• Celebrating Culture, Embracing History, Its Culturama 50!

Elphlin Jen Warner, also known as ‘Meeko,’ was born in Cotton Ground, Nevis, on September 30, 1959. His mother, Daphne Warner, passed away when he was just six years old. His grandmother, Grace-Anne Webbe (deceased), raised him.

Since he was very young, Meeko has had a passion for singing. He sang at Sunday school, in primary and secondary school, and anytime he could showcase his talent. Joseph Niles and The Consolers significantly influenced him during his Sunday school days.

Meeko’s interest in Calypso was sparked by the captivating performances of King Short Shirt and King Ellie Matt during the Antigua and St. Kitts Carnival shows. The radio broadcasts of these shows, which he and his friends eagerly tuned into at the street corner, further fanned the flames of his passion. However, the unwavering support and shared passion of his community provided the final push, leading to his debut in the calypso arena in 1976, a moment that would shape his life.

When Meeko entered the band house on that memorable evening in 1976, he was accompanied by several classmates and friends, marking the beginning of a new era in calypso. King Dis & Dat, Mighty Wheeler, and Mighty Beno were among the newcomers that year. Although he was defeated by his high school teacher, Tyrone O’Flaherty, known in the calypso circles as Bahowlah the Meek, Meeko rose to fame with his famous song “CULTURAMA,” which won him his first Road March title. The undaunted ‘Meeko’ entered the calypso show in 1977, but the judges did not favor him again.

In 1978, Meeko made a resounding statement in the CULTURAMA Calypso Monarch Competition by delivering stirring performances of the songs “Let the Culture Live” and “De New Culture.” The judges recognized the profound influence of his music on the island’s culture and crowned him the winner. This victory marked the beginning of a series of triumphs. Until his last entry in the Culturama Senior Kaiso Competition, he had won the crown more than any other calypsonian on the island. He was victorious in 1976, 1982, 1985, 1991, 1994, 1997, 1999, 2001, and 2004. Meeko undoubtedly left an indelible mark on the island’s cultural landscape. Apart from winning the Culturama Senior Kaiso title nine times, he has also won the Culturama Road March title five times. Every time he competed in the Senior Kaiso Finals, Meeko brought the whole of Cotton Ground to Charlestown and consistently got the audience on their feet.

Additionally, King Meeko also has the following crowns to his credit:

  1. 1998, Federation Calypso King
  2. 1989, Independence King (Nevis)
  3. 1995, Caribbean Calypso Monarch (St. Maarten)
  4. 1997, FND Calypso King
  5. 1999, St. Kitts-Nevis King of Kings
  6. 1999, Millennium Tourism Kaiso Bacchanal Monarch

Meeko has also performed overseas in New York, Boston, the US Virgin Islands, St. Maarten, the British Virgin Islands, Antigua, Anguilla, St. Kitts, Miami, Saba, Trinidad, and St. Eustatius.

In 1978, King Meeko performed “Mass in Oualie” with the Soul Survivors Brass. The song gained popularity and was entered into a competition alongside other Caribbean artists, and it received high praise. It was later included on an album featuring other popular Caribbean hit songs.

When Meeko was not singing Kaiso at the Culturama and Carnival festivals, he worked with schools under the Department of Culture and later the Nevis Cultural Development Foundation for about eight years. During this time, he taught clowns, masquerades, and Johnnie Walker and conducted Junior Calypso workshops and anything related to culture.

Meeko’s biggest hits to date are undoubtedly Ruff Me Up/Gee Me De Lay-Lay (which rocked the Caribbean charts between 2000 and 2002), Nevis Nice (the unofficial anthem of Nevis), The Queen of the Caribees and Love We Festival, a collaboration with Delly Ranks and the KORE Band.

When asked about the meaning of his stage name, Meeko, he explained: “I am the…”                   

M – Main
E – Entertainer
E – Entering (this)
K – Kaiso
O – Organization

King Meeko is now retired after singing and entertaining for over 35 years. Some years ago, when asked about his plans for calypso, he smiled and said, “I aim to keep on singing and bringing the hits to my fans throughout the world and to help train younger calypsonians.” He has worked with King Inspirer, who repeatedly won the Culturama Junior Kaiso title and became the youngest calypsonian to capture the Senior Kaiso title in 2009. He has also worked with Invincible and his daughter, Lady Destiny, and is willing to work with other budding calypsonians. 

On behalf of the Nevis Island Administration, the Ministry of Culture, the Nevis Cultural Development Foundation, and the Nevis Culturama Committee, we proudly salute Elphlin J. Warner, ‘King Meeko,’ for his years of dedication to the calypso art form on Nevis. We cherish and value his efforts to promote and preserve Nevis’s rich cultural legacy.

May he have a fun-filled, enjoyable, and impactful Culturama 50!