MORE INFORMATION @ 5 pm Trini Time (4 pm EST) 😉
Hey Soca newbies, Soca fans and Soca fanatics.
Thank you for your continued support over the last several months. With Carnival upcoming, everyone is talking about all the great soca music for the season. This conversation is usually very entertaining but it is all over the place e.g. Facebook, Twitter, Snapchat, WhatsApp etc. We wanted everyone to have that conversation in one place. We released an update to our FREE app Radial which adds Social features around the music. With WhereDPump‘s help we wanted to kick off the launch of Social with a contest for one lucky Soca fan to win an iPhone 7. (And make sure to check out WhereDPump’s app that showcases all the top events for the Carnival season).
We created a special page just to help everyone look at the entries. You can find it here
Every Wednesday till Carnival 2017, we will choose a Lyric from a popular song.
WEEK 2 STARTING FEBRUARY 8TH: Our choice is Workout by Nailah Blackman and Kes. Send us your best workout face or pose. Be as creative as you want. Listen to the song on Radial and join the conversation for a Bonus entry. Enjoy and keep up the positivity.
Let us see what ‘Workout’ means to you.
WEEK 1 STARTING FEBRUARY 1ST : To kick it off, we chose the song Buss Yuh Head by Machel Montano and Bunji Garlin and the lyric will be ‘Stink and Dutty‘. If you are not familiar, Stink and Dutty (Dirty) usually refers to the appearance of a character called ‘Jab Jab’ or ‘Jab Molassie’. It involves paint, mud and sweat. Your entry could be a picture or video looking ‘stink and dutty’ (this could mean a pose after you just woke up or even a video of you getting on ‘stink and dutty’ in a fete). Be creative! This does not mean that have to be you dressed up like a Jab Jab.
This is all about what does ‘Stink and Dutty’ mean to you.
1/ Follow @RadialTT
2/ ReTweet our instructions on our Twitter account
3/ Tweet or Reply with a pic/video of your ‘stinkest and duttiest’ face/pose using the hashtag #RadialisSoca
Get a Bonus Entry if you ‘Join the Conversation’ on the song ‘Buss Yuh Head’ on Radial’s app
1/ Like our Facebook Page Radial Music
2/ Share our post with the instructions
3/ Share or reply with a pic/video of your ‘stinkest and duttiest’ face/pose using the hashtag #RadialisSoca
Get a Bonus Entry if you ‘Join the Conversation’ on the song ‘Buss Yuh Head’ on Radial’s app
1/ Follow Radial Music
2/ Like our post with the instructions
3/ Post a pic/video of your ‘stinkest and duttiest’ face/pose using the hashtag #RadialisSoca
Get a Bonus Entry if you ‘Join the Conversation’ on the song ‘Buss Yuh Head’ on Radial’s app
Soca to the World!
– Radial Team
1. ELIGIBILITY: Radial Giveaways (the “Giveaways”) is open to everyone. Employees and contractors of Yabil Inc, their advertising or promotion agencies, those involved in the production, development, implementation or handling of Giveaways, any agents acting for, or on behalf of the above entities, their respective parent companies, officers, directors, subsidiaries, affiliates, licensees, service providers, prize suppliers any other person or entity associated with the Giveaways (collectively “Giveaway Entities”) and/or the immediate family (spouse, parents, siblings and children) and household members (whether related or not) of each such employee, are not eligible. All U.S., federal, state and local and Canadian federal, provincial, and municipal laws and regulations apply. Void in Quebec, Puerto Rico and where prohibited by law.
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9. GENERAL CONDITIONS: In the event that the operation, security, or administration of the Giveaway is impaired in any way for any reason, including, but not limited to fraud, virus, or other technical problem, the Sponsor may, in its sole discretion, either: (a) suspend the Giveaway to address the impairment and then resume the Giveaway in a manner that best conforms to the spirit of these Official Rules; or (b) award the prizes at random from among the eligible entries received up to the time of the impairment. The Sponsor reserves the right in its sole discretion to disqualify any individual it finds to be tampering with the entry process or the operation of the Giveaway or to be acting in violation of these Official Rules or in an unsportsmanlike or disruptive manner. Any attempt by any person to undermine the legitimate operation of the Giveaway may be a violation of criminal and civil law, and, should such an attempt be made, the Sponsor reserves the right to seek damages from any such person to the fullest extent permitted by law. The Sponsor’s failure to enforce any term of these Official Rules shall not constitute a waiver of that provision. In case of a dispute as to the owner of an entry, entry will be deemed to have been submitted by the authorized account holder of the screen name from which the entry is made. The authorized account holder is defined as the natural person who is assigned to an e-mail address by an Internet access provider, online service provider, or other organization responsible for assigning e-mail addresses for the domain associated with the submitted e-mail address.
