carnival soca

Douen. Trinidadian folklore. Carnival. Trinidad and Tobago.

The Douen is a character from Trinidad and Tobago folklore, it is believed they are the lost souls of children that had not yet been baptized or christened. Their most recognized characteristic are their feet that are said to be backwards, with the heel facing the front.

Moko Jumbies. Carnival. Trinidad and Tobago.

The stilt dancers known throughout the Caribbean, are traditional folk characters that were originally brought from West Africa. The word “Moko” is derived from the name of a West African God and “jumbie” or “ghost” was added by liberated slaves after Emancipation. It was believed that the height of the stilts was associated with the ability to foresee evil faster than ordinary men. The Moko Jumbie was felt to be a protector of the village.

TEN DANCEHALL AND SOCA ARTISTS YOU DIDN’T KNOW YOU NEEDED, PART ONE

Bad gal Rihanna’s new video for Work was everything that we needed, especially part one, which took us back to the dancehall videos of the early 2000s (which were mostly directed by Toronto based filmmaker, Director X, who directed part one).  In light of Rihanna’s celebration of Caribbean culture, we want to introduce–and remind you of some classic and current dancehall and soca artists you can add to your playlists.

1. SPICE

Spice is probably one of our first introductions to feminism, when we think about it.  When we first saw her video for Fight Ova Man almost a decade ago we would have never imagined for her to reach such international success.  Being, “born inna Chanel and christen inna Gucci,” you may recognize her voice from her crossover hit with Vybz Kartel, Romping Shop which used Ne-Yo’s Miss Independent instrumental.  Never one to shy from telling a woman when and where she’ll take their man, Spice’s use of  unorthodox dancehall riddims keep her fresh and a favorite of ours.

2. DESTRA GARCIA

The self professed Queen of Bacchanal, like clockwork Destra comes out with new, infectious soca every Carnival season.  If you’ve ever been to Trinidad for Carnival, or New York for the West Indian Day Parade, Toronto for Caribana, you get the rest, you’ve no doubt heard her song, It’s Carnival. Initially getting her start with Roy Cape All Stars (ask your aunties who they are if you all are Caribbean), Destra’s music has always been about enjoying the vibe, owning your sexuality, and never allowing a man to dim your shine.

3. NADIA BATSON

As the band leader of Trinidadian collective SASS! and a powerhouse vocalist, Nadia Batson was a songwriter and background singer before making her debut with 2007′s Caribbean Girl.  SASS is Trinidad and Tobago’s only established all female soca band, which can be a nod to Beyoncé’s live band, The Sugar Mamas.  Nadia’s Instagram profile also notes her weight loss journey, just in case you needed motivation to get your body right (by your own standards!).

4. J CAPRI

A young woman gone entirely too soon, J Capri’s time spent in dancehall provided us with catchy hooks and visuals like this for Reverse It.  We only wish she were still here to give us more music, but we’ll bounce and jiggle to what she’s left us with.  Rest well, angel.

5. TIFA

Citing Patti Labelle and Aretha Franklin as early influences, Tifa has made waves in the global dancehall community as being the first female dancehall artist to perform in the Czech Republic (!!!).  Having also worked with other artists like Timberlee and Natalie Storm, Tifa’s work ethic is just as strong as her punchy lyrics.

SEE PART TWO HERE

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Thank you @boygeorgeofrap for getting this bts footage! I couldn’t even finish rubbing in the oil when this song came on lol 💃🏿 thanks @champagnepapi for this tune!! 🍾😍🌻💋 #onedance #drake #soca #calypso #afrobeat #dancehall #carnival @coloursmasband #breaktheinternet

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