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This genre is also known as the soul of Calypso, it is a genre of Caribbean music that originated within a marginalised subculture in Trinidad and Tobago in the late '70s, and developed into a range of styles through the '80s and later. Soca developed as an offshoot of Kaiso/Calypso, with influences from Cadence, Funk and Soul.

Soca has evolved since the start of the new millennium, primarily through musicians from various Anglophone Caribbean countries including Trinidad, Guyana, Saint Vincent and the Grenadines, Barbados, Grenada, Saint Lucia, Antigua and Barbuda, United States Virgin Islands, British Virgin Islands, The Bahamas, Dominica, Saint Kitts and Nevis, Jamaica, Belize and Montserrat. There have also been significant productions from artistes in Canada, Panama, United States, United Kingdom and Japan.

Some History

The "godfather" of soca was a Trinidadian man named Garfield Blackman who rose to fame as "Lord Shorty".

Soca developed in the late 1960s and grew in popularity in the early 1970s. Soca’s development as a musical genre included its fusion with Calypso, cadence, and Indian musical instruments—particularly the dholak, tabla and dhantal—as demonstrated in Lord Shorty's classic compositions "Ïndrani" and "Shanti Om".

Soca has grown since its inception to incorporate elements of Funk, Soul, Zouk, and other dance music genres, and continues to blend in contemporary music styles and trends. Soca has also been experimented with in Bollywood films, Bhangra, in new Punjabi Pop, and in Disco music in the United States.

Related Genres

Soca music has evolved like all other music over the years, with Calypsonians experimenting with other Caribbean rhythms, causing a crossover between Soca and other styles.

Some examples would be;-

Ragga Soca

Ragga soca: a fusion of Jamaican Reggae and Soca.

It is Dancehall and contemporary Calypso, which is an uptempo beat with moderate bass and electronic instruments. A Vincy form of performing Dancehall and Reggae.

Parang Soca

Parang soca: a combination of Calypso, Soca, Venezuelan and Latin music, Parang originated in Trinidad and is most often sung in Spanish.

Steelband Soca

Steelband Soca: steel pans are types of a drum often used in Soca and Calypso music; it became so popular that it became its own musical genre. The steel pan originated in the Republic of Trinidad and Tobago. Steel pans are handmade, bowl-like metal drums crafted so that different drum sections produce different notes when struck. Steelbands are groups of musicians who play songs entirely on steel drums. There are many types of steel pans, each with its own set of pitches.

Groovy Soca

Groovy Soca: created by Robin Imamshah with his composition "Frenchman", this growing style focuses on melody in Soca, partly because of criticism of Soca's ubiquitous 'jump and wave'-only lyrical and musical content. It features sensual vocals over mid-tempo Soca rhythms, and very often elements of zouk and Ragga Soca.

Bouyon Soca

Bouyon Soca:, sometimes referred to as jump up Soca, is a fusion-genre that typically blends old bouyon rhythms from the '90s and Soca music. Bouyon Soca, is a term coined by non-Dominican producers and musicians who wish to attribute the current success of bouyon music to other islands. In its native Dominica, the concept of bouyon soca is unheard of. Bouyon is a very specific and original genre and is very much distinguishable from its "colleague" Soca.

While there may have been the occasional fusion, bouyon has always maintained a very clear, recognizable and obviously different style from Soca. This style of bouyon music was originated in Dominica, but is also very popular in Saint Lucia, Guadeloupe and Martinique.