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11. DISPUTES: Except where prohibited, entrant agrees that any and all disputes, claims and causes of action arising out of, or connected with, the Giveaway or any prize awarded shall be resolved individually, without resort to any form of class action, and exclusively by the appropriate court located in the Commonwealth of Virginia. All issues and questions concerning the construction, validity, interpretation and enforceability of these Official Rules, entrant’s rights and obligations, or the rights and obligations of the Sponsors in connection with the Giveaway, shall be governed by, and construed in accordance with, the laws of the Commonwealth of Virginia, without giving effect to any choice of law or conflict of law rules (whether of the Commonwealth of Virginia or any other jurisdiction), which would cause the application of the laws of any jurisdiction other than the Commonwealth of Virginia.
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Since the turn of the century, one question has echoed throughout the halls of dorm rooms, barbershops, nail salons, and even grocery stores. The same question that used to keep me up at night as I argued with my good friend and Radial co-founder. That question is:
Who is the best DJ?
Needless to say, we have not yet cracked that age old conundrum, but we have come to an agreement. That is, more often than not, Caribbean DJs are far better-suited for people who enjoy our style of entertainment than non-Caribbean DJs . Ok, before you get your pitchforks out, I am not knocking the talent of Non-Caribbean DJs — in fact, there are some insanely gifted individuals doing great work to push the craft. What I am saying is that the style of DJing that works with our unique blend of cultures and tastes, comes with years of experience within the Caribbean community. And that makes a difference! Our friends at 2BKaribbean, do a great job talking about the qualities that make a great Caribbean DJ. Check it out:
With all that being said, we have seen both the new and the seasoned Caribbean DJs continue to push the conventional boundaries by experimenting with various tones & drops, remixing and remaking classics and current bangers, and using new technology to bridge the divide between the performer and the audience. One notable technology is the use of social media to bring fans closer to the DJs. I can think of a few examples of people who have done this incredibly well to help push their brand, with the added benefit that these influencers take our music to the global stage. From Sean Paul to Beenie man, Machel Montano to Bunji Garlin, King Bubba to Ricardo Drue, artists also agree that our Caribbean DJs fill a needed role to be ambassadors to our culture and serve on the front lines of our mission to the world.
Over the years, we have seen the growth of DJs like Trinidadian Dj Private Ryan; his creative remixes combined with his eclectic tastes secure him the iconic mantle of The most versatile DJ in the world. We have seen DJs like Antiguan Dj Crown Prince (aka The Soul Rebel), with one of the most popular podcasts, estimating downloads of 1800+ daily, who takes the music as the inspiration to create smooth mixes that introduce our music to fans all throughout the world. We cannot forget, the multiple-award-winning DJ and fellow entrepreneur, DJ Stephen, who not only tours the world with some of your favorite soca stars but has successfully started his own Merchandise Brand “I AM SOCA CLOTHING”. And of course, this list would be incomplete without the Jamaican Sound System Black Chiney that is best known for their fusion style of dancehall/hip hop refixes and dubplates that took the world by storm in the late 90s, with a team that includes Grammy Award-winning producer, Supa Dups.
As we fast forward to today, we at Radial, have the honor of working with some of the new faces of the Caribbean DJ movement. One of those faces belongs to rising Barbados superstar, and Digicel ambassador DJ Puffy who is one of the first Caribbean DJs to be selected for the Redbull Thre3style World Final DJ competition held in Chile this year. In fact, you should check out his entry video for the competition (that was featured on the Redbull Thre3style social media accounts and has been viewed almost half a million times on Facebook)!
If you enjoyed that video as much as we did, we have some great news for you. As of today, Caribbean music fans can sign into Radial (get our free ios app here) and see one of our newest features. We have collaborated with some of your favorite DJs to create a listening experience that would continue to bring you closer to the music. Each of these playlists has been curated by our partner DJs where you can find some of their favorite tracks. The future of Caribbean music is literally in your hands and our team will continue to do our part to provide a platform to showcase our talent, creativity, our culture, and of course our music. This week we are featuring three DJs: Dj Puffy, Dj Adrenalin, and Dj Floops!
