Lyrikal talks debut album

His pathway: Lyrikal’s album cover for “The Journey.” The Soca artist says his hand gesture signifies his gratitude to God, and New York City’s skyline within him, for being the location he chose to start his career.
Andre Mustapha

Soca music is an international genre, and you do not have to live in Trinidad to start a career in it. That is what a Brooklyn musician is doing.

Soca artist Lyrikal, recorded more than 200 songs and now he releases his debut studio album that fans have been waiting for titled “The Journey.” With the popularity of his hit “Cloud 9,” he is promising fans to prepare for an energetic and relatable album, that he gets personal on.

“I didn’t want to go too personal, there’s maybe one or two personal songs,” said Lyrikal. “Everything else is more feel-good – all feel-good music.”

Lyrikal, born as Devon Martin in Trinidad, came to the United States when he was 13 years old. Starting out singing in a choir, his passion for music came a long way through determination to make music. Picking up his stage name from his recording of songs, and building a fanbase along the way, Lyrikal and his team decided the next best route was completing an album.

“My dedication and passion for music is like no other,” said Lyrikal. “When I started my journey I didn’t think of a plan b — I was focusing on working hard in the studio. I never had one moment in mind to give up.”

Inspired by famous names such as international stars Machel Montano and Bunji Garlin, Lyrikal prides himself on his unique journey in music, choosing instead to spearhead his Soca career from New York City rather than Trinidad. And with the city’s lively Soca scene, he ignores critics that question his authenticity.

“It used to bother me but my music speaks for itself,” said Lyrikal. “I don’t go anywhere, where the crowd does not respond to me because I live in New York City. Every single weekend there is a Soca party in New York City — that shows how much people love Soca music here.”

His album title and art also details his journey, stating that his pose is an ode to his faith, and the city where he started.

“I believe in God and everything I do I put God first — I wanted to show that,” said Lyrikal. “Every element of my journey influenced the album — which is a lot. My journey is 10 years before the journey that led up to it.”

The album comes with a DVD of Lyrikal displaying his behind the scenes to show fans and new ones, what goes into it. Hoping that he can show fans a personal behind the scenes side of him.

“Fans often see the finished product, and they don’t see what is done in the studio,” said Lyrikal. “I think the visual is important — it draws fans to you and makes them appreciate you more.”

Lyrikal’s next step is promoting “The Journey” in Europe, Canada, and the Caribbean. The album is available on iTunes and Amazon, and CD’s will be in stores on July 29.

Reach reporter Alexandra Simon at (718) 260–8310 or e-mail her at asimo[email protected]local.com.

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