The national anthem of Trinidad and Tobago will not be used by soca artiste, Neil Iwer George, when he stands atop any stage during carnival 2024 or beyond. The soca artiste, on Wednesday afternoon, issued a statement indicating that he would be re-issuing a revised version of his 2024 contribution, ‘Happy People,’ which was collaboratively written by Ken Marlon Charles (KMC).
The artiste who is known as ‘The Boss’ by his fans, has been a topic of ongoing discussion and debate over the past few days, arising from the use of the country’s national anthem in the beginning of the soca track. In his statement, Iwer explains that his desire was simply to inject patriotism and pride, using his song. “The first word of the song is ‘Attention’ and that was deliberately put there to to signal to people the expectation to stand at a attention while the national anthem is being played,” he wrote. He says he understands that based on people’s perception of him as an artiste who is able to get crowds jumping when he hits the stage, he could see why critics would expect same with the execution of this particular song. In light of that, the Point Fortin bred artiste is calling on djs to remove the original version of ‘Happy People’ from their playlists and replace it with his revised version, which will be distributed on Friday. “Please remember the song’s aim is to bring Trinidad and Tobago back to a place of [ pride ], respect, love and happiness – to show that regardless of what is going on in the country today, Trinbagonian people are happy and proud people and we have to continue to show this to the world.”