* AUSTIN SUPER BLUE LYONS * BIOGRAPHY *
Austin “Super Blue” Lyons, Born in St. Andrew's, Grenada, By Grenadian parents, His father Mr. Cantay lyons was a well known shop onwer inside, La Poterie, St. Andrew's, Super blue migrated to trinidad & tobago at a young age and became famous from his first foray into the calypso tent world in 1980 with Soca Baptist a song he penned in 1979. Soca Baptist also won him his first Carnival Road March Monarch in 1980, While giving him the biggest win at that time though the magnitude of that win would be dwarfed by his own subsequent landslide victories.
He went on to win the annual Carnival Road March title eight times and the Trinidad Soca Monarch (now the International Soca Monarch) title a record 5 times. Superblue is famous for wearing blue costumes. He developed a reputation for performing daring antics while on stage for the Trinidad Soca Monarch competitions.
Superblue's daughter Fay-Ann Lyons, whose mother is calypsonian Lady Gypsy, is herself a well-known soca musician (composer and performer), who has already at a young age won three Road March Monarch titles (in 2003, 2008 and 2009) and who performs at both local and foreign carnival events.
Superblue recorded the song, Clear de Road, with Fay-Ann and they performed it together for the International Soca Monarch competition in 2004. They did not place in the top ten however. In fact since his last Soca Monarch win in 2000, Superblue has remained out of the winners' circle musically though he continues to record.
His songs are still held to be classic soca compositions and he is hailed as the originator of the "jump and wave" style of soca songs. The song titled Barbara by Superblue was played as background music in the movie Side Streets (1998).
Soca Baptist—his premiere into the calypso art form—took T&T by storm. In 1981, he repeated his win with Ethel, and then in ’83 with Rebecca, which also clenched the Panorama title for Witco Desperadoes. In 1991, Get Something and Wave not only ushered in the “jump-and-wave” token soca element but also won “Blue Boy” another Road March title. Jab Jab won for him again in 1992, Bacchanal Time did it in 1993, Lara followed up in 1995 and Pump Up in 2000.
This Road March win came under scrutiny when Iwer George sued the National Carnival Committee claiming his song Carnival Come Back Again was the true winner. It was later declared a tie. SuperBlue also dominated the Soca Monarch competition. He was the competition’s very first winner in 1993 and went on to claim the crown another seven times.
Super Blue’s winners
’80: Soca Baptist—Road March
’81: Ethel—Road March
’83: Rebecca—Road March
’91: Get Something and Wave—Road March
’92: Jab Jab—Road March
’93: Bacchanal Time—Road March, Soca Monarch
’94: Flag Party—Soca Monarch
’95: Signal to Lara—Road March
’96: Bounce—Soca Monarch
’97: Barbara (tie with Ronnie McIntosh’s Ent)—Soca Monarch
’98: Ato—Soca Monarch
2000 Pump Up—Road March, Soca Monarch
2013 Fantastic Friday (tie with Machel's Float)—SocaMonarch, Road March (winner)
’03: Display—Road March
’08: Get On—Road March
’02: In De Ghetto—Soca Monarch
’04: Smoke Fire Brigade—Soca Monarch
’05: Blaze the Fire—Soca Monarch
’08: Fiery—Soca Monarch
Stepping into her father’s shoes
The Soca Monarch has been decided. And for some, when Faye-Ann Lyons-Alvarez penned the lyrical knockout Meet SuperBlue, there was no contest. Did she win? Has she dethroned her husband—four-time Soca Monarch Bunji Garlin? Will she become the first woman to claim two crowns in one year—both the Soca Monarch and Road March titles? Is she truly stepping into her famous, eight-time Road Monarch, six-time Soca Monarch father’s shoes?
Two days shy of the International Soca Monarch ’09 competition, father, soon to be grandfather and living legend Austin “SuperBlue” Lyons predicted a win for his first child. “Last year she should have won,” he said with conviction. “This year she has a very, very, very good chance.” As the subject of the song that throws a few knockout punches at his daughter’s detractors—and some argue even at him—Blue Boy insisted the song is misunderstood.
“It can be interpreted in many ways. People on the road do not understand the song. You have to live this life, you have to understand what I have done and been through...me and she never really get a chance to sit down and talk.” The subject of drug abuse and addiction has remained taboo in the calypso and soca fraternity, and while it has been alluded that SuperBlue has a drug problem, it has never been publicly confirmed by him or members of his family. Within the lyrics of Meet SuperBlue, Faye-Ann appears to be laying claim to her father’s legacy while declaring she is in her own right a champion. “You can give your children a fish or you can teach them how to fish. I not only taught them how to fish but also where to fish, and Faye-Ann has done very, very well.”
SuperBlue, who won six Soca Monarch titles, was also the competition’s first winner, in 1993. His performances were high-powered and well executed. While he was known for braving danger and climbing onto speaker boxes several feet in the air, Faye-Ann’s trademark became crowd surfing as she dubbed herself the Silver Surfer. On stage at this year’s Army Fete Faye-Ann, on behalf of the Defence Force, presented her father with a lifetime achievement award. “You don’t know how blessed that moment was for me,” said SuperBlue. Bringing tears to the eyes of older partygoers, who could easily recall the wild jubilation of his golden years with hits like Flag Party, Super Blue climbed onto a speaker box and hyped the crowd on behalf of his pregnant daughter.
His command for the crowd is now her command, as she proved in the Soca Monarch semifinal, when she told the crowd to get on bad like they did for her father when he used to walk on-stage and would, without singing a note, “level the dance.” “I had something in the making for this year, but when I heard her song I pulled back to let her get a chance to get the crown, to be hungry for it,” he said. “When you leave, someone must take your place…She is my first fruit’s bear and I wish her all the best.”