Are Soca Artists Selling Out For Fame? | Soca On The Move 2015

Are Soca Artists Selling Out For Fame? The EDM (Electronic Dance Music) Trend. Are Artists Doomed To Failure?

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This a very interesting question asked by Mantius Cazabon on his very popular blog However, the answer is not complicated but very simple... NO, they are not selling out for fame or anything else! I will never condemn any artist for using their talents to promote their music product regardless of the style used or what the Soca Purist Gods may think!

We yearn for the new Soca releases as Carnival comes closer every year. People anticipate releases from Machel, Bunji, Fay-Ann, Destra, Ravi B, Problem Child, Skinny Fabulous, Mantius and many others. Pick an artist, any artist, and after listening to the song check who produced the music. As an example, I will use Bunji Garlin; does he produce any "Riddim"?  Hell no!

The question that should have asked is the following: Are the regional music producers "selling out"? Why asks this? Are they not the ones producing the EDM Soca Riddims? It is not the artist or artists singing on  the various riddims who are changing the music styles. The truth is easy to see in the production notes of the music releases; it is the music producers who are forging ahead with the change! So why blame the artist when all they do is ride the riddim (most of them)? Bunji is an exception because he is now very popular and may have a producer create a unique music track for something conceived at a given moment in time. 

Having said that, Soca music has changed from the day it was named! Ras Shorty I named it SOKAH... it was changed by a news reporter in Trinidad to SOCA when he made reference to the new genre in the newspaper article. Not long after the initial creation of the new music genre Shorty changed the music by removing the Indian rhythms and introduced a new sound (sounded more like soul music) but it still carried the name Soca. It is the same today; it (Soca music) continues to change every year... so why all the fuss about the EDM addition to the music? Not all the songs are EDM influenced so why the fuss? Is it because Bunji Garlin has become popular on the International stage because of EDM influenced Soca music?

EDM infused tracks seem to work for Bunji on the International scene and especially in Europe where they embrace World music unlike the Americans. Bunji's successes in America has nothing to do with what you may call purist Soca however, it has a lot to do with fusion Soca! I believe that any artist should not be constrained by the regional market or because we want to force people to accept traditional Soca... it does not work like that. Kevin Lyttle's big hit was not pure Soca... that should have opened everyone eyes years ago. 

"Power Soca" and Soca music in general is Carnival music... if we aspire to gain acceptance in North America we have to meet the North American needs... that means fusion blends of Soca! Just think about it for a moment. This conversation is taking place as Carnival approaches once again. People become passionate about Soca only when Carnival is here but return to their American diet as soon as the Carnival is over (known as the Soca Switch in Trinidad and Tobago). 

If anyone says that a certain artist  is a sell off or sell out for broadening their musical repertoire then that artist will remain a regional artist with no hope of breaking through to the International markets (America and Europe). It should be noted that the Americans still don't understand our culture and that is the reason fusion Soca blends, and in this case EDM Soca, is being used to penetrate internationally...

We all need to celebrate our artists and the music they produce. Not all new music releases are EDM influenced. We have to be open minded and if we don't 'feel' a music track then keep in mind someone else like me may just like it. 

New EDM Soca influenced music from Bunji Garlin... take a listen and let us know what you think. 

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