The airwaves are busy with the newest and hottest soca for this year’s Carnival. Your favourite tune, of course, depends on your tastes. Newsday talked to some DJs and people in the street to find out what they think is leading the musical charge so far this year.
Nirmal “DJ Sheriff” Ramjattan shared a sentiment many have been expressing: power soca is back in a big way. It is little surprise, then, that one of his favourites for this year is a power soca – Neil “Iwer” George’s Savannah.
Ramjattan said, “The power is back in full effect at this point in time. ...We have been seeing a lot of power soca out there, at least, from my experience, 50 per cent increase in the power tunes for the year thus far.”
Ramjattan said of the 800 soca songs in his playbook for the year, about 50 per cent are power soca.
His picks for the year so far are Machel Montano’s Showtime, Dillon “Salty” Charles and Travis World’s Bend, and Iwer’s Savannah.
He said of the song, “You will realise that Savannah is very, very popular among the DJs.”
In the other popular soca category for Carnival, groovy, Ramjattan also identified Machel Montano as a favourite with his Take it Slow and Rough Wine.
The other songs he identified as trending in this category were Dexter “Blaxx” Stewart’s Hulk as well as Destra Garcia’s Family.
“One of my personal favourite’s is the Liberty Riddim, where you have Shurwayne Winchester’s Party Til We Drop and Claudette Peter’s Feeling Good,” Ramjattan said.
Even though he initially did not mention Kees Dieffenthaller’s Hello, Ramjattan said the song will carry on beyond Carnival.
It’s is one of the favourites identified for this year’s Carnival. From neighbouring Caribbean islands, he named Gamal “Skinny Fabulous” Doyle’s Party Start as very popular among the radio DJs.
In the chutney arena, Ramjattan identified Kris “KI” Veeshal Persad’s Foreigner, Ravi “Ravi B” Bissambhar’s Police and Veekash Sahadeo and Ravi Babooram’s Obeah as the popular 2018 chutney soca songs.
Radio DJ Jordan “Ultra Simmo” Simmons’ top picks for this year differ slightly. The Red 96.7 DJ and Hott 93.5 DJ said Voice and Marge Blackman’s Full of Vibes was one of the songs currently trending. “I think he has a good chance, if there is Soca Monarch, of making it three in a row,” Simmons said.
Erphann Alves’ Overdue and Machel Montano’s Showtime were also considered some of this year’s trending soca. Although, he added, they were still waiting on (Montano) “to drop something more of a party anthem.”
Simmons identified Shal Marshall’s Splinters as one of this year’s party anthems.
“The front runner for Road March, I would think, is currently Iwer George’s Savannah, because of how the song is written and structured, and the picture it paints for masqueraders on the road. I think when it is time for people to cross the stage, unless someone comes with something really great, that one is going to resonate with masqueraders and that would be the one they want to cross the stage with,” he said.
For the man on the street, the choices were similar to those chosen by the DJs. Aspiring DJ Ewan Headley’s 2018 soca choices were Montano’s Take It Slow, Kes’ Hello, and Aaron “Voice” St Louis and Blackman’s Full of Vibes. Although he reluctantly admitted it, Headley also said Iwer George’s Savannah seemed to be the Road March choice. He said, however, that might change, since he had not heard what Montano’s Road March contender was.
Kenroy McFarlane took a completely different view, saying he liked none of the songs for Carnival, but was looking forward to other releases, knowing eventually one would grow on him.
As Newsday tried to get the input of women on the topic, few were willing to answer. Of those who did, female soca stars like Nailah Blackman were their choices for Carnival 2018.
Chenelle Samuel and Reyleica Davidson’s choices for Carnival 2018 were Kes’ Hello and Ultimate Rejects’ Lightning Flash. While, they both preferred groovy over power, ultimately, as Davidson said, “You must have a power soca to cross the stage. You can’t cross the stage to a groovy. That don’t make sense.”