The year’s hottest soca tracks and artists are featured in the annual compilation of the top soca songs. The recently released “Soca Gold 2017,” which hit stores and all music platforms on July 21, puts some of the current and previous year’s biggest songs from carnival to others that charted internationally. With soca growing as a genre, many artists are testing out new sounds, particularly electronic dance music (EDM), which is having a big influence in soca, said the project’s curator.
“The EDM is a big thing right now and many artists are trying to cross with it,” said Edwin Howell, executive producer of Soca Gold.”
And with soca continuously growing as a genre, Howell adds in just a few more years the genre will become an even more popular internationally, and as the leading music style for listeners in the Caribbean.
“The state of this year’s soca is getting better and the sound is getting more international with afrobeats and a lot of artists in general are making music not only for carnival but for the crossover market,” he said. “The growth of soca has opened more doors for the young generation and many artists are now going to different countries that they weren’t thinking about five to 10 years ago.”
Returning artists to the yearly mix include Iwer George, Destra Garcia, Teddyson John, Bunji Garlin, Fay-ann Lyons, and Rikki Jai. But there are also some new names on the track list this year, many of them making their debut on the annual mix, according to Howell.
A few of them are Marvay, who was voted the People’s Monarch in Barbados, his fellow artist and countryman Gryner, and Trinidad and Tobago’s Omardath Maharaj, who was the Chutney soca monarch. The viral Trinidadian sensation Uncle Ellis, who picked up lots of attention for his dance moves at a KFC, also makes a debut to the collection. Listeners can also purchase the album with a bonus DVD, which includes footage from carnival scenes, music videos, and even live performances from the artists.
Howell said that the platform allows veteran and up-and-coming artists a chance to reach a wider appeal.
“It’s a groundbreaker when you reach ‘Soca Gold,’ because it opens many roads and opportunities for these artists to be noticeable,” he said.
He even predicted a few names, which he sees making it onto next year’s gold edition.
“I know for sure Rikki Jai and Marvay will be on there for 2018 — they have released some other sounds for the summer and they’re hot,” said Howell. “And also Teddyson John — he has Kevin Lyttle vocals and he’s gonna be huge — trust me on that. They are all artists that everyone has to watch out for.”