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Breakthrough for soca
It’s only a matter of time before the genre known in the Caribbean as soca, makes its big breakthrough, one that will see tens of millions of people around the world dancing to the melodies and beats of this infectious rhythm.
That’s the belief of a group of Caribbean natives based in New York who’ve come up with a plan to utilise the World Wide Web to promote and market the genre and the artistes who make it what it is.
Soca Is Yours is not only the theme of the team’s general mission but it’s also the name of the Facebook page and Twitter account that facilitate budding soca acts and their music on a daily basis. It’s a phrase that the ambitious group of passionate music creators and distributors believe in, and plan on assuring people from every corner of the world, of.
George Luke, co-founder of the effort, says Team Soca Is Yours will provide that necessary support and the extra push that most budding entertainers of the soca music, truly need.
“The artistes we’ve been coming into contact with are from many places across the world and they all sing some type of soca music,” he said, adding that the music varies to a great extent but because of the beats and melodies, every song they receive and promote, is certainly soca music.
“We’ve received emails from artistes—relatively unknown artistes, from around the world—from places like Germany and Puerto Rico, who are taking advantage of what we’re doing,” said Luke.
He said beyond this particular initiative, his team, which also consists of social media manager, Jameel Smith of DR Bean Sounds and German-based DJ and co-founder of the initiative, Heldge Nightliva, are using the tools available to them, to make the project an all round success.
“As a popular DJ, Heldge has been able to promote soca music to a large audience at various clubs and venues in Germany,” Luke said. He noted that Smith’s social media skills have worked well thus far in promoting the new artistes they’ve come into contact with.
Luke also manages artistes and works arduously at ensuring that their music is received by DJs and promotional entities across the world.
“There’s room for everyone in the soca music market. There are carnivals in every major city across the world and while we know that Trinidad is the mecca of the festival, there are other markets that shouldn’t be sidelined. We would love it if all of our artistes and the new artistes that we’re promoting can make it into the fetes and other events during T&T’s Carnival but if they can’t, we will shop them in various cities and to promoters in places like Boston, New York, Miami, London, new carnival destinations like Copenhagen, Berlin and wherever the soca genre is showing signs of being embraced.”
Despite somewhat of a small team of people tasked with managing it all at the moment, Luke says they’re seeing progress daily. “Our Twitter account is always abuzz,” he said, noting that they’ve even been getting quite a few direct messages from interested rock artistes overseas.
“Even actor Dule Hill has followed Soca Is Yours on Twitter and we see that as a great thing. It means that we’re being acknowledged,” said Luke.
The mission is clear for the Soca Is Yours team. They understand that the input of every person who understands and loves the soca genre could mean an eventual breakthrough for the music that has already shown tremendous signs of becoming the next big thing across the world.
“Machel Montano and Bunji Garlin are doing some incredible things for the music right now but they shouldn’t have to do it alone. We all have to pitch in to ensure that soca music is heard, felt and given a fair chance to develop in foreign markets—as fair a chance as possible,” said Luke.