The diversity of Caribbean music genres is reflected in one it’s most popular forms named Soca music which happens to be originated in the islands of Trinidad and Tobago in the late 20th century. Garfield Blackman is thought to be the author of this genre. He rejuvenated the rather fading calypso music by fraternizing it with the Indian music. Dholak, tabla, and dhantal were incorporated in his new style of calypso.
The genre is further subdivided into Power Soca having the upbeat songs mostly to enthuse dancing and, Groovy Soca with a lower tempo. Power Soca is deemed to have started the “jump and wave” response in the crowd due to its energetic trance.
The heavy percussion, drum and base sounds of soca music make it impossible not to dance to. However, it is the Groovy Soca that spread its charm into the international markets and enthralled thousands of audience with the hits like “Turn Me On” and “Tempted to touch”.
In addition to power and groovy soca, other types of soca music include ragga soca and chutney soca.
The famous singer Arrow had a great contribution in commercializing soca internationally with his 1983 number one soca classic Hot Hot Hot. Arrow has also recorded a number of CDs including Knock Dem Dead (1988), O’La Soca (1989) and Soca Dance Party (1990) which achieved great popularity. Sugar Bum Bum – Lord Kitchener (1978) also had the honor of becoming a worldwide hit.
Every year artists try to outdo each other at carnival competitions such as Soca Monarch and Road March. Trumpets and trombones have been very emblematic of soca music. Sometimes, the saxophones are also used. While these instruments are still used in live performances, synthesizers and samplers are increasingly replacing them, particularly in studio recordings and at smaller concerts with electric guitars.
Soca has continued to escalate stemming into several branches which can be deciphered by a very thin line and continues to upsurge to notoriety due to its unique fusions.