By Vernlyn Zakers
Queen Anastacia is on a winning roll.
Last December she won the National Female Bacchanal crown.
In April, at the Easter-Rama Clypso Show, she successfully defended her crown — winning back-to-back crowns.
Then, last week, she won the Ring Bang Calypso Competition.
Queen Anastacia, whose real name is Tonicia Hodge, said last week’s accomplishment was a big surprise to her.
“Honestly, I did not feel like I would win,” said Anastacia. “Because of the persons who were entering and the nature of the show… But I went in and I did my best.”
Anastacia said the show featured some of the islands top calypsonians including Black Beard, who is the Best of the Rest Calypso King; the ever popular Unexpected; exciting newcomer I-Soursop; Singing Angie; Forrest, who is the perennial national calypso semi-finalist; and Quantash, who is St.Peter’s festival King.
Anastacia said after winning the Easter-Rama title, she felt the pressure to at least place among the top three at Ring Bang — she was not expecting to win.
“So when they called second- and first-runners up and my name was not mentioned, I already knew then I had won. Before the announcer could even call my name people started saying ‘go for your crown. You done win.’”
The keenly contested and very exciting Ring Bang show saw Anastasia crowned as the event’s first monarch. I-Soursop won the first runners-up position and Forrest followed closely behind in the second runners-up position.
Anastasia won a cash prize of $750, a Cable & Wireless cell phone, Triple 888 phone cards, round trip Liat ticket to St. Maarten and many other prizes and gifts, some of which included dinners and gift certificates.
‘Brain Drain’ was the song that won the beautiful Anastasia the coveted title.
“This song is about the suffering that people are facing right now,” Anastacia said. “It is a fact that a lot of people have to leave St. Kitts to find some means of income for them and their family.
“Peoples’ brain are draining at the fact that they have bills to pay and the crime rate is rising and policemen are resigning,” Anastacia said.
‘At a time when crime rate is rising more policemen are resigning,’ was one of the lines from the song.
“My songs are basically straight to the point and do not beat around the bush,” she said.
Anastacia said she is a “straight up person.” In fact, because of that trait she was able to come up with the name, Anastacia.
“I came up with the name when I was in school and after I read a story about a woman from Russia. She was a determined person. She was the kind of person who fought for what she believed in.
“The name has a Russian meaning, which alludes to a high octave note.”
Anastacia said she started singing 10 years ago, and that at one time she went by the name, Singing Tonicia.
However, after winning her first title she changed her name to Anastacia. Her close friend, Princess P, encouraged her to add ‘Queen’ to it.
“She would say, ‘Queen Anastacia let them give you what is yours’ and we would laugh about it. But it does not matter. I know I am the queen — the reigning queen — and no one has to remind me,” Anastacia said.
So far for this year, Anastacia has entered in two shows and won them both. By the time the year is up Anastacia said she plans to enter in an at least five more shows. And, there is a strong possibility that Anastacia could win them all, including the national calypso show in December.
“I don’t like to get too confident,” Anastacia said. “I have never believed in saying that I have won once, so I can win again.”
Anastacia said she approached she each competition like it was her first.
“I am always nervous when I am going to perform. I am always at the point that every time I am going on stage, I feel like it is my first time singing calypso,” Anastacia said. “I would be back stage prancing and shaking and everybody would be like ‘girl what happen to you?’”
Anastacia said if she is not nervous to perform in a show, she will get scared.
“And, if I am not nervous it means I have already lost even before I have competed,” Anastacia said. “I am humble about my ability… I do not boast about it.”
Anastacia is presently working on setting up the Female Calypsonian Association. She said the sole aim of the association is to rejuvenate calypso in the Federation.
“Calypso is in my blood,” Anastacia said. “… I am just happy that I could follow in my father’s footsteps and accomplish things that he has accomplished, and make him proud of me.”