Soca: Get Familiar & Feel the Vibez


BY: Mobbin' With Mo G Travel/Lifestyle Blog



Every Island Nation has their own characteristics which set them apart from the other. Whether it be food, dance, language, cultural-dress or music, there are endless ways that our distant relatives of the Caribbean celebrate their history & share it with the rest of the world. Culture on the Caribbean islands develops in its own exclusive way & no one style of music is like the other. For the dual-island Trinidad & Tobago, there is one thing in particular that allows them to remain in a class all by themselves: SOCA!




Ready for a brief history lesson? "Leh we go!" - Caribbean music is a beautiful melting pot of colorful diverse cultures. This musical blend includes drums, bells & other instruments which bring sounds of Africa, Cuba, India, and other indigenous peoples together in such a unique way. 

Calypso, which was originally known as "Kaiso", is a style of Afro-Caribbean music. Calypso originated in Trinidad & Tobago in the early 19th Century and spread throughout the Caribbean & Venezuela over time. The roots of this genre can be traced back to West African slaves, French settlers and their arrival in the Caribbean. The slaves, who were forbidden from speaking to each other (we know better than to believe that they actually did not communicate), communicated through song. Calypso, drew inspiration from these African and French influences, hence becoming what is known as the voice of the people!

Identified by rhythmical and sweet-sounding vocals, Calypso was most popularly sung in French Creole & led by a storyteller/poet/musician also known as a "Griot". As English began to take the place of French Creole (Antillean Creole) as the dominant language, Calypso followed suit, transitioning to English and gaining the notoriety of the Government. This shift allowed the people to use Calypso music as a form of political expression.  

Soca, although considered fairly new, is known as the "Soul of Calypso" and is a modern form of the genre with more of an upbeat tempo. It combines a fusion of Calypso & Indian rhythms, thus linking the rich musical traditions of the two major ethnic groups on the beautiful twin island. We must not forget to pay homage to its creator; Trinidadian Calypsonian & Soca Pioneer Lord Shorty, who is known as "The Father of Soca". To this very day, he is one of the few modern musicians who are able to proudly claim that they almost single-handedly created such a resilient musical genre. He was and still is one of the most innovative characters to arise from the Caribbean island of Trinidad & Tobago.

Soca is on the rise, & fast! There is so much to be learned from this genre of music & the euphoric feeling it brings when you hear these rhythmic tunes. Not only is it a genre, Soca is a way if life to so many fighting for better days & better circumstances. We are all connected in more ways than we realize & Soca music is a constant reminder of that infinite bond. So the next time you hear a tune that makes you sway your hips uncontrollably, do a little research! You may be feeling the vibes from our distant relatives and their legacy of Calypso & Soca!

Alexia Brown