Follow them on social media, you will thank me later!
Stay tuned as there is so much more exciting stuff to come.
So let’s hear from you. Who is your favorite Caribbean DJ? What do you think makes Caribbean DJs different from other DJs?
Until then, #SocaToTheWorld.
Learning about how other mothers handle raising a family is how motherhood knowledge has been passed on since the beginning of time. Socamom.com continues that tradition using humor, sympathy, technology, and education.
Radial: As a mom, how do you feel about letting your kids listen to Soca music? Do you let them listen to everything?
SocaMom: One of the things that is important for me is to find music that is family friendly because you are going to meet people that are three or four generations away. Me…I am the first of my family to be born here. However you are going to have people who are maybe grandparents and they are still connected by the music and they want to introduce that [music] to their younger kids.
It is a little different from when I was young and my mom would tell me that they would have to sneak to listen to certain kinds of music or to follow certain steel bands or listen to certain calypsos. They would have to go around their parents because they would ask why are you listening to that. We [Eva and her husband] spend a lot more time in the car with the kids and you know they can’t fully understand what they’re hearing but after a while my kids will bust out and start singing something. And I’m like…wait…I thought you were listening to something and you didn’t know what you were hearing. But after a certain period of time, they pick up on those words, they pick up on those double entendres and the next thing you know I’m like, what are you even saying.
After this exchange we tell her that Radial would build a child-friendly playlist just for her. Radial cofounder, Andre, then recounts his story of hearing his daughter, who is three years old, sing, “..shake that bubblenut…”. We ask her how old her kids are.
SocaMom: They [her kids] are ten, eleven and seventeen. The stuff I listen to with the seventeen-year-old is totally different than what I listen to with the ten and eleven-year-olds. They at first, don’t catch it. They only really hear the [Trinidadian] accent with family. But after a while, if you give them a good two weeks, that is it! They can repeat the accent and all because they are under twelve. And as they say, if you are under twelve you can pick up the accent of wherever you are. I tell them, whatever you’re saying I need you to stop saying it [laughs].
SocaMom: So if he said, “…they are looking for King Crazy…”.
The stuff they listen to in Soca has no cursing but the double entendres that it has, they have to have the brain to be able to turn what the person has said into what they actually mean. I remember when I was younger and my mom and I were listening to Crazy. She thought it was hilarious the stuff that he was saying. With my kids, I know they are going to hear only what he said. So if he said, “…they are looking for King Crazy…”. They’re not going to hear the accent. They’re going to hear what mommy is listening to. Now that they are older I have to be more careful about what they listen to. Especially if they get really quiet because it means they are probably processing what he is saying.
Radial: What are your top three Soca songs?
SocaMom: Oh gosh! “That I am listening to right now?” I would say they are kind of older. She asks her eldest son, “What’s that song we were listening to in the car? Who is that by?” Oh yes, they listen to Bunji. They like Truck on De Road. We like Kerwin’s music and there is another Bunji that we like. Red Light District…so the two of us [her husband and herself] we happen to like that song but the others are not allowed to listen to that. He [Bunji Garlin] is really talented. I interviewed him a while back on my YouTube channel.
He can freestyle like anything. They also like Carnival Tabanca…it has a couple of rum mentions but it is ok. Also basically any and everything by Kes the Band. I know I can turn that on and let it play because it is family friendly.
Radial: Why did you stop doing music reviews?
SocaMom: I would say time. See, I am in my third year of law school now. So you’ll see there is a break in the amount of content that I was putting out my first two years. In the first year of law school I had: the three kids; married; the blog. It was a lot. I am not trying to fail [laughter]. The music reviews take me a little longer.
SocaMom: And people choose their music based on what everybody else is saying.
For me, that is somebody’s livelihood. And people choose their music based on what everybody else is saying. If I am calling myself SocaMom and I say this is garbage or I did not give it a chance or I didn’t listen to it more than once or I didn’t listen to the rest of the album or I didn’t do any background work. That would really mess up somebody’s money and I’m not trying to mess up anyone’s money. People like to be reckless with people’s reviews.
Radial: How do you identify as a Caribbean American Parent?
SocaMom: There are a lot of people like me. When I started this blog, you would be stunned by the people that came out of the woodworks. People I knew, that I thought I knew, I find out that their mom is Jamaican or their dad is from Barbados and I’m like wait…what?
