SOCA UNIVERSE

Trinidadian entertainer Machel Mantano.
Che Kohtari

The global pandemic has caused carnival season cancellations for almost a year and a half. From the famed Rio de Janeiro Carnival to Trinidad and Tobago Carnival and beyond, the Caribbean Diaspora used to massive, multi-day, non-stop fêtes, have had their celebrations grind to a halt, according to Brooklyn-based, Jamaican publicist Ronnie Tomlinson.

Tomlinson, chief executive officer of Destine Media, told Caribbean Life on Tuesday that, despite the lack of parties, soca artistes have kept the music coming.

“Even without a physical presence, the message of carnival is still clear – the show must go on,” she said, adding that Soca Universe 2021 keeps carnival music pumping with hits from Machel Montano, Kes, DJ Private Ryan, Destra and Voice, among others.

“And with that said, the annual Billboard charting Soca Universe compilation keeps the spirit alive and provides the soundtrack for a return to the streets,” Tomlinson added.

Soca legend, Billboard-charting, and multi-award winner Machel Montano recently told NPR: “The intention of the energy of soca music is to really uplift people; really make them smile; keep them happy; make them celebrate even in the toughest times.”

Released by Montano’s record label and distribution company, Monk Music, the 2021 installment of Soca Universe features 30 of the best songs of the year.

“Soca royalty and rising stars have delivered a must-have listing of tracks that display the vocal range, witty lyrics, unparalleled energy and frenzied grooves characteristic of the genre,” Tomlinson said. “Machel Montano, Kes, Bunji Garlin, Destra, Voice, and DJ Private Ryan, alongside up and comers Hey Choppi, Nessa Preppy, Sekon Sta, and many more, round-up the hit-filled compilation.

“Carnival isn’t just about dancing in the streets; it’s in your heart and soul,” Tomlinson added. “So, keep the fete going by streaming and downloading Soca Universe 2021, out Aug. 13, 2021, https://onerpm.link/SocaUniverse2021.”

More from Around NYC