*In Partnership with Carnevale Network DJ Mika Raguaa from Germany (born in Poland) worked on a special project detailed in the following article. She writes about the European Soca Movement and how it inspired her to create a special Mixtape with a message called “Blaze A Trail ACROSS COUNTRIES”.
By Mika Raguaa - Professional DJ & Scientist for Media and Communication (B.A.)
At the first glance Europe and the Caribbean Islands seem to be very far away from each other … on average more than 7200 kilometers or around 4500 miles are lying between the much smaller Islands and the closest European countries. But through all historical processes of colonialism, slavery and migration (out of familiar relations, military or educational reasons) it was also the possibility to progress music and culture and create a unique additional Soca sound. Possible reasons, facts and examples will be discussed in this article. It is all about to find out how far Soca music reached the European continent shown through music releases including their background of the last two decades. Artists out of more than eleven different European countries have been featured in the relating Mixtape “Blaze A Trail ACROSS COUNTRIES”.
The relating Research brought out a huge amount of undiscovered young talents and is also showing the ways of artists that seem to be forgotten because their career started much earlier than Digitalism brought the music on the online corner. We start our story with the first Song of the Mixtape with exactly such an example.
The intro of the relating Mixtape is done by the artist Sugar Daddy who released the track “sweet Soca music” together over Sony France in 2003. The song came out as a huge hit and got even heard in the US and the Caribbean: A song recorded and mixed in Austria released for the French music market sang by a Trinidadian and in the back with a sample out of the song “bittersweet symphony” an alternative rock band called “The Verve” in 1997 from great Britain.
And even much earlier the word and the idea of spreading “Soca” was said by Charles B. Lewis in the song “Soca dance” released in 1990 in Belgium. With a huge success: The song entered also the charts also in other countries including the Top 10 in Germany, Switzerland and the Netherlands. More than 2.5 million copies were spread worldwide. Lewis origin country said thanks with a “Lifetime Achievement Award” at the Barbados Music Awards in 2006.
Those artists can also be seen as representatives of the Caribbean with a European base that brought the Soca in touch with popular music in the minds of new audiences. And the people loved it! The Soca Boys, a Dutch producer crew backed by the Surinam origin Van B. King sold more than 50 000 records with “follow the leader” and also the following song “keep on bumping” was on heavy rotations. In more than 400 Shows Van B. King entertained the crowds all over the globe in concerts and also on Television backed by costumed female dancers as in the video shown below: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=BbA1Lh3cdnE