Jadel rides Calypso wave

Soca artist Jardine
Soca artist Jardine "Jadel" Le Gere. - Photos courtesy Jadel.

Since bursting onto the soca scene in 2016, when she won the International Soca Monarch breakout artist award, soca artiste Jardine "Jadel" Le Gere has been known for delivering energetic performances clad in provocative outfits.

This year she is adding to her repertoire and showcasing her versatility with the introduction of a patriotic calypso/soca mash up called Calypso.

“Calypso (music) is a style I’ve never done before. The song is highlighting my love for my home, my love for Trinidad and Tobago. It’s a song about the beauty and culture of TT, showcasing the food, sites, mas, the beaches, the pan, etc.

“Being a true Trini, that is something I’ve been missing and calypso is something I’ve always wanted to do. I love calypso, I love the melodies, I love the topics.

"And, for my calypso, I didn’t want a controversial topic. I wanted a patriotic calypso song highlighting my beautiful land and inviting people to visit.”

Jadel backstage at Soca Fest NYC, New York in September 2023. -

Jadel told WMN she had a successful year with her 2023 hits Shake Up Yuh Batty (Bad Up) and Up in D Party. It allowed her to tour other Caribbean islands, Japan, Singapore, England, Belgium, the US and perform in almost every major Trini-style Carnival around the globe.

She believes she was popular because she offered something different from the typical “jump and wave” performance, as her sets included “dancing, sex appeal, and audience participation” during which she brought people on stage and had dance competitions.

She said her schedule was booked every weekend from March-November 2023 as she performed and did radio interviews. She believes this was due to her fee being more reasonable than those of other, more established artistes, and the fact that she did not turn down any gigs as she was still looking to make a name for herself.

Since she travelled so much, she missed her home and was always very happy when she returned. She said being abroad so often made her realise how blessed TT is and appreciate it more.

Soca artist Jadel and her five-year-old daughter Mikaylee. -

Written by Jason “Sharpe” Bishop, Calypso is a way to show her love for and pride in her country, as well as show a different side of herself in the music video.

“I am spreading my wings,” she said with a smile.

Calypso is just one of the seven songs she released this Carnival season and she expects to release two more before the festival on February 12 and 13.

Jadel did not expect all her songs to be hits or even to play on the radio, but she previously had the experience of songs that got little traction in TT being very popular in other countries. As a result, she refused to limit herself.

“So I released a lot of songs – some were suited for certain countries. Some songs, usually the slower groovy types, would be for streaming purposes, to get income from views and streams. The more fast-paced ones would be for performances at the parties and fetes, and the more topical songs for the social media buzz.

“I have music to appease the masses. I don’t want to be boxed in and categorised as an artiste noted for a certain style. I want to show versatility. I want to show I could sing, I want to show range. I want to get fans of all types to appreciated my songs.”

So far, one of her more popular offerings is a collaboration with Jamaican reggae and dancehall artist Charly Black, one of the most-streamed dancehall artistes on YouTube. The song, Addictive, features the steelpan and tells of being addicted to someone and how they wine, and wanting to make them yours.

On that long list of released tracks are Doh Ease Meh Up (Dahlin’); Fire Body (Spend Yuh Money), on the Bubblaz Riddim; Wah Yuh Doin, on the Lili Gyal Riddim; and Garbage Day, written by Shertz “Problem Child” James, on the Upness Riddim.

She also released one power soca on the Sass Riddim called Greatest Carnival, and expects to release two more – collaborations with a US rapper and TV personality, as well as soca star Neil "Iwer" George.

Jadel backstage before her performance at the Vibes with Voicey soca tour in New York City in August 2023. -

Between performing, recording and shooting music videos, Jadel spends as much time as possible with her five-year-old daughter Mikaylee, whom she described as her greatest motivation.

“I had been struggling and trying and knocking on doors and nothing had been happening for years upon years. And the moment I made Mikaylee, that made me open my eyes as to taking this thing (music) seriously. I did audio engineering to take the music to a different level and I put (studying) law on the back burner.

“I realise blessings have been coming. I never thought I’d be one of the most toured soca artistes of 2023. Where is this coming from? I believe God is blessing me through my daughter, giving me these blessings so I could give more to her because she is such a wonderful soul.”

She said Mikaylee travels with her when she is on vacation from school and already understands that the way she dresses on stage is “for entertainment purposes” and the concept of there being a “time and place” for everything. When at home or going out with her daughter, Jadel usually wears T-shirts, track pants and sneakers.

And once Mikaylee is a little older, Jadel said, she will be taught the lesson about “being comfortable in her own skin.”


"Jadel rides Calypso wave"

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