Last year, Guyana kicked off its first Carnival! The fetes, the food, and the festival were amazing and showcased Guyana’s burgeoning soca scene. Among the talents that came to the forefront was the stage at Kes the Band’s Tuesday on the Rocks was Guyanese soca youth, Jonathan “Lil Red” King.
The 25-year-old soca artiste has been singing since age ten, participating in secondary school competitions and even placing in the finals of Guyana’s Soca Monarch. Now that he has found his footing, King is looking to change the game.
When Brooklynites link up, you know the result is going to be fire. Luckily, I had the opportunity to witness the ignition. On a summer Saturday, I headed to the Grand Staff Studios for what was advertised as a listening party, but turned in to an intimate turn up. How could it not when LFS Music and Lyrikal are in the building?
Music is changing. Genres are blending together and musicians are looking to create unique sounds. I'm sure the Caribbean community cheered when Ne-Yo released the video for his song "Push Back," featuring dancehall lyrics, dances, and aesthetics. However, this song is still considered R&B. Even songs that feature Caribbean artistes are still only adding to already established genres. UK-based soca artiste Scrappy believes soca can be part of this movement and reach new heights if we treat it like a business.
You should get familiar with the name Lashley "Motto" Winter, the young soca artiste that has already made headlines around the Caribbean by bringing Lucian Kuduro or Dennery segment to the world. At only 23 years old, Motto has the respect of top soca talent like Machel Montano, Bunji Garlin, and Skinny Fabulous. But if you think the soca prodigy has hit his peak, you don't know Motto.
This one is definitely fi di culture. Listen to Rewind and Come Again's Alyssia Simone and Deanna aka DysChick discuss what it's like being a Caribbean American in the office. The show and tell when we heat up our lunches, stereotypes and office politics. ⠀ ⠀ Tek ah listen.
Tired of streaming music apps mixing in dancehall and Kompa when all you want is a 100% soca playlist? Abay Israel and Andre Thomas have a solution.
Radial is a free mobile app that offers a database of Caribbean music that you can stream on your phone. Create a customized playlist and get the songs that you want to hear in the order you want to hear them.
On July 21st, the soca community turned out to support Brooklyn's own legend-in-the-making, Lyrikal at his debut album release party. Carribbean heavyweights Majah Hype and Machel Montano, as well as Brooklyn's own One Voice, Rayzor of the Request Band, Dawg E. Slaughter, DJ Norie, and DJ Young Chow joined loyal Lyrikal fans at Suite 36 in midtown Manhattan to celebrate the life and journey of Brooklyn's biggest soca artist.
"I just love soca. I'm a producer, I can produce other music, but for myself, I will produce soca."
Twenty-five year old producer/singer/songwriter Hector "Mr. Legz" Thomas is passionate about soca music, despite the fact that he actually started out as a dancehall artiste. Although he was confident about his talent, he soon realized that being a dancehall artiste in Grenada would not take him far. He then decided to create music that would appeal to Grenadians and thus began his soca career.
Wildfire has experienced a great deal of support from his St. Lucia fans. In fact, his latest release "Earthquake" was actually produced and mixed for him by Yannick Plante of Minor Productionz. However, he is set on exposing the talent right here in New York. “We have so many talented musicians, artistes, producers, and writers out here but we get overlooked.” People tend to look to Trinidad for the next hit soca song, leaving local artists eclipsed and struggling for gigs and airtime.
Any real socaholic will read that and immediately start rocking that waistline. It is the first line of the hit single “Bass." Although the tune was released in 2014, soca fetes worldwide still turn up once this one drops. While you can find this song on YouTube when you search for Young Voice, note that you will miss out on his upcoming music if you enter those words in the search bar. Young Voice has officially rebranded as One Voice.
I posed this question when I spoke to Trinidadian artiste Mark Hardy. The singer, songwriter, law school graduate and budding Entertainment Consultant Marcus Braveboy aka Mark Hardy alerted me to his music through my blog and I was surprised that I had not heard about this project. The idea that a new genre of music was brewing without my knowledge made me investigate further and I got to learn more about the young man taking on the challenge of bringing Trapso to the world.
Kes the Band showcased their new music that will be released under the Weirdo Workshop label on August 20, 2015 at Mercury Lounge in New York City.
Claude Kelly and Charles Harmon (bka "Chuck Harmony") have each been successful in creating music for top artists including Whitney Houston, Rihanna, Kelly Clarkson, Bruno Mars, and Ne-Yo. Today, the two are "embarking on a multi-genre expedition through style and sound" with a collective of artists and musicians. Recently added to this collective, Kes the Band from Trinidad.
If you know Problem Child's megahit Party Animal or if you can't help but sing along to Patrice Roberts' A Little Wine then you're already familiar with New York-based producer, Fryktion.
Adding to his own musical catalog, Fryktion releases this latest afrobeat-inspired track. Branching out further into the soca scene, the reclusive producer steps in front of the camera for this high-energy music video shot by New York's Fermin Photography.