Machel Montano Biography done for Interrogation Spotlight

I wrote this using a number of sources however I found it difficult to get everything in one spot.  So I figured I'd post it to help anyone in the future trying to summarize Machel's career.  Please keep in mind I'm no literary scholar (smile).  You can find the FULL produced spotlight here:  http://www.dbandit.com/treasure-mix/40-exclusive-mixes/678-machel-spotlight2012

Machel Montano Biography

The Beginning 80s

Machel Montano was born November 24th, 1974.  He was born in Port of Spain, Trinidad and more specifically Carenage which is in West Trinidad.  His family moved to Siparia, South Trinidad when he was very young. As a boy Machel attended Siparia Boys' R.C., then from there he entered the Presentation College in San Fernando.
While still in primary school, Machel first saw stardome as a 9 year-old boy with the song "Too Young To Soca." With this hit song, a young, energetic, Machel Montano performed beside icons such Kitchener and the Mighty Sparrow.  As a matter fact, one of Machel’s earliest and greatest achievements was his supporting act performance in May 1984, where he performed alongside the Mighty Sparrow and other Calypsonians at the Madison Square Gardens in New York City. 
Also in 1984, along with his neighbours and his older brother Marcus, Machel formed a group called Pranasonic Express. This band later became known as Xtatik.  Machel was quickly becoming the Caribbean Stevie Wonder, or Michael Jackson for that matter.  This was only the beginning for this young superstar.  In April of 1986, the young performer appeared on the popular US television show, Star Search.  This could be considered the start of his mandate to bring Soca to commercial audiences worldwide.  Machel’s success continued while releasing annual albums that included, Too Young to Soca? (1986), Soca Earthquake (1987), Dr. Carnival (1988), Katch Ya! (1989), Breakin Out! (1990).  Then finally in 1991, Machel proved he was One Step Ahead with his party hit Just Watch Meh and won the ‘Young Kings’ competition.  The fete proved to be Machel’s new focus and consequently the rise of Xtatik!

The 90s

Machel and Xtatik were performing together for many years with the likes of Melanie Hudson, Marcus Montano, Farmer Nappy, and others.  The first album for Xtatik came in 1992 called X Amount Ah Sweetness.  This album contained hits like Jam on de box and Fan Meh.  Machel and Xtatik continued annual albums with Soca Style Hot in 1993 and a classic Fete album in 1994 called By All Means.  It was as though Machel was making a statement that By All Means necessary, he was determined to become a world class entertainer and artist.  Consistency was the name of the game for Machel and Xtatik, they slowly but surely started to push out the competition by holding on to their young audience and eventually become the headline act of almost every show they performed at globally. 

Xtatik contiued to push out the hits in the mid 90s which was pretty much dominated by another South Trinidad resident named Austin Lyons, aka SuperBlue.  However, Montano was focused,  and in 1997, a track fused with ska and Soca dominated the road for Carnival and eventually became a major break through hit for Machel Montano and Xtatik.  De Heavy Duty Big Truck dominated de Road for Trinidad Carnival...here is the Soca Classic Hit from Machel Montano, Big Truck. 
After Carnival 1997, the world was shocked by the death of a legendary Hip Hop artist named The Notorious B.I.G..  Evidently, B.I.G. was of Trinidadian decent, and his death affected many youth globally.  That year saw the release of a collaborative remake from the Bad Boy camp named I’ll Be Missing You.  This was almost the writing on the wall.  In 1998, Machel co-wrote a song based on this melody for his Band Mate Wayne Rodrigez called Footsteps.  This song was a hit and went on to acquire the Road March title in 1998.  This once again strengthened the Xtatik strong-hold on the Soca World.  Here is Footsteps written by Machel Monatno, Daryl Henry, sang by Wayne Rodrigez. 

1998 also revealed one of Machel’s many collaborations to come, Toro Toro.  Although the song was a crowd-hazard, it ripped throught the streets of Port of Spain and became a Soca classic with the Grammy award-winning Shaggy. 

The Millenium
Machel’s fame and stardome was almost exponential by the millenium.  Y2K seemed to instill fear in many...however, not to Machel Montano.  It was in this year he decided to break off from Xtatik and do Machel Montano.  He released his first solo album in many years.  This album contained such hits as Pressure, Jab Jab, and a favourite, Real Unity...representing a mix of two of Trinidad’s dominant cultures - Indo Caribbean and Afro Caribbean.  Here is Real Unity by Machel Montano and Drupatee.

The year 2000 was a huge success for Machel and initiated rumours of an international record deal.  In 2001, it was as though Machel’s dream of becoming an international superstar had finally arrived.  Could this be the fullfilment of his mandate to bring Soca to the NEXT LEVEL?  Consequently, in 2001, Machel stepped back from the Major hustle of Carnival and left Xtatik in the hands of Peter C Lewis, Farmer Nappy, and Roger George. 

In 2002, Machel took on another challenge,  he went to commercial radio.  Machel’s radio career slighty mirrors his musical one, it has been a series of firsts. He was one half of the BBC’s first national radio show playing Soca throughout the UK on 1Xtra BBC, which started up in August 2002. The show soon went from airing monthly to weekly. This was the first time a Soca show had been broadcast to the entire UK on a weekly basis

In 2002, the rumours of Machel’s record deal started to dwindle.  2001 may have just been the Meditation year for a man who had been on the hustle from 9 years old.  Regardless, Machel decided to once again take the reigns of the Xtatik horse and re-focused his drive. 

In 2003, The Xtatik Circus hit the stage, where it was considered the Soca World’s greatest show on earth.  Pyro, Dancers, collaborations with legendary artist like Sparrow and Calypso Rose...it was almost unfair to the competition.  Machel was on a rampage.  It was this year that Machel collaborated with an up-and-coming female powerhouse Destra Garcia to put out a late Carnival favourite...It’s Carnival.  Here is It’s Carnival by Destra Garcia and Machel Montano. 

In 2004 and 2005, Machel continued to be the hot ticket for Soca.  It was Delirious in 2004 and Craziness in 2005.  Though he did not cop the Road March titles, this certainly did not stop the countless awards and bookings the band received. 
In 2006, Machel collaborated with another young upcoming female star named Patrice Roberts to bring forth Machel’s second Road March title for Band of the Year.  Then in 2007, Machel once again dominated Carinval taking both the road march title and 1st runner up.  Success continued for Machel in 2008 and 2009.  Although he did not attain any titles for TnT Carnival, he branched out with more collaborations, including one with Cuban-American rapper, Pitbull.  They teamed up to do a remix of Pitbull’s song Defense which lead to a current long-standing friendship and to produce more hits to come including the remake of one of Machel’s off-carnival hits called Alright.  Here is the original cut of a hit that hit the airwaves in 2010, Alright by Machel Montano. 

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. This also marked the year of his return to competition.  This shocked many, however his return was in true Montano form and was nothing short of spectacular.  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. His song Advantage was the most played song to cross the stage on Carnival Monday and Tuesday.
On the heels of Carnival he returned to Madison Square Garden in March 2011, another sold out event. His 35th album The Return contains 12 tracks with hits like Bend Over, So High A.O.A, Advantage, Hard Wuk and many more.

Conclusion

Over the past 28 years, the single constant in Machel’s ever-changing, stellar career has been his trailblazing approach to soca music. Through his various fusions, which include everything from performing with marching bands to collaborating with Grammy-winning reggae artists, Machel has worked tirelessly to establish soca, calypso’s energetic offshoot, as a viable entity that can impact beyond T&T’s internationally renowned carnival celebrations.  Undoubtedly the Soca Prodigy, he continues to excel expontentially in his career.