Newcomer Dr. Ray eyes top spot in calypso eliminations

Raymond “Dr. Ray” Reid, who once lived in Curaçao, is one of two newcomers to St. Maarten Carnival Calypso Eliminations. Dr. Ray has participated in calypso competitions outside of St. Maarten; he loves the art and is happy to contribute his talent to the country’s favourite local Carnival show.

“I have a unique way of putting words together,” the Jamaican-born singer said. His experience includes performing in song festivals and competitions in his native Jamaica and competing in Curaçao’s Calypso Soca Festival in 2010, where he placed second from amongst 16 participants. The first Jamaican to take Curaçao’s native Papiamentu language to Jamaica’s Irie FM radio station, he said, “Coming to St. Maarten, it was nice to know we share the same type of music. So when I got the opportunity to enter the calypso eliminations competition here, I said to myself, ‘why not?”

For the eliminations, Dr. Ray plans to sing “Price gone up” which focusses on the rising cost of living in the country, and another song about breast cancer. “So look out for me. It will be clean words in all. My performance will be awesome and my dress code for that night will be A1; so come out and fill yourselves with joy.”

As for how he got the name Dr Ray, the calypsonian said, “People always call me Ray, until I went to Curaçao. My first profession was auto body repair and a gentleman in Curaçao named Pachaco added doctor to my name after I fixed his car. From that day on, I have been using that name. I love it.”

When he is not busy singing, Dr. Ray occupies himself with his day job working as a spray painter at Dollar Thrifty Car Rental in Simpson Bay.

Also competing will be King Beau Beau, Fish Da Mega Boss, Ricky the Fox, Mighty Dando, Mighty Magic, Ebony Empress, Young Calix the Protégé, Might Pepper, The Wizard, Mighty Chipman, Lady Baker, King Barrow, Kaiso Brat, Lady Righteous, Empress Zee, The Mighty Calix, The Monitor and His Majesty Baker Jr.

The Calypso Eliminations will be held on Friday, March 31, under the tent at Princess Port de Plaisance and Casino. Entrance fee is US $15 per person at the gate. No advance tickets will be sold.

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