once there. I remember family members talking down on me because of the street we were from, but mommy did her part,” he said, consistently acknowledging the dedication of his single parent mother.
On the topic of the country’s crime situation and international perception, GI said it’s important for all of Trinidad and Tobago to understand how things look to people looking in from outside territories. “Politics is dividing the people of Trinidad and Tobago. I am on a plane right through and many times I’ve met people who ask, ‘what going on the country boy?'” He said the country needs to take heed. “We have to stop the dividing thing. None eh better than none,” he argued, making it clear that politicians on either side of the divide will always do what they have to do, to retain power. GI has released a brand new single, alongside Viking Ding Dong. The track is called “10 Wheeler.” LISTEN BELOW.