A lot of us are scared to say something or are scared to try to identify outside of your house because people are quick to come at you and say “You are not real this or you are not real that”. And that kind of discounts how they self-identify. So I think that giving people the option of not having to leave yourself open for something like that. You can still enjoy the culture but not leave yourself open for any sort of negative criticism or feeling uncomfortable.
So being able to go to an app and that’s what it’s about, this is the thing, it’s almost like a learning experience for people who hear everything five years later. Being able to just listen to new music and not know exactly what you’re looking for, this [Radial] is something that is for someone just like me and there are a LOT of us. A LOT!
Radial: Why do you want to be so connected to the Caribbean?
SocaMom: Because when you’re here, it’s kind of like you’re dropped off at eighteen. So when I was in my house, I would come outside and say certain things and people would look at you like they never even heard those words before. It’s like you speak another language. Other things like when you go to school and you open your lunchbox and the other kids are like, “What is that?”, “Why does it smell like that?”. So you are almost in a country that is inside of another country the entire time you’re growing up. Then when you go out and make your own family. It’s kind of like you are left to hang, you have nothing to anchor yourself to or to hold on to.
Somebody like me, at eighteen, I may not have ever have gone into an international store. I would not know what I was looking for but I know I want to smell this certain thing or eat this certain thing but my parents would have made this for me. And you don’t have the grandmother that you could go across the street and show you how to make certain things. I didn’t see my grandma for twenty years because she was in St. Vincent and now I am an adult and we have to now pay for five people to head back, you don’t really get to go back like you used to when you were younger. My parents would send me back with my grandmother when I was a kid until maybe you were sixteen. Then you get to college and those bills start coming in, you don’t have the finances to connect yourself.
SocaMom: So people like me kind of want to figure out where you fit. Because you certainly don’t fit with the American way of raising your kids.
You don’t have any of that so you feel like an orphan because you were raised a certain way and then dropped off. So people like me kind of want to figure out where you fit. Because you certainly don’t fit with the American way of raising your kids. People look at my kids and are like, “Oh my gosh, they work?” and I’m like, “Yea!! They eat so yes they work, I worked when I was a kid so yes they work too.” My son gets up and does his chores in the morning and they [Americans] will ask, “Why don’t you let that boy sleep? and I respond, “Uhhhh because the dirt is not sleeping?” [laughter]. For moms like me, when we get together and talk, it is a place to be OK. It is ok to be a little tougher on your kid, It is ok to want better for your kids. That connection is just not feeling like you’re dangling out there once your parents have gone on about their business at the time.
Radial: If some of the fans want to reach out to you and connect, what’s the best way for them to do this?
Radial: Part of our discussion with SocaMom was for her to find out why we do what we do here at Radial. You can read that on her website. Click here to read her interview of us.
This is a continuation from a previous post. If you did not have a chance to read part 1, you can find it here. So here are 4 more dance moves that you can perform when Soca music is playing.
While the walk and wine concept is similar to #1 (i.e. wining), this dance is in a category of its own. During this move, the dancer can travel anywhere from a few steps to dozens of miles following the beat of the music. During this movement, the dancer usually shifts his/her waist from side to side while also taking steps either forward or backward. Unlike #1, chipping is all about steady movement and is almost always done in a large group. Many dances of this type can incorporate external elements to make the journey more enjoyable. This includes a Tassa drum, bottle & spoon, and of course, a whistle. This type of dance is probably the most popular type of move that is done during any Carnival celebration as it is meant to allow revelers to enjoy the music while progressing to their next stop without depleting stamina. As you can tell, this dance has quite a few perks and is the second easiest dance to learn.
By far, the easiest dance when it comes to Soca music is this one. As the name suggests, this type of dance is all about jumping and waving (usually a bandanna, rag, or flag). It is a high energy move where the dancer expresses celebratory jumps in the rhythm of the music. The type of Soca that accompanies this type of dance usually has some form of instruction embedded in the lyrics (such as Jump by Rupee or Dust Them (Stampede) by Kurt Allen). Please keep in mind that this type of dance also includes moves outside of simply jumping and waving, it also includes stamping, mashing, moving to the left and right, and of course palancing. This form of dance is all about releasing inhibitions and letting the music move you. This is why this type of dance is usually done with Power Soca but it can also be done with other forms as well.
