title taken from “Heart of Me” by Edwin Yearwood and Giselle D Wassi One
Can Brooklyn’s Soca Scene Be Revived?
If you’ve been following me for a while, you know that I am concerned about the state of the soca scene in Brooklyn. I believe that with the lack of venues and deejays opting to forego the 100% soca parties, the scene is on life support. However, Thanksgiving weekend gives me hope that there are those committed to reviving the soca fete experience.
On Black Friday, while others were punching each other for televisions, I was preparing for Freeze International’s SSS Fete. Yes, this party requires preparation. First, I had to remind myself of new soca tunes from Grenada because I was sure to hear them in this party as much of the high energy music came from Greenz this year. Feterans (fete veterans) understand that this is also not a “look good” party, so my clothes had to be comfortable and scant as this party is known to get steamy regardless of the venue.
All of my preparation proved necessary. From the moment I walked into the secret location, I felt the heat of bodies that had arrived early and were already drenched in sweat. On my way to the bar (you know how I do), I treated a few gents to my warm up wine. After the drinks kicked in, my behavior got more reckless and I momentarily forgot my age. I woke up the next midday with achy reminders.
On Saturday night, I repeated the pre-fete prep this time for King Swady’s I Am Soca Flashback event. I will admit that this party has had its highs and lows in the past, but Swady stepped up his game for this one. First, the deejay lineup impressive including Freeze International, DJ Eternal Vibes and the legendary Giselle D Wassi One out of Miami. I won’t age her, but Giselle has been in this business for over thirty years and still felt inspired to dive off the stage with Fete Masters.
But she was not the only legend in attendance. Soca artistes Bomani, Ronnie Macintosh, Edwin Yearwood, and Iwer George wowed us with live and interactive performances! Since Iwer gave the people water, St. Vincent’s legend-in-the-making Zeek came to wet it up!
I had a time!
Maybe it was the post-Turkey euphoria, but my faith in the Brooklyn soca scene was nearly restored. But then I looked around. During some of the most classic tunes, there were people standing around apathetically. I wondered how they ended up at this party.
Did someone bring them without telling them where they were going? Did they wander in by mistake?
As Sounds for Life was killing it at SSS with the classic fete tunes rarely played in a party, there were people standing still or barely nodding their heads. I Am Soca Flashback provided a promo mix and it still appeared that folks had never heard the throwback songs.
While I usually put it on the promoters to create great events, the patrons have to do their part as well. Take time to get familiar with the music. It sucks to look around and see folks standing still because they’re unfamiliar with the music. With 100% soca parties dwindling, we have to support the folks who are stepping up to provide these experiences. Tune in to TeamSoca.com, download my favorite soca mixes, or tune in to SocaSaySo’s TuneTuesday and make sure you get familiar with the music. Even if you don’t know the words, let your waistline guide you and let’s work to bring back the vibes of a real Brooklyn soca fete!