Who let the dogs out? Read on to know!
Soca music is the culprit of this musical crime of letting the dogs out and with it, spreading the Soul of Calypso in the world!
What Is Soca?
This is a genre of Caribbean music that originated in the Trinidad and Tobago as early as the 1970’s. The misleading name of soca which stands for “soul of calypso” has nothing to do with soul music or calypso. The “godfather” of soca, a Trinidadian man named Garfield Blackman a.k.a “Lord Shorty“, stated in a 1979 interview with Carnival Magazine, “I came up with the name soca. I invented soca. And I never spelt it s-o-c-a. It was s-o-k-a-h to reflect the East Indian influence.”
How Does Soca Sound?
Soca music is loud, strong percussion beat music and recorded using synthesized drum sounds. Synthesizers are used often in modern soca along with electric and bass guitars. A horn section is exclusive to the live soca bands and consists of two trumpets and a trombone, with saxophones being part of the section from time to time. There are a lot of subgenres like Bashment soca, Chutney soca, Ragga soca, Parang soca, Steelband soca, Groovy soca, Bouyon soca and Power soca, that are popular in countries like Trinidad and Tobago, India, etc.
Over the last 20 years, soca has evolved quite heavily through musicians from all over the world but Shorty’s Endless Vibrations brought it most of its international fame. One of the major developments in this genre has been its fusion with Indian musical instruments like the dholak, tabla and dhantal—as we can hear in Lord Shorty’s compositions.
In present times, Soca has been experimented with in Bollywood films, in Punjabi music and in club hits from The USA.
International Soca Monarch Competition
This is a soca music award show held annually in Trinidad and Tobago. If you are a soca lover, this is the place to be every year. Developed by William Munro who aspired to create a unique experience for all the soca lovers and producers from the Caribbean.
The first show took place in 1993 at The Spectrum in Port of Spain. Soca artists such as Machel Montano, Kerwin Du Bois, Patrice Roberts and Superblue have performed and won awards here.
Today, the International Soca Monarch Competition awards the winners with $2 million in addition to giving a wonderful platform for many Soca artists to reach out to their fans and be globally recognized. The competition has further expanded to peak the interests in many other countries.
Recently, the concept of “Soca Tourism” has emerged with support by the Trinidadian Government.
Soca music is only going to get bigger and louder.