This is less of a formal dance move but more of a state of relaxation. The jib, or the vibesing, is done when the listener of the music does not feel the need to expel a ton of energy and simply wants to enjoy the music. You can find persons jibbing inside or outside of the club and is a form of musical “liming”. If you are unsure what the term liming means, here you go:
“The concept of liming encompasses any leisure activity entailing the sharing of food and drink, the exchange of tall stories, jokes and anecdotes etc., provided the activity has no explicit purpose beyond itself. “
So as you can imagine, there are an infinite number of ways to jib. For example, head-nodding in a corner while sipping on a beastly cold Stag beer is a form of jibbing. Additionally, a group of guys can sway in the music and not say anything to each other and this can be a form of jibbing. There is no wrong or right way to be jibbing, simply relax and let the music do its thing.
This is not a dance but the lack of dancing. This is what my adolescent self would fight tooth and nail to prevent. To “salt” or “sucking salt” means to be unsuccessful in finding a partner or mate. Many a guy/girl have fallen victim to this confidence-crusher. A salter-man, is by definition, one who is perpetually in a state of salting. Even though there may be cases of people intentionally wanting to be in this state, I cannot think of a single one to share. With the advent of new technologies such as smartphones, Instagram, Twitter, etc, one may use these devices to give the impression that he/she is salting by choice, but at the end of the day/dance… he/she is still salting in the dance. The combination of salting and staring (aka gaping) at other dancers/winers is one of the most destructive things to happen to a person. So if you know of anyone who has suffered from this ailment for longer than a year, please help them out — even a social wine would help.
Have I left anything out? Did you miss part 1? Share with us your favorite dance stories on social media on twitter @radialtt or on facebook.com/RadialMusic. You can also email us at firstname.lastname@example.org if you would like your voice to be published on our page.
Happy dancing everyone!
I can vividly remember the first time that I danced with a girl. I was 14 or 15 and a few of my female friends and I were in my father’s recording studio in Diego Martin, Trinidad, with the music blasting in the sound-proofed room. I always had a little rhythm (I assume this is one of the side effects of having a father who was both a musician and a producer) but I wanted to ensure that I was ready for two of the biggest parties of my adolescent years – Bishops Dance and Fatima Mayfair. So learning how to dance, i.e. making sure that I could wine, was at the top of my priority list. And as I write this piece, I am keeping the younger version of myself in mind. Please note that this list is not exhaustive; the following is simply meant to be a starting point to true Soca enlightenment. However, I must warn you that the journey you are about to embark on is filled with many trials and tribulations but, in the end, you would be glad that you took this time to become in tuned to your inner West Indian. So here are 5 dances that you can do when Soca music is playing (& part 2):
Regardless of how you spell it, I wanted to take this time to dispel any myths by saying the following:
WINING IS NOT THE SAME AS TWERKING.
Ok. Now that we have that covered, let’s get to the fun stuff. A contributor at Spiceisland.com defines wining to be
“the thrusting or rotating of the pelvic girdle in a rhythmic pattern… It requires no teaching or no formal learning at a school of dance. It’s as natural as our language rhythm or cadence of speech. Unlike other genres of music that inspires the feet – such as “salsa’’ and “tango’’ – the dancing of soca music inspires the rhythmic movement of the waistline, more than any other body part.”
Got it? Good. While it may be intimidating to read that as a non-West Indian, do not be afraid. There is no true/definitive way to wine but there are a few tips that could help you arrive on the more positive side of the spectrum.
Tip 1. Wining comes from your waist. The rest of your body should remain stable (while in the act) and you can activate your core for more control. If you are bending your back or moving your shoulders at this stage… STOP IT. You are doing too much. Get the basics down before moving to the advanced stuff.
Tip 2. Both men and women can wine. People from any ethnic group or background can wine. There are winer-boys and winer-girls of all ages. You can think of wining as an equal opportunity employer so it is best to embrace it now.
Tip 3. It’s all about rhythm. Use the drum pattern of the song to maintain the tempo and not any other instrument in the music. If you are rhythmically-challenged, start with a 4/4 metronome at 120 beats per minute.
Tip 4. It’s about having fun and does not necessarily have to be a super sexual experience. Even though you may not be the top class bubbler (more on this later), once you and/or your partner are having a great time, then that’s all that matters. Well, unless you are on stage or competing in a wining contest of course.
Tip 5. There are different types of wining, and wining lingo that you should know about. Here are a few to get you started:
Here are some pictures that can illustrate the traditional wining technique. You can find the original post here: http://www.wikihow.com/Whine-Your-Waist.
