Soca, a linguistic fusion of so from American soul and ca from calypso, is Trinidad and Tobago's domestically developed genuine popular music, with an unusually large amount of musical roots. The most known song is maybe "(Feelin') Hot Hot Hot", the title of a soca song from 1982 by Arrow (Alphonsus Cassell). The original version became an international dance floor hit and was later covered by artists around the world, including the 1987 US version by David Johansen in his Buster Poindexter persona. One part of the is the International Soca Monach One element of Trinidad's annual carnival is a competition where this year's top soca artiste, the International Soca Monarch, is appointed.
Beside the African roots soca is a musical development of traditional Trinidadian calypso, gospel and parang through loans from the 1960s onwards from predominantly black popular music in the United States and Caribbean – (soul, funk, electric blues, R'n'B, Hip Hop and rap, and zouk/kadans from the French Caribbean islands Martinique & Guadeloupe, and of course reggae (specifically from deejaying, known as toasting in Jamaica in the 70ies, and the more melodic form of modern Jamaican dancehall. Not to forget is the strong elements from the rhythms of chutney music, which is popular music originated from Trinidad and Tobago's large minority Asian Indians (around 40% of the total population).
Soca was originally nothing more complicated than a combination of the melodic and rhythmic lilting sound of calypso and insistent percussion (which is often electronic in recent music), and the East Indian rhythms of chutney music. Puerto Rico also has soca music in spanish and soca beats are mixed there with reggaeton music.
The nickname of the Trinidad and Tobago national football team, the Soca Warriors, is a reference to this musical genre.
Prominent broadcasters of soca music include TEMPO Networks & Flagz Radio.
The reputed father of soca was Lord Shorty (born Garfield Blackman), in Trinidad and Tobago, whose 1973 recording of "Indrani" started the trend. In the 1970s he began writing calypso songs for other young calypsonians including Maestro and his cousin "BARON" who had a hit called "SEVERE LICKING" produced by Shorty. A prolific musician, composer and innovator, Shorty experimented with fusing Calypso and the East Indian rhythms of chutney music for nearly a decade before unleashing "the soul of calypso,"...soca music. Shorty had been in Dominica during an Exile One performance of Cadence-lypso, and collaborated with Dominica's 1969 Calypso King, Lord Tokyo and two calypso lyricists, Chris Seraphine and Pat Aaron in the early 1970s , who wrote him some Creole lyrics. Soon after Shorty released a song, "Ou Petit", with words like "Ou dee moin ou petit Shorty" (meaning "you told me you are small Shorty"), a combination of Calypso, Cadence and kwéyòl(as reported in Exile One Gordon Henderson's book, "Zoukland" 1999 edition). It would be Lord Kitchener who would begin the noticeable and accredited transitions, which was developed as soul of calypso...soca music. According to Lord Kitchener's former manager Errol S. Peru, a pioneer in the promotion of calypso & soca music, "Kitch had a knack for Kaiso... anything he composed was instantly a hit."
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