Words by Marcha M. Johnson
With the 2015 Trinidad and Tobago Carnival Season picking up, producers have been steadily releasing riddims featuring soca’s biggest names and, in the case of the Forest Park riddim, one of reggae’s biggest names.
Believe it or not, Sizzla Kalonji is no stranger to the soca circuit. Back in 2010, the “Dry Cry” crooner collaborated with “Rolly Polly” hitmaker Mr Killa for “Gal You Bad.” Now, he’s graced Bing Bang Production’s latest riddim with his vocals acknowledging the ladies of Trinidad and Tobago (“Big up di girls from Scarborough,” etc.) on a track entitled “Trinbago (Come Closer).”
Reggae artists venturing into the soca landscape is becoming more common–some are even managing to compete for airtime alongside veteran soca artists on a level field. The self-proclaimed King of Dancehall Beenie Man has dabbled in the genre for years, and Mr. Vegas and Vybz Kartel have each joined forces with Machel Montano for hits like “Dance With You” and “Hold Yuh Tonight.” And “Boost Har Up” was a hit for Konshens in 2013. But perhaps the most notable and prevalent dancehall interloper in the soca world may be Busy Signal. His “Wooeeii Gal Wooeeii” with Machel in 2010 granted him a credible reputation among soca lovers, which he’s followed with successive hits like 2011’s “Touch De Road.” We’re curious to hear what Busy cooks up for this year’s soca season.