All the real top class bubblers know that wining is all about getting in tuned to the environment. The best way to do that is to make sure your shoes and socks are off and your feet are firmly planted on the ground (grass is fine). If done correctly, you will start feeling mother nature’s chakra transfer from the earth through your toes, up your thighs, and implant itself between your hips.
It’s all about the pink.
There is a pretty famous joke that goes like this:
What goes in hard and pink, but comes out soft and mushy?
The answer is… Bubblegum. And if you read the above post, you will notice that bubblegum plays a huge part in your journey to wining competency. Whether it is becoming a bubbler, or chewing bubblegum while doing the brukout move. Remember, it’s all about PINK. It is not a coincidence that Nicki Minaj’s albums are entitled Pink Friday, Pink Friday: Roman Reloaded, and The Pinkprint. The proof is clear. Nicki is Trinidadian and she knows how to wine. Therefore, one should start his/her training in PINK.
Multiple costume changes.
Every successful dancer knows that clothes are important. To learn how to wine like the pros, you would need to change clothes as often as physically possible. Please ensure that your costume changes happen within a 5-minute window as you do not want to lose any of the chakra that you have built up. Additionally, each costume change adds a level of static energy to your system which is then converted to potential and kinetic energy used for wining. And with every system, one must obey the law of conservation of energy – which states that the total energy of an isolated system remains constant- it is said to be conserved over time (i.e. winers never get tired – obviously). This is not magic nor a miracle, this is basic physics! Energy can neither be created nor destroyed; rather, it transforms from one form to another. And in this case, you are converting it to wine energy.
Ok. You got me. You do not have to do steps 1 through 3 in order to wine. At the same time, learning to wine by reading guides online sounds just as ridiculous to a natural winer as the above steps. The best way to learn to wine without embarrassing yourself too much is to practice in the mirror or with a partner who knows how to wine. That’s it. Wining is an art form and a mode of expression. It is not a science. The moment you start counting your steps and overthinking your rhythm is the moment you should stop. Have fun and wine however you want to.
Wow. Just talking about wining took a life of its own and for the sake of brevity, I will continue the other forms of dance on part 2 of this post. (Click here to read part 2)
Share with us your favorite dance/wine stories on social media on Twitter @radialtt or on facebook.com/RadialMusic. Who was your first wine with? Do Trini girls have the sweetest wine? Are there other forms of wines that I forgot (i.e. sandwich wine, etc)? Let us know and send us an email at email@example.com if you want to start contributing to the Radial blog.
Some of us know this situation all too well – whether it is a friend, a co-worker, a significant other, or a random stranger – teaching someone about Soca and Carnival can be tricky. Whether you choose to let them dive right into the music or you give them a historical backdrop before letting the bass drop, the joy of sharing our culture can be viewed just as much as a spiritual journey as it is a musical one. I have been a DJ in the United States for over 10 years and anyone who comes to my shows can tell that I am 100% Trini (even though they may not know exactly what that means). By having a few tunes in each set to educate the ex-pats to the new releases, a major part of my career has been both a teacher and an ambassador. In fact, I truly believe that sharing our music with the world is not only what makes us unique, but it is also our responsibility. And besides sharing is caring right?
Step 1: Explain that not every song that originates from the Caribbean is Reggae.
This may seem like an obvious step, but TRUST ME, IT IS NOT. For some reason, many non-Caribbeans assume that Reggae is the only genre that comes from our islands. In fact, it is safe to say that many even assume that every island country is either Jamaica or part of Jamaica. It may be a frustrating task to convince someone that there are other artists besides Bob Marley that hail from our respective tropical paradise(s), but the payoff is well worth it. And while you are doing so, make sure not to confuse them with the wide range of other genres that we also have including dancehall, ska, zouk, kompa, chutney, calypso, steelpan etc. I know this is tempting, but stay focused my friends. It will pay off in the end when they come back begging you to teach them more about the various types of music that we have to share.
Step 2: Start with something remotely familiar and show how they have heard Soca in the past but never realized it.
With the inception of Calypso in the early to mid 20th century and the birth of Soca (also known as the soul of calypso) in the 70s by Garfield Blackman (aka Ras Short I), Soca has evolved over the years and has a number of tracks that crossed over to the mainstream. This includes the famous “Hot Hot Hot” by Arrow in the 80s which peaked at #11 on the US Billboard charts and featured in dozens of movie soundtracks, and “Defense” by Machel Montano, Pitbull and Lil Jon in 2006-2007. In my experience, the most recognized soca songs that have crossed over successfully in recent years are “Turn Me On” by Kevin Lyttle and “Tempted to Touch” by Rupee. If you start with these songs, you already have started to associate their view of Soca with a positive memory of dance and good vibes. One word of advice, DO NOT, I repeat DO NOT start any conversation about Soca with any mention of “Who Let the Dogs Out?” by the Baha Men. Trust me on this one.
