Machel Montano is not only one of the Caribbean's youngest performers, but one of its most successful. With his unique blend of soca and dancehall, and sensual stage persona, Montano has risen to the upper echelon of Caribbean music. The first Trinidadian and the youngest performer to win the Caribbean song festival (in 1987), he's gone on to win the Young Kings Competition in 1991, the Party Vocalist Competition in 1995, and the Road March King Competition of Trinidad and Tobago in 1997. His band, Xtatik, won the Party Band Competition in 1996. According to Metro Connections, Montano "successfully crosses boundaries between young and old, between Jamaica and Trinidad and between soca and dancehall."
Montana's talent has been obvious since childhood. Impressing his parents with his singing with the accompaniment of his brother on guitar, he was sent for vocal lessons. At the age of nine, he was chosen to represent the music school at the Junior Calypso Monarch Contest. Forming his band, Pranasonic Express, later renamed Xtatik, in 1984, he released his debut album, Too Young To Soca, two years later. He was heard by North American audiences for the first time when he performed the title track on television show, Star Search in 1987. Montano's hits include "Take Me Back," "By All Means," "Take Ah Borrow," "Music Farm," "Big Truck," "Footsteps," and "Toro Toro." His album Outa Space (UFOs) featured the vocals of Jamaican vocalist Beenie Man. ~ Craig Harris