Soca is an incredibly popular style of music in the Caribbean. But outside the Caribbean, many people have never heard of it. So if you want to impress some people when you’re on your Caribbean vacation (or more likely, make them laugh), be ready to jump, wine, and don’t forget your towel! (See why below). I asked around to create this little Soca Primer. Did I get it right, soca lovers?
1. Describe Soca
- A highly rhythmic style of music that developed out of Trinidadian calypso that includes elements of cadence, hip hop, rap, dancehall, soul and other genres.
-The two main elements are rhythm and a sung or spoken vocal with minimal additional instrumentation. The beat is usually loud and fast. Lyrics can be bawdy, playful, or sometimes give social or political commentary.
2. What is the difference between Soca and Calypso?
Calypso is generally slower tempo and more often lyrically focused on social and political messages. Soca usually has the more uptempo, frenetic beats.
3. What is wining (pronounced wine-ing)?
Basically you just have to circle your hips around and around. Sounds tame, but check out the Nicole David video in #5 below to see how it’s done. Better yet, visit a Caribbean island during Carnival and get your wine on.
4. What are some famous Soca songs? Who are some of the current hot Soca artists?
- Two of the best known songs are “Hot Hot Hot” by Arrow and “Who Let The Dogs Out,” by Baha Men.
-Some artists to check out are Machel Montano, Teddyson John, Destra Garcia, Alison Hinds, and Nicole David
5. Where can I hear Soca music right now?
You can hear it on Tempo TV, on sites like www.socafreak.com, or start with this youtube video of St. Lucian Soca diva – Nicole David. www.youtube.com/watch?v=VVMUwZP79LU,
6. Why do people wave a towel when at a Soca concert?
“It’s just something we do!” It’s simply a way of being in the moment and expressing passion for the music.