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“Why don’t Jamaicans like to play soca?,” was the question Sharda Bacchus asked. The lover of the musical genre who was visiting from Guyana attended a recent staging of Yeah Yeah Wednesdays with a few friends whose only requests were to hear 'Hulk' by Blaxx and Shal Marshall’s 'Splinters' even if they were the only soca tracks that were played for the night.

However, Bishop Escobar, resident selector for Yeah Yeah Wednesdays, told THE STAR street dances do not usually play soca but often times will cater to guests from other countries.

“Ninety per cent of disc jockeys stick to one genre for the street dances — mostly selecting dancehall and reggae music,” said Bishop Escobar.

“It is based on the nature of the event and who deh deh. There is a time, during carnival season, when soca is played or events held at places like UWI (University of the West Indies) and UTech (University of Technology) that has a mixture of Caribbean people and more recently parties like Sandz that are appropriate for the genre,” he continued.

Nonetheless, he opted to play an entire round of soca to the pleasure of the visitors who started their wining session. One of the males at the party [a St Lucian] even proceeded to remove his shirt which surprised the regular patrons.

Trinidad loves dancehall

Meanwhile, another visitor from Trinidad and Tobago said that parties and urban radio stations in the twin island republic play dancehall non-stop to the point where many persons go as far as imitating it. 

"We embrace Jamaica culture immensely where dancehall music is played all year round while calypso is predominantly heard when approaching the carnival season into. But at fetes across T&T, dancehall is heard more than our own,” the Trinidadian said. 

According to popular soca disc jock, Richie Ras, the feedback he normally gets is that soca is for ‘uptown’ events.

“With the perception it is clear that there is a big social and mental divide as it relates to when and where certain genres are played, but it doesn’t mean that Jamaicans are embracing soca less than other islands are embracing dancehall. It’s not an easy question to answer, but it will take a while for the street dance scenes to get to that level of growth and acceptance of soca,” said Richie Ras.

He added: “Irrespective of the culture, you find that individuals have attached a stigma to carnival.”

The original article can be found here: http://jamaica-star.com/article/entertainment/20180517/street-dances-shun-soca-selectors-say-there-time-and-place-genre

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