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Soca Music 101

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Soca Music Basics:

Soca is a style of music native to the islands of Trinidad and Tobago. Soca is a blend of traditional calypso and classial Indian Music. Soca first came about in the 1960s and is currently one of the most popular genres of Caribbean music in the world.

Lord Shorty:

Lord Shorty is a musician credited with inventing soca in the early 1960s when he added Indian rhythmic instruments (like the tabla) to traditional Calypso to create a new sound. He called his genre "solka", as in, "the SOuL of KAlypso". "Soca", a misspelling of his original term, eventually caught on as the generally accepted spelling. Soca is not, as many people assume, a fusion of calypso and American soul music.

Why Indian Music?:

Indian people make up a large percentage of the population of Trinidad and Tobago, and have done so for a very long time. Indian music and culture have therefore had a great deal of influence on Trinidadian music.

Soca Lyrical Content:

Much like traditional calypso (and its cousin, Jamaican mento), soca music frequently revolves around saucy or bawdy lyrics and thinly-veiled double-entendres. Some soca artists also include social commentary in their lyrics, but generally, soca lyrics are silly and playful.

Genres of Music Related to Soca:

Soca Music Starter CDs:

Mighty Sparrow: Volume One (Compare Prices)
Byron Lee & The Dragonaires: Soca Tremor (Compare Prices)
Arrow: Soca Dance Party (Compare Prices)
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