Is this the end of Calypso and Soca as we know it?

Calypso is not relevant anymore with the exception of Kaiso for pan - Panorama songs! Calypso is now of sentimental value for the older generation who will go to the tents 'for ole time's sake' but other than that it will only be relevant for the Calypso Fiesta and Carnival Sunday night. 

Soca is shaking on the sidelines having been badly beaten round after round by the young Trinidad and Tobago music producers who feel it is time to move on. Production companies are lodged in small spaces where laptops could be placed, and a microphone could be set up in a quiet place for recording. I am sure you will be shocked to learn that some of these production companies only have name and no place of business! Soca has been struck with a mild stroke and it is unsure that it will recover if the Trinidad Production team of youth have their way. 

Some of the people are trending towards word like fusion, island pop, techno infusion bit what is really means is that they are searching for another name for "riddims" which they have copied from the 'dancehall' craze that put riddims on the music map. They took the Soca beat and added it to dancehall music that the youth love and created mayhem in the land of Calypso and Soca. At this point they are proud and riding the crest of the wave, but little do they know or are aware that they are literally destroying Calypso and Soca as we know it. The music landscape has changed and there is no turning back.

I almost forgot about the "Ash Wednesday Monster" watching and waiting for the clock to strike 12:00 midnight on Carnival Tuesday night. What is the name of that Monster? You may know it as the "SOCA SWITCH"! This is solely the responsibility of the radio program directors and owners and even large percentage of the jocks who can't wait to get back to the dancehall and R&B music. Long ago it was in the hands of the church, and it was sacrilegious to play a Calypso or Soca song on Ash Wednesday but even a station like WACK that plays local content 24/7 will tone it down on Ash Wednesday - this is a cultural sickness that continues to haunt the local music industry. 

Long before I wrote the notes above, I thought about several things and came up with the following that have already been mentioned but should be revisited:

Is this the end of the road for Soca? The music trends usually follow the youth, and we are seeing a changing of the guards with regard to the new music being produced for Carnival 2012. Gone are the days of the traditional music production teams and it is in with the new Generation - Madmen Productions, Precision Productions, 1st Klase Production etc. etc. 

Do you think that Soca and Calypso stand a chance when these young guns are using laptops to mass produce 'riddims' that several artistes are jumping on with factory mas produced lyrics? 

Do you believe that people like Kenny Phillips will be in demand by the so-called relevant artistes of the day? What has happened to the rest of the 'Ole School' Calypso and Soca producers - nothing was passed on to the next generation?

Do you think that the radio stations will play the traditional Calypso and Soca, or will they try to remain relevant and side with the Club Techno sound, island pop, fast paced or club driven vibes? Think about the Soca Switch and the bounty of giving the youth what they want!

I could have sat for a while and researched the material for this posting, but I was motivated to just type and post my thoughts after listen to a radio jock boast about the new music - where do we go from here and will be happy with the end product? Will Calypso and Soca be killed off by the very same nation that gave birth to it?  If the trend continues then when you want to hear calypso and Soca you will have to head to the Eastern Caribbean islands for the music, we once claimed to be our own...

Post a Comment

Your comments can also become a Post!