Step 3: Explain some of the common concepts found in most/many Soca songs.
It’s always fun to try to break down the lyrics of your favorite Soca song and explain them to your friends. My girlfriend is American and while she knew about Soca before we even met, she had no idea what some of her favorite songs were about. This is not an unusual situation since Soca is more about the vibe (aka the energy or the feeling) than it is about the lyrics. However, it is important to note that many Soca songs are instructive and have elements of call and response – so learning about the concepts is not only important, but it can be fun. See below:
Fete – a fête or fete is an elaborate festival, party or celebration
Wine – whine, wine, winding, all refer to the gyration of the hips in a rhythmic pattern.
Bacchanal – to have a good time/drama; commotion, a wild party, or raucus event between neighbors, family or friends.
Bumper – or bumpah, is a booty, typically female.
Lime – to party and hang out
A quick review of the top songs of 2016 shows that at least one of the above concepts is featured throughout the music.
Step 4: Illustrate that Soca is an experience. Some people listen to Soca while driving to work, others only during the Carnival season.
During this step, your goal is to show that listening to Soca is directly connected to your current state of mind. Many people listen when they are feeling frustrated or upset to help them get out of their funk, others swear that it is the best music to listen to while working out. Regardless of your reason, it is almost physically impossible to listen to this high energy music and not feel compelled to move your body (even if just a little bit or mentally). A perfect example of this is a video from 2010 Soca Monarch song “Palance” by JW and Blaze:
The fact is, Soca makes people happy. And in some cases, it grants the listener super powers.
Step 5: Play at loud volumes preferably at an event or party.
The best way to experience Soca is with all your friends around with heavy libation in rotation. Even if you skip steps 1 through 4, this step is probably the most effective. If a non-Caribbean person can experience 100, 200, or even 500 people jumping up, waving a “flag”, having a great time and being moved by the music, this should be enough to show that there may be something to this Soca thing. This is also the best way to introduce Power Soca in my opinion. Rupee’s “Jump” and Destra “Celebrate” have been staples in my Dj set and even those who are not from the Caribbean seem to embrace the Soca experience.
Have I left anything out? Do you have any stories about how you introduced someone to Soca? Let your voice be heard, send us a message at firstname.lastname@example.org and join the Radial community.
/tah-bang-kuh; alt: tuh-bang-kuh/
Ever felt a deeply rooted longing and insatiable desire? A sense of helplessness that eventually consumes your mind and manifests itself in the form of aches and pains, leaving you in a sort of vegetative state? Okay, it’s maybe not that drastic but you can see where I’m going with this. Some might call tabanca the west Indian equivalent to being lovesick. But it definitely does not only pertain to a yearning for someone. In one of his biggest tunes from 2013, the Soca Viking himself, Bunji Garlin, addressed a kind of tabanca that masqueraders around the world (but mainly in Trinidad) feel: A carnival tabanca.
Below you will see the various stages of this phenomenon in the hope that we can get through this together:
In this phase our heart rather than our head rules our belief system as we try to adjust to the idea of life without Carnival. Even though we know the season is over, we really don’t believe it. Against the better judgment of everyone around us, we can’t help but entertain fantasies of a follow-up season. We see hidden glimmers of hope buried in clear indications that it’s over. Yes, this is the phase where we are most susceptible to late night instagram & facebook reminiscing.
Anger can manifest in many different ways – anger at promoters and djs (“How could they do this to me? Why can’t we have more than one season per year?”), anger at God or the universe (“I thought God was a Trini! Why can’t anything ever work out for me? Why am I cursed?”), anger at people or situations associated with the tabanca, and anger at other people who don’t agree or stand with your anger (“Can you believe that the boss is expecting me to go to work now? Can’t he/she tell that I’m in pain!?”).
Bargaining often goes hand in hand with denial. Bargaining can be looking for any possible way to make Carnival return through negotiation, threats, and/or magic – for example, calling your friends to convince them to throw a Soca party even though you have never thrown a party in your life and/or petitioning the government for a summer Soca fest. And, of course, this phase is not only limited to bargaining with people. Many people bargain with The Powers That Be, promising to be a better person if only Carnival will come back. This includes your fitness instructor, your future children, and your local doubles vendor. During this stage, you may take a new interest in astrology, tarot cards or any type of voodoo that will forecast a reunion.
