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Soca Music: Then and Now

By Published March 01, 2024

Originally posted on the blog Sokah2Soca ( We bring you only the best new music, while Island Vybe Radio rocks it live on the air!!

Soca music is a vibrant and energetic genre of music that originated in Trinidad and Tobago in the 1970s. In the formative years, it was a fusion of traditional calypso with elements of Indian music. As the years passed, other musical elements were added to change the appeal of the music. The genre was created by Lord Shorty, a Trinidadian musician who also gave us Jamoo music (a combination of Soca and Gospel); his goal was to revive Calypso and appeal to a younger generation that gravitated toward dancehall music. 
Soca music has evolved over the years, incorporating influences from other genres such as Reggae, Zouk, Latin, Cadence, and African rhythms. Soca music has also diversified into subgenres such as Bashment Soca, Bouyon Soca, Dennery Segment, Chutney Soca, Rapso, Parang Soca, Rapso, Ragga Soca, and Afrosoca. General Soca music is also divided into two segments for Carnival: Power Soca (high energy and fast-paced) and Groovy Soca (slower-paced music for a grooving or party scene).
One of the main differences between old and modern Soca music is the emphasis on lyrical content. Back in the day, soca music was known for its witty and clever lyrics, like calypso, as well as for celebrating the culture and history of Trinidad and Tobago. Some of the most famous Soca artists of this era include Lord Kitchener, Mighty Sparrow, Calypso Rose, Chris 'Tambu' Herbert, and David Rudder.
Modern Soca music, on the other hand, is more focused on the musical production and the rhythmic energy. Today's Soca music is designed to make people dance and have fun, especially during Carnival and other festive occasions. Modern Soca music uses more synthesized sounds and electronic effects, as well as faster tempos and catchy hooks. Some of the most popular Soca artists of this era include Machel Montano, Bunji Garlin, Voice, Kes, Problem Child, Skinny Fabulous, Patrice Roberts, Destra Garcia, and Nailah Blackman.
Despite the differences, old and modern Soca music share some similarities. Both styles are rooted in the calypso tradition, which is a form of Afro-Trinidadian song that features storytelling and verbal wit. Both styles also reflect the diversity and creativity of the Trinidadian people, who have a rich and complex cultural heritage. Both styles also aim to uplift and entertain the listeners, as well as to express their identity and pride.
Soca music is a dynamic and versatile genre of music that has changed and adapted over time. It is a genre that celebrates the past, embraces the present, and anticipates the future. It is a genre that connects people across borders and generations. It is a genre that is the soul of calypso and the heartbeat of the Caribbean.
As you read this post, opinions will differ, and for the most part, it will be a 'generational thing'. Those who were fortunate enough to experience the birth and early adoption of music may differ in the style of music from that era. Today's listeners may appreciate the generational change brought about by the use of computers and one-man studio programming beats. The traditionalist will appreciate the sound of 'live band' instruments in the making of the music. For that reason, we can say, C'et La Vie! The important thing to hold on to is that we all love Soca music and will all endeavor to grow the genre for future generations. 
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Production Notes/Music Credits:
Article: Old School Soca vs Modern Day Soca
Origin: Trinidad and Tobago/Caribbean Basin
Genre: Soca
Please be advised that the music is presented here for your listening pleasure and for promotional purposes only ("Fair Use" Musical Content Copyright Disclaimer Under Section 107 of the Copyright Act 1976). No copyright infringement is intended! We don't own the rights to this music; it is presented here for promotional use only. We encourage you to promote the artists and their music; please don't download and share them and rob the artists of needed income! I, nor this blog, make any claims of ownership over any of the videos, songs, photos, or graphics used for this post because they all belong to their respective owners.
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Hilarious and to the point: Video posted by Soca Watch 2020
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