Xtratight Entertainment is back at it again! Prepare yourselves for a night of social commentary and comedy as we bring you Calypso Lounge: Bringing back the good ole days. Calypso Lounge will be showcasing both local and international acts, all going down on November 30 at the Tent in Port de Plaisance.
Set to perform are well-known Calypso giants Sugar Aloes, Gypsy, and our very own superstars King T-Mo, King Beau Beau, Empress Z and Cedrick Rey. Backed by Xtratight Band, this Mélange will be hosted by renowned comedian Fernando Clark – philosopher of humour.
According to show promoter Bertaux “Mr. Rude” Fleming of Xtratight Entertainment, “The Calypso Lounge will foster great energy and the oldie goodies will have you rising to your feet. We will be rekindling the art form and igniting the passion for CALYPSO and talent for the audiences who enjoy social commentary. It is important to note that this is not a competition, but a high energy concert.”
King Beau Beau / Leroy L. Brooks
He leaps on stage in a blast of sound and colour, followed by his beautiful, rainbow-clad Beaubettes. From the first infectious beat of the raging rhythm, you're under his spell, ready to jump and join his wildly gyrating body as he belts out his unique version of Caribbean classics.
Roll out the red carpet for former music major at Hofstra University, New York, Leroy L. Brooks, alias King Beau Beau – St. Maarten's reigning ruler supreme of calypso music. Having won Calypso and Road March King over 13 times, King Beau Beau has released 16 albums which have sold throughout the Caribbean, the US and Europe.
His show is called "bacchanal," a carnival-style blend of song and dance that gets so hot you can barely stand it. This is what King Beau Beau is famous for, a showman ship so natural some feel he was "born to greatness". His mother once said, “Leroy could sing before he could talk, and dance before he could walk."
With great talent come great responsibilities, especially when you are a roving ambassador of St. Maarten culture. But King Beau Beau has always lived up to his regal name by pleasing audiences far and wide with his professionalism, performing ease and electric energy.
One of the reasons for his great popularity is his versatile ability to please all of the people all of the time. Depending on his audience, he can switch from calypso to reggae to soca to classic ballads without batting an eye – and his passion for all is enjoyable. His hot & energetic show has taken him and his Beaubettes throughout the US, Mexico, France, the Netherlands, Belgium, Italy, Moscow and the Caribbean.
Timothee Renee Van Heyningen, who goes under the sobriquet of King T-Mo, stormed into the St. Maarten Calypso and Road March arenas in 1991 when he swept the St. Maarten Road March from all contenders with his hit song “Push out your bottom.” T-Mo was already in the musical field as the lead singer of the then Creole Stars, with whom he’d made his first recording. T-Mo went on to recapture the Road March title the following year, 1992, with “Wale it”. By then, it was evident that he was a Calypso and Road March force to be reckoned with, locally and internationally.
Although the calypso judges never crowned him St. Maarten Calypso Monarch, T-Mo is considered by many to be an uncrowned Calypso King. He went on to win the St. Maarten Road March crown in 1999, 2006, 2007 and 2009, thus giving him six Road March crowns, a record still unmatched.
After winning the first two Soca Monarch competitions held in 2013 and 2014, T-Mo went on to win St. Maarten’s first Soca Rumble competition in 2015. “I left it for the younger fellows,” he now says. It is for obvious reasons that he is dubbed “the king of the double entendre”. Songs like Vicks, Aunty Man, Sucker Garden, Everybody for King Beau Beau, The Lumber Man, Kiss your Mother’s Son, They Focus, Fish Head, and many others testify to this. Even some of his Christmas songs entail a taste of double meaning.
T-Mo has produced many nation building, political and inspirational songs during his career. One such song is “Bring back we white head driver” in which T-Mo urged for the return of the now deceased Dr. Claude Wathey, who had been at the head of the political arena in St. Maarten for over 40 years. His “Never betray your country” encourages citizens not to turn their backs on their native land. His inspirational songs include ‘Give Thanks”, “Only Jehovah” and “a Dash of Paint”.
Without any doubt, T-Mo can be referred to as St. Maarten’s hardest working musical artiste, which is evident from the number of recordings he has produced over the years, including a number of Christmas CDs dating back to 1993, which are still played on airwaves throughout the Caribbean.
T-Mo masters all genres, which can be seen in his works like calypso, soca, zouk, compa, rhumba, dancehall, merengue, reggae, raggaton and string band music. Name it and T-Mo can perform it. This accounts for why he is St. Maarten’s most sought for single artiste on the international scene, having performed in all corners of the world: New York, Miami, Boston, Canada, Aruba, Trinidad, Barbados, France and Africa.
Over the years, he has shared the stage with international soca and calypso artistes such as The Mighty Sparrow, Ajamu, Crazy, Shadow, King Obstinate, Destra and bands like Byron Lee and the Dragonaires, Ellie Matt and the G.I.’s Brass and Kassav. What is the secret of this humble, yet hardworking, music-loving artist? The answer is simple: His quest for excellence and perfection, and his insistence for improvement.
Each CD is better and sweeter than the previous. Today, T-Mo is St. Maarten’s first artiste to release his music on USB stick in order to keep up with the ever developing technology. This recording is a compilation of some of his best Christmas hits and his newly released hit: “Doh wuk de Thing so Santa” – a must hear! His dedication to this art form has brought him this far; and although he is at the top of his game, there is no stopping him now.
To conclude this brief history of the man we have all come to know and love as King T-Mo, I hope to put an end to the question asked by many: “Who is this musical icon we talk about?”
Timothee Renee Van Heynignen was born in St. Martin, FWI, on January 21, 1964, to a hard working family now residing on the seashore in Nettle Bay in Sandy Ground. He went to primary and secondary school in St. Martin and served in the French Army during his youthful years. T-Mo, a father of one son and five daughters, is a chef by profession. He worked for years in the kitchen at Mullet Bay Hotel, which was destroyed by Hurricane Luis in 1995. There his love for music quickly became noticeable to all who worked with him.
He is remembered by his former colleagues for always singing, mostly calypsos, while working. A former football player, T-Mo loves the sea, whether it is swimming, fishing, sailing or just spending time with the family on the shore. He is a self-made, hardworking, no nonsense man, who likes to get to the point and move on. T-Mo will best be remembered for the many songs he has blessed us with. As mentioned, his Christmas music resurfaces every year. His music has touched the people of St. Maarten, the Caribbean and many parts of the world in a positive way. Keep on bringing them!!!