Going back to Barbados to reunite with family and friends and perform in a calypso tent during Crop Over celebrations is an annual ritual for calypsonian Bryan “Structure” Thornhill.
Last Sunday’s flight was special as an excited Structure could not wait to get back to the land of his birth to show off the coveted crown he captured just hours earlier at the Organization of Calypso Performing Artists (OCPA) 30th annual Calypso Monarch finals on Saturday night in Scarborough.
Structure’s wife Michelle and son Bryan Jr. were not there to cheer him on and participate in the celebrations as they were already in Barbados. It was his first title in four years and his fifth overall, making him and Beginner – who finished fourth this year – the only five-time champions.
“Regaining the crown after an extended period was worth the wait,” said Structure who was the runner-up in his first competition in 2002 just a few months after migrating to Canada. “I however could not wait to get back to Barbados and deliver the crown to my family who were rooting for me. That was real sweet.”
The Kaiso Forum tent founder/manager hit a home run in the final with his second song Trenton Monster that took aim at deposed Canadian Forces Base (CFB) Trenton Commander Col. Russell Williams who last October was convicted of multiple murders and sentenced to life imprisonment.
Dressed in Army fatigues and partial women’s underwear which Williams had a fetish for, Structure used clever lyrics, sharp wit and an infectious rhythm to clinically dispose of the field that included five other champions.
“Just after the 2010 season, I started to look for something that would capture the attention of the public and the Russell Williams story was very big at around that time,” said Structure. “I felt good on stage, the topic resonated with the audience and I thought I did a good job of executing the song perfectly.”
He wrote the lyrics and composed the melody while Matthew John is credited with the arrangement.
Structure performed this week with The Big Show tent ahead of tomorrow night’s Barbados’ Pic-O-De-Crop Calypso Monarch finals at Kensington Oval. He skipped the OCPA event in 2006 to compete in the Barbados competition where he finished sixth.
Structure’s dominance was evident in his almost total sweep of the individual prizes. He captured the Best Lyrics, Best Melody, Most Original Calypso, Best Rendition, Most Humorous and People’s Choice awards and shared the Best Presentation title with newcomer Newton Philip (Newton P).
Last year’s winner Eulith Tara Woods (Macomere Fifi) captured the Best Arrangement award for Tackling the Issues and Pat (Panman Pat) McNeilly’s Cultural Centre won the Best Composition on a Local Topic award.
Three-time winner Macomere Fifi and 1983 and 1985 champion Panman Pat tied for the first runner-up. Michael Moore (Beginner) was fourth followed by Denise Alexander (Spice), Steve Clarke (Mr. Wonderful), Michael Thomas (Redman) and Newton P who shared the seventh spot and Clieve Henry (King Smokey).