Socrates made the announcement on Monday afternoon and told MiyVue.com in an interview that “My intention is to make this my last competition. I have been on the stage for a number of years now and been to various territories competing, winning, losing and making my contribution and I think that it’s about time I call it a day.”
During his career, Socrates received several awards for his contribution to calypso, but he explained that these all came from officials in other countries, not his own home state, St. Kitts and Nevis.
But, Hodge is still very thankful for the recognition he has received over the years including one from neighbouring island Antigua.
“My most recent achievement was from Antigua, where I was given a lifetime achievement award for my contribution to the development of calypso, not from St. Kitts but from Antigua, which I find as being very remarkable.”
During a career that has spanned some 30 years, Socrates managed to capture the crown in St. Kitts and Nevis five times. He first won in 1988/89, defeating the reigning Monarch Star Shield. His winning tunes then were “You Don’t Need it” and the highly popular “Killer on the Road.”
He successfully defended his crown the following year in 1989/90 but was defeated in 1990/91 when King Ellie Matt swept him away with the songs “Ah Coming for King” and “Gi De Culture a Break”.
It took another 11 years before Socrates scored victory in 2000/01 when he bounced back with “You Ain’t Give Me” and “Fans Advice”. Another win came in 2004/05 and 2009/10.
Another accomplishment of which he is pleased is the formation of a band. He noted that over the last 15 years he has been able to put together the Legends Calypso Band, which currently gives 35 calypsonians the opportunity to bring the topics to the public, via the Legends Calypso Tent.
He further noted that his daughter, Anastasia, has also entered the calypso arena.
“My daughter is stepping up to the plate too, and so she is a recognized calypsonian. A female Calypso Monarch who has won five times which is also an achievement.”
Socrates has accumulated seventeen titles to his name from local and regional competitions.
According to the veteran singer, his last competition is expected to be a tough one, because there are a lots of senior performers mixed with several young artistes who are gunning for the crown, he noted.
“You will have the Nevis contingent coming down… you have the females coming out to support the female contingent and you have the veteran fans coming out to support me and others and it will be a great show tonight.”
Reflecting on how he got into calypso, he disclosed that it was from his childhood days of drawing and putting stuff together which led him to writing.
He noted that he is a natural musician with the skills to play a variety of instruments but he did not have formal training to play any instrument.
However, with him leaving competitive calypso, he explained he would not be leaving the art-form entirely and looks forward to a role as a mentor for the younger ones.
The long time Calypsonian will be performing in his final competition on Monday 29th December, when he comes up against defending Calypso Monarch, Richie Buntin, and several other competitors for the 2014-2015 title.