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Trinidad and Tobago

Born November 24, 1974 in Port of Spain Trinidad, Machel Montano was destined to be great. Through his ever-evolving musical offerings, Machel works on his mission of depositing soca into the domain of mainstream music. Machel’s career began in 1982 at age seven; at age nine he formed his band, Pranasonic Express. Montano’s debut album “Too Young To Soca”, released in 1985, was an instant hit which earned rave reviews and standing ovations at live performances. In April of 1986, the young performer appeared on the popular television show, Star Search, bringing soca music to US national television.

One of Machel’s earliest and greatest achievements was his May 1984 appearance at Madison Square Garden in the Felt Forum in New York City at the age of 9. He was billed as a support act for the Mighty Sparrow and other top Calypsonians.

In 2008, Machel was awarded three titles, including the Bob Marley Award Entertainer of the Year at the International Reggae and World Music Awards (IRAWMA) at the historic Apollo Theatre in New York. That year also found Machel receiving an award at the 1st Annual BET J Virtual Awards for Best Caribbean Artiste of the Year.

In January 2010, Machel became the first soca artiste to attain a headlining slot at the Jamaica Jazz and Blues Festival. On May 2, 2010 he made history as the only two-time recipient (2008) of The Bob Marley Award for Entertainer of the Year at Martins International Reggae and World Music Awards (IRAWMA). In May 2010, Machel, as special guest artiste for the U.S. shows, embarked on a 5-week tour with International Recording Artiste, Pitbull on his Mr. Worldwide Carnival tour.

Machel returned to Trinidad and Tobago carnival in 2011 after being absent in 2010. “The Return” concert was a return to the National Stadium to a sold out audience to witness the mother of all Machel Montano events. His return to the competition was spectacular where he emerged the Power Soca Monarch Champion 2k11 and also captured the prize for best presentation. The climax was his victory in the Road March. On the heels of Carnival he returned to Madison Square Garden in March 2011 another sold out event.

In 2012, Machel became a Triple Crown Winner, by winning the Groovy Soca Title and International Power Soca Monarch competitions. Carnival 2013 saw Machel Montano successfully defending his 2012 crown in the Power Soca Monarch (joint winner) and Groovy Soca Monarch.

Carnival 2014 brought Machel Montano continued success having won the Power Soca Monarch title with the hit “Ministry of Road” and further went on to take “Ministry of Road” all the way to Road March supremacy. “Ministry of Road” yielded even more success for Machel, as after being nominated twice for a Soul Train Award without a win, he brought home the award in November 2014 for Best International performance with “Ministry of Road.”

Machel began 2015 with a bang after he successfully defended his Power Soca Monarch title for the fifth time with the infectious song “Like Ah Boss” which also won the coveted Road March title. In 2016, he again won the Road March with his song “Waiting on the Stage” ft. Badjohn Republic. He also performed in front of the biggest audience of his life at Coachella 2016 on the main stage as a guest of Major Lazer - a performance witnessed by over 100,000 live and hundreds of thousands more online. 

Machel is constantly working toward his mission of successfully ushering soca into the realm of mainstream music. He has toured extensively throughout out world to fulfill this mission. He has been pushing the envelope, trying to revolutionize soca and trying to improve its quality. While it is very difficult to bring this music to the mainstream and at the same time stay grounded at home he has created a sound that he believes is palatable to all markets and can play on the radio in rotation with other popular songs and genres. It is his dream to see soca being enjoyed in the international market. The mission continues and Machel is poised and focused on spreading soca music throughout the globe.


The 27th Annual Caribbean American Heritage Awards Gala

presented by 

Institite of Caribbean Studies in partnership with the Caribbean Futures Forum

1629 K Street NW, Suite 300
Washington DC 20006
Email: carahawards