Soca artiste Machel Montano presenting Alison Hinds with her award for the Best BIFF Star Honouree at the Barbados Independent Film Festival (BIFF) Opening Gala, which was held at The Walled Garden Theatre, Barbados Museum & Historical Society.

Montano has high praise for Alison Hinds

Trinidadian soca artiste, Machel Montano, also known as the Soca King, has thanked Barbados for recognising Alison Hinds, the Queen of Soca, as a Cultural Ambassador.

He was speaking at the recent Barbados Independent Film Festival (BIFF) Opening Gala at The Walled Garden Theatre, Barbados Museum & Historical Society, before presenting Hinds with the Best BIFF Star Honouree Award, which Montano was the recipient of last year.

“I feel fortunate to be part of this film family and proud to be part of this mission to develop this area. I was grateful last year to be here, but to be here this year to present ‘my sister’ Alison Hinds is truly amazing. Also, Alison Hinds becoming a cultural ambassador was great news and I thank you Barbados, not just recognising this young woman but recognising this life,” he said.

“Barbados has recognised a young woman who has been in this business for years; a woman who started a career at such a young age and maintained, transformed over a period of time and also stayed with integrity, and integrity is important. It is not about being judged by what people say but what you do, and when you look at Hinds’ career she has released so many songs that changed the history of ‘soca’ – this is not easy for a woman to do, especially in a male-driven industry like soca music. Thank you Barbados for recognising the immense contribution of this young lady.”

He recounted, “I remember in 1996 where I saw Alison Hinds with Square One and Krosfyah and we were getting kicked and that was my wake-up call… Sometimes I need inspiration to wake me up…”

Montano added, “What I admire about her is her calm, she is a person who has inspired me, a true friend, a true cultural ambassador and I congratulate her. She is not only a singer but also an actress; maybe we might do a film together in the future.

“We are all story-tellers and we are all ambassadors, I thank the Barbados Film Festival for recognising cultural icons like us and maybe next year Trinidad will make me a Cultural Ambassador…”

Addressing those present at the event, Hinds stated, “It was special for Montano to present this award; we have been friends in the business for years. I also thank the BIFF as this festival is a great opportunity for so many film makers to come together and exchange ideas, and I do want to do more acting. This has been an amazing week for me in my career to be presented with my instruments for Cultural Ambassador and I’m going to do my best to represent Barbados, and the region as a whole, to the best of my ability and continue to do what I’m doing. I’m humbled to be recognised for what I do...”

The intimate gala started at 6pm with a Red Carpet VIP reception followed by the screening of the BIFF collaboration short film by Clish Gittens and Noah Long and the Caribbean Premiere of the new thriller “Torch” by Director Christopher Coppola.

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