Words by Maj Johnson
Photo by Shizuka Minami
The deepening 2019 Trinidad Carnival season takes a detour to Japan with the video for “Personal,” an infectious single on soca powerhouse Precision Productions‘ upcoming Osaka riddim from vocalist 5Star Akil. The video was shot by Dori Productions on location in Tokyo, where Akil makes his way through the streets flanked by a love interest and a posse of Japanese dancers showcasing their impressive wining competency.
Caribbean music, including soca, has long had a following in Japan, and in other parts of Asia, with many artists traveling there to perform at events like the recent Soca Weekender in Tokyo. (That event was the inspiration for the Osaka riddim, Precision says). Yet, this marks one of the first times a soca artist has shot a video on location on the continent, bringing this cross-cultural connection to life on the screen.
“This experience was absolutely amazing,” 5Star Akil says of the video. “I’ve never been more amazed by a group of people who share a totally different culture and language yet they connected with soca music as if it was their own, singing, dancing and just vibing like Caribbean people do. WOW! Unbelievable feeling.”
Look out for the full Osaka riddim, featuring additional tracks from Voice, LFS Music, Kerwin Du Bois and Preedy, premiering on LargeUp shortly.
While we note and embrace the celebratory vibes of the soca season, this release also comes on the heels of devastating flooding that has impacted communities in central and south Trinidad this month. There’s no question that what’s now been declared as a national disaster might impact the upcoming Carnival season. In the midst of the coming celebrations, families remain in need, so head over to Habitat for Humanity TT and make a donation to help rebuild homes and communities impacted by the devastating flooding.