Soca Tankalanka 2

"I Cyar Say Nothing 'Bout Dat!"

"Shadow said that soca: ' just a new name for modern calypso', and that his claim to fame is for 'moving the bottom of the music, and introducing the changes in the bass lines ... My music is characterized by a lot of energy, because of my emphasis on the foot drums and bass ... What everybody's doing now is considered to be soca. But that is because the word spread so big after Shorty did his mixture. But I have never copied from them. If what they're doing is soca, and what I have done is soca, the truth lies within there, because I have always remained original.' (quotes from T 'n' T Mirror, 10 Feb. '89).

I have never seen anything that comes close to this... "I know but I cyar say nothing 'bout dat". Now have you ever been in such a situation or even in speaking to someone heard them make such a statement?
Indeed people are strange and trust a Trini to complicate the situation even more. I was recently speaking to someone regarding the continuing discussion and 'commess' regarding the creation of the music genre Soca.  I asked a very straight forward question after reading a quote from the Mighty Shadow regarding the music he created during the same period that Shorty was experimenting with the inclusion of Indian rhythms into the calypso beat. Shadow did not come out and state that he created Soca in the article but implied that he created the Soca beat.
My question was simply this, "Gosh ah glad ah ketch up with you, I read a quote from Shadow and he implied that he created Soca. What is your opinion?"
The response was, "he probably did, check out how early he started".
Now hold on, why can't this person go on record with this? I did ask the question and he responded with, "I can't" after which he logged off the internet without even saying good night... typical Trini eh. So there you have it we are always walking on rice paper and unwilling to come out and say what we think. Maybe that is the reason that Trinidad is in such a mess today everyone has something to say but no one is talking.

When we can't talk about the things that concern us and people on the outside realize that we simply don't want to ruffle feathers they come into the cook-up and add to the 'commess' themselves. As a result of this (our reluctance to discuss the subject) we have people whom are not Trinidadians claiming Soca music as theirs and are even accusing 'Trinidadians' of stealing the  music from them. This is the situation that we have created but we need to let the World know in no uncertain terms that Soca Music was created by innovative 'Trinidadians' and we should name the 'Trinidadians' who did so without fear - then not a damn dog bark!

Now here is where most people get confused:
Despite the complaints, Ras Shorty I produced the year after (1974) an album entitled The Love Man, which continued in the same vein as "Indrani" and, with the exception of one song, featured a dholak on every track.
After this album was again rejected for using East Indian instruments, Ras Shorty I decided for his 1975 recording to change the instrumentation. While in his new arrangements he removed the East Indian musical instruments, he nonetheless kept the rhythms they played by distributing them on traditional Western instruments, in particular the drum set and the guitar.6 According to Ras Shorty I, some of the musicians, including the keyboard and the conga players, found it too difficult to play the new rhythms and reverted to those they knew best---the traditional calypso rhythmic patterns.
The mixture of the new rhythms combined with the traditional ones on Western musical instruments not only stopped the whole controversy about "Shorty playing Indian," but also proved to be a commercial success for his album named Endless Vibrations.
This excerpt was taken from an article  written by  Jocelyne Guilbault of the University of Ottawa  entitled "The Politics of Labeling Popular Musics in English Caribbean and can be seen/read from the following link.

Take note of the text that I italicized because most people who keep saying that Soca music does not have Indian rhythms don't have any music training to understand what Shorty did.  I am sure there are musicians out there who can explain how this was done and can identify the rhythms that Shorty placed on Western instruments. This was done to appease people who thought there was too much Indian influence in the music.

Post a Comment

Your comments can also become a Post!