Depression, like anger, also surfaces in many different forms, for example feeling tired all the time, not wanting to do anything but lay in bed, feeling disconnected from people even when you’re with them, being on the verge of tears most of the time, trouble sleeping or sleeping too much, loss of appetite or overeating, increase in drug or alcohol use and (the big one) hopelessness. Hopelessness is the most pervasive and debilitating, It is the thing that leads us to believe that nothing will ever be or feel different than it is right now. Hopelessness makes it feel like you will never move on and that nothing will ever work out for you in the future. This is the phase where you may start bingeing on Dj Private Ryan mixes.
And speaking on Dj Private Ryan mixes, he released his 2016 Post-Carnival Relief this morning. You are welcome:
Finally, this is the phase in which we are able to make peace with the loss. It doesn’t always come on suddenly; it often happens gradually, little bit by little bit, interspersed with some of the other phases. Acceptance doesn’t always involve harmony and flowers – there is almost certain to be lingering sadness. Acceptance entails making peace with the loss, letting go of the fact that Carnival is over, and slowly moving forward with your life. Sometimes it feels like this phase will never come, which usually means you’re still struggling in an earlier phase. However, this is the phase where you restart your countdown for the next carnival (St. Lucia, Cropover, Caribana, Labor Day, Notting Hill, Berlin, Miami, etc).
Just remember, everything will be ok.
The 2016 International Soca Monarch (ISM) competition has experienced a wide range of criticism due to the number of changes that it has implemented (i.e. from the complete removal of the Power/Groovy categories to the postponing of the announcement of the winner(s)).
— Sherisse☄ (@Sherisse09) February 7, 2016
Artistes have complained about aspects of the contractual agreements that go into performing at the show while listeners have expressed concerns about the perceived politics involved in the judging process. This has lead to some of the popular Soca vocalists/musicians opting out of the event altogether over the last few years. However, with the crowning of a relative newcomer as the champion…
Voice is a winnerrrrrrrrr #ISM
— Ria Rambally (@Ree_la_la) February 7, 2016
Have we seen a return to the competition’s roots?
Since its inception in 1993, the ISM was designed as “a veritable conveyor belt for new Soca artistes year after year; it offers the opportunity for instant name recognition for those who have been merely marking time on the slippery periphery of the show-biz radar”(socamonarch.net). But with the exception of JW and Blaze in 2010 with their monster hit “Palance”, the monarch title has predominantly gone to established artists like Super Blue, Machel Montano, Iwer George, and Bunji Garlin. So with 23-year-old Aaron ‘Voice’ St Louis winning this year’s competition, he has shown that younger artistes still have a chance. This is further supported by the second place going to newcomer Preedy and third place being a tie between Patrice and Blaxx. While some of these performances did not have the same visual effects that may accompany more seasoned artists with bigger budgets (e.g. jetpacks and harnesses), the crowd response clearly played a major role in deciding the winner. Additionally, all of this seems to piggy-back off of the 2015 Groovy Soca Monarch win of Olatunji which took the nation by storm last year.
It has been said that the ISM competition can be viewed as a musical visa which could unite us all. Do you agree or disagree? Were there other titles that deserved the crown? What about the new structure of the ISM? If given the chance to produce the show yourself, what would you do differently? Here is what some of you thought on Twitter…
All those tigers that Salty made roar didn’t even help him ?????? #ISMChubble
— NΣ§§IΣ™ (@gottaluvness69) February 7, 2016
Ola suit couldn’t get 3 yards of cloth with the same pattern? #ISMChubble
— Dirty Schweppes (@QuaceyMUFC) February 7, 2016
Young performers like The Voice needs to be encouraged for bringing lyrics & vocals back to the soca monarch #ISMChubble
— ah is a trini (@agodtt) February 7, 2016
Things that you may not know about Voice:
We at Radial believe that the future of Soca is in good hands as we continue to provide a platform to support both new and established artistes of the genre. And just as a sneak peek into the future, at least one of the artistes mentioned above will be featured as a Radial partner in the coming weeks. Stay tuned.
Are you a Soca lover? Would you like to share your views on all things Soca/Carnival? Do you want to contribute to taking Soca to the world? Send us a message at email@example.com and we can feature your thoughts on the website.