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Sekon Sta represents a new generation of soca artistes, the young, “BRAVE generation”, alongside Nailah Blackman and Erphaan Alves, set to take soca further than it has ever gone. His vocals are on point and this year, with the backing of his band “The Soca Squad”, he delivered a high-quality, entertaining set at Fatima’s All-Inclusive. He also entered the solo concert arena with “Sekon Sunday”, a successful, sold-out event.
We are lucky to get access to the young prolific songwriter and performer, the son of the late ‘Merchant’, right at the cusp of a huge international career.
Q: How did you get the name Sekon Sta?
A: The name Sekon Sta is bascially a name I came up with to represent who I am and my feeling toward the industry. It’s a respect to my father, all letting me know that there are things more important in life than self, such as my duty to culture. It also definitely reminds me that God is first and everything else comes after that. And more recently, it also means that I am second to none. It’s a that a reminder that it’s easy to become consumed with self and that you are nothing but a subordinate with a duty to the people, more so than to self.
Q: What is a typical year like for you? What happens outside of the Trinidad Carnival season?
A: A typical year for me is constant travel, spending time with family, building up my brand, meeting with sponsors and stuff like that. And now planning for Sekon Sunday, which is going to be the second Sunday of every year.
Q: Which of your songs over the years do you consider to be your biggest hit?
A: I put out a lot of the songs and they have different impact in different parts of the world. But for sure, ‘Kings and Queens’ in Trinidad and Tobago; ‘The Best’, ‘Aye Yo’ are definitely hits in Trinidad and Tobago… definitely songs that have been standing the test of times.
Q: How did your father influence your career?
A: That is a question that will take the entire day to answer. How does your father not influence every single aspect of your career? Definitely he was an entertainer and I followed in his footsteps. Let’s keep it as simple as that.
Q: Your mom was always present in Fatima supporting you with anything Calypso-related. Is your mother still involved in your career?
A: Yes, my mother was always present in Fatima not only for Calypso, but also for work related reasons to make sure that her child who gives a lot of trouble was not giving TOO much trouble. In terms of my career, my mother is no longer as actively involved. I think I have passed what she is capable of providing for me, but she is always there supporting – always the most vocal. A mother will always be a mother – that can’t change.
Q: Did your time at Fatima College help in developing you and your career in a positive way? How?
A: My time in Fatima helped me, and in a way saved my life, because I grew up with a lot of negative influences. I have a saying that where there are negative influences the deterrent must be stronger. And Fatima was a really strong deterrent. It also exposed me to the possibilities of life. It showed me brotherhood (although you won’t truly understand the meaning of that brotherhood until you leave the school to be honest). And definitely, Fatima pushed me in a very positive way. It let me know that even though I could get distracted by the “bachannal”, you need to spread that message of love, joy…and that there is a duty greater than self. Fatima Boys are Good Boys.
Q: Which teachers had the most impact on you as a student?
A: I don’t know. I feel as though all my teachers, maybe some more than others, had a positive influence on me. I remember Mr. Joseph (Aloysius) was always influential and the thing I will always say about him (rest in peace) is that he was very fair. Sometimes when you gave trouble, he would let it pass but other times when you REALLY giving trouble, he would put you in your place. I apply that same philosophy to my life in that sometimes I will let things slide and allow people to do their thing and other times you make them face the consequences. However, at all times let people understand why they are facing the consequences and always be fair and not just be iron-fisted.
Q: Do you do most of your songwriting?
A: I don’t really write, as in the sense of pen and paper. It mostly comes from the top of my head. But do I do most of it? Yes!
Q: Is there really a “Soca Mafia”? Care to tell us more about this?
A: I don’t know if there was ever a soca mafia. I can say that no such thing can exist now in this era of social media. There are definitely cliques that exist where people check for each other, just like in any other workplace. There would be a group of people who work better with each other. For example 1st floor would work better with each other than 2nd floor, etc. I won’t say there’s a soca mafia.
Q: What is Carnival missing?
A: Carnival is missing that authentic vibe. I think at this point in time it has pulled away from the streets and average persons making less money are not as involved because it’s a little more expensive. But I see this slowly being addressed.
Q: Rank your top 5 favourite local performers.
A: Fatima College is not going to get me in any trouble because artists will see this and tote feelings so I am going to say….Sekon Sta, Sekon Sta, Sekon Sta, Sekon Sta, Sekon Sta.
Q: Any closing remarks for the Fatima College Community?
A: Fatima boys are good boys. I don’t think we really understand how powerful Fatima is as a community until we leave school. Fatima definitely changed my life. It changed my outlook on the world and definitely molded me for success. it gave me a winning mindset and really taught me that anything that you put your mind to through the power of god and that part is the most important part, will happen….it will change your life.
Q: What was the highlight of this 2019 season? Any lowlights?
A: The highlights of my season were Sekon Sunday and immediately after that Fatima Fete, because Sekon Sunday was a reflection of my mind, my thoughts and putting it on stage. And Fatima Fete, because it’s always good to come back and give back to an institution that gave so much, and also for the mere fact that Fatima has one of the best fetes for the entire year. It’s absolutely amazing. So hence why they would be my highlights. My lowlights, I don’t think that they were any really, because for every negative there is a positive.
Q: Tell us about Sekon Sunday. The positives and negatives and things to work on for 2020.
A: Sekon Sunday was thrown up by my Sekon Sta the company and Empire Entertainment. In terms of the positives and negatives, let’s start with the negatives. There were some things that I could work on and make better. Just know that my customers, my audience, my patrons come first. So I would like to fix those things so that it would be the ultimate, ideal experience. The positives are that I now feel like I have a platform to provide for not only myself but also my peers; to highlight and give a stage to those who are looking for one. At the end of the day Sekon Sunday is the Best of Carnival at the Beginning of Carnival. Another positive is the audience turnout, because we were expecting 300 and we had to turn away more than 300 so that was a huge positive. Also, Empire was excellent at hosting the event. There were no complaints there. And also, just to see the love that the people have for Sekon Sta is absolutely amazing, because it’s not every day you get to interact directly with your fans.
Q: Any closing remarks for the Fatima College Community?
A: Fatima boys are good boys. I don’t think we really understand how powerful Fatima is as a community until we leave school. Fatima definitely changed my life. It changed my outlook on the world and definitely molded me for success. Tt gave me a winning mindset and really taught me that anything that you put your mind to through the power of God (and that part is the most important part) will happen….It will change your life.