Soca king Machel Montano talks film, OVO Fest, international music

Machel Montano (press photo)
Montano as Lee de Leon and Natalie Perera as Anita Panchouri from Bazodee (2016) Machel Montano (press photo)

Drake’s OVO Fest kicks off today in Toronto, and we sat down with Trinidadian artist, producer, and singer who recalls his first encounter with Drake, training the world to enjoy soca music and so much more.

Born in Trinidad, Machel Montano rose to fame a very young age.  Determined to become a household name, he found ways to blend the music that the world loved at the time — pop, reggae and hip-hop — with his genre of music, soca. With inspirations such as Bob Marley, Lionel Richie  and Michael Jackson, Montano got fed up with the lack of appreciation for soca music and found a solution.  He would create a live experience giving the audience some of what they wanted, then get their ears accustomed to soca, then back to what they wanted to hear and so on.  Although he’s an accomplished performer there are still some musical heavyweights Montano would love to work with, such as Beyoncé and Rihanna.

He’s having a big year and will make his film debut in Bazodee, a feel-good, the 2016 How Stella Got Her Groove Back with a few unexpected twists, which hits theaters nationwide on August 5, 2016.

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