Wednesday, June 22, 2011

Summer is for Soca

Soca music may be the only  musical genre that is guaranteed to release the "inner wotlessness" of Homo Sapiens.  If you are from the West Indies, or have ever participated in a West Indian carnival, then you know exactly what I mean. If you're not, then simply put, soca music is guaranteed to invoke intense sexual desires. This is not surprising since more often than not, rather than the subtle sexual overtones of some genres of music, soca songs carry strongly overt sexual overtones that not even a dead man could miss. Put this together with the carnival scene on a 90+ degrees tropical island - scantily clad men/women, enough alcohol to intoxicate a whale, bumping and grinding as you jam behind a band - and it starts to become clear why it is almost impossible to "behave" yourself during carnival time. If God were to hit the streets during carnival we would have a few hundred women each giving birth to a baby Jesus nine months later.

Tian Winter.
Although Soca music originated in Trinidad, Antiguan artists (as well as artists from several other islands) have contributed immensely to the music, the most influential of which has been the Burning Flames. Who will ever forget "Workey Workey", "Swinging Engine", "Chook & Dig"? I haven't been to my island home of Antigua for carnival since I left in 2000. But thanks to the development of sites such as ReverbNation and YouTube, I have tried my best to keep up with soca, or as we refer to it in Antigua, "carnival music". Shortly after I left Antigua, Tian Winter, who I used to attend church with started dabbling with soca. Well, his dabbling has burst into a rather bright career - with a consistently dominating presence in Antigua's Road March and Soca Monarch competitions. As Antigua's Carnival 2011 is fast approaching (July 23 - Aug 3), Tian has just released a set of songs for this year and so far the tracks are upbeat enough to jam to but smooth enough to just hold on to someone in a corner and "whine" (not whine as in complain but what we West Indians call the type of dancing that involves methodical, well-calculated gyration of the hips with intermittent darting pelvic thrusts while practically glued to the other person). So whether you find yourself at Antigua's Carnival or Toronto's Caribana this summer you will, no doubt, be looking for someone to "crash into"...

--For more soca music check out these artists: Arrow, El-A-Kru, Super BlueRupee, Machel Montano, Claudette Peters, Destra Garcia, Fay-Ann Lyons, Krosfyah.

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