The King of Soca in­cludes St. Lu­cia in His King­dom

The Star (St. Lucia) - - LOCAL -

Soca mu­sic has been an in­te­gral part of Caribbean cul­ture since it be­gan to sprout from the roots of ca­lypso cen­turies ago. From its mid-70s in­car­na­tion in Trinidad, soca has spread from is­land to is­land, soaking up all that is good in the re­gion, and more. It feels as though this genre of mu­sic has been around since the be­gin­ning of time and, in a cer­tain way, it has; liv­ing through each in­flu­ence that has come to­gether to cre­ate what is now alive in Saint Lu­cia. No longer is soca only Trinidad's mu­sic genre, but more of a uni­form that cloaks the Caribbean. And now, soca's events are start­ing to fol­low the melodies, as the Soca In­ter­na­tional Awards (ISA) comes to Saint Lu­cia for the first time since its in­cep­tion in New York City in 2003.

Colin Jack­man, CEO of Soca In­ter­na­tional Awards, says that this is a record-break­ing year for the ISA as it had over two million votes from the pub­lic to choose the award win­ners. This could very well be in­dica­tive of soca's in­ter­na­tional growth over the years as the soca com­mu­nity has found its way into sub-cul­tures and com­mu­ni­ties in the Caribbean and, specif­i­cally, Saint Lu­cia. With events such as Car­ni­val's ‘Colour Me Red', ‘ES­CAPE' and ‘Tran­scend', soca is ex­pand­ing and de­vel­op­ing faster and fur­ther than ever be­fore. Ac­cord­ing to the King of it all, Saint Lu­cia now has a cru­cial role in the de­vel­op­ment.

“I think soca mu­sic is now go­ing to be­come the sound of the Caribbean,” says King of Soca, Machel Mon­tano. “And I say that each is­land is play­ing its part to fur­ther de­velop soca mu­sic or fur­ther de­velop the sound of the Caribbean.”

Mon­tano cites a spe­cific ini­tia­tive that he rec­og­nizes as a big im­prove­ment to cul­ti­vate the soca in­dus­try in the coun­try. “In most re­cent times, in Den­nery Seg­ment, I see it com­ing out of Saint Lu­cia,” he says.

The Soca King­dom press con­fer­ence on Mon­day at Har­bor Club kicked off a three­day soca stint for Saint Lucians.

On Tues­day night at San­dals Grande (see cov­er­age on page 13 of this is­sue), the ISA held its 15th an­nual award cer­e­mony.

The fol­low­ing night Mon­tano per­formed at the Daren Sammy Cricket Ground to open up a series of shows around the Caribbean that are a part of the Soca King­dom tour. A few lo­cal per­form­ers took home some awards, fur­ther in­stat­ing Saint Lu­cia into the top ranks of fos­ter­ing the art of soca.

Pim Pim Rid­dim by Team Foxx won Soca Com­pi­la­tion Rhythm of the Year, DJ Levi Chin won In­ter­na­tional Soca DJ of the Year and Mighty and Subance won Soca Mu­sic Video of the Year (male) for their con­tro­ver­sial Bad in Bum Bum song.

Ac­cord­ing to Mon­tano, this falls in line with what he thinks this week is all about. “Now it's more about pay­ing tribute to the works that the Lucians have been do­ing, play­ing their role and their part in tak­ing soca mu­sic fur­ther,” says Mon­tano.

Machel Mon­tano teach­ing the crowd a thing or two about win­ing.

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