LargeUp Premiere: Bunji Garlin’s “Big Bad Soca” Video

September 19, 2017

Words by Jesse Serwer
Photos by Oluwaseye

โ€œBig Bad Socaโ€ is Bunji Garlinโ€™s latest tribute to the sound and culture of his native Trinidad & Tobago. Produced byย Jus Now, the 2017 Trinidad Carnival anthem bottles the sound and feel of Carnival with traditional, Trini-style brass and the drum sounds of the island’s famed riddim sections.ย 

โ€œSoca is at a new stage, where it is the featured music on many world platforms and integrations, as opposed to years ago where it would be sidetracked for one reason or another,โ€ Garlin says of his lyrics to the track, which appears on his newly-issued Turn Up album for VP Records. โ€œSo it is no longer the corner bar music of the little island. It is now one of the big, bad sounds that’s planting new crops in the world.ย Soca now means hope, it means belief, it means new horizons, it means new chances. It means joy and freedom from every chain.โ€

U.K.-based director Tom Swindell (who has previously helmed Bunji’s “Turn Up” and “Truck on D Road” videos) shot the heart of the video at this year’s Carnival in Trinidad, capturingย various elements of the Caribbean’s greatest street party, including staples like theย Paramin Blue Devils and the iconicย Fancy Indian. Months later in New York City, Swindell brought on LargeUp familyย Blacka Di Danca to produce and choreograph a dance sequence featuring appearances from dancers Selena Watkins, Aliyah Ali, Chioย and Royal G, as well as trumpeter Sean Taylor and artwork by Instagram-famous artist, Laolu Senbanjo. The result is one of the sharpest looking soca videos to date, and a true portrait of Trinidad Carnival culture circa now.

As Bunji puts it,โ€œThe video is the canvas of the song. In the Caribbean, videos are more or less done literal to the song to embody the whole story. The song explains the images and the images tells the song.โ€