Words by Jesse Serwer, Kamara Williams and Tishanna Williams
Photo by Eddie Pearson
2016 saw soca continue to venture on new paths and blend with other genres. While its influence could be heard in pop and R&B tracks like Justin Bieber’s “Sorry” and PARTYNEXTDOOR’s “Not Nice,” its own direction was less inspired by EDM and pop than in other recent years. Dancehall and Afrobeats were major influences, as Afro Soca fusion emanated out of Trinidad, St. Lucia and St. Vincent by way of Nigeria, while Barbados’ Bashment Soca sound really came into its own via riddims like One O’Clock and Zika. More than anything, there was great diversity.
Here’s the 16 tracks that had the soca massive wining up at Carnivals and fetes all year long. Note that these are all songs released for 2016 carnivals. New songs released in the last few months for Trinidad Carnival 2017 are not included — and the best of these will be duly acknowledged next year at this time!