David Rudder
Jamaica Ska & Other Jamaican Party Anthems
Live at Notting Hill
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International » Caribbean Traditions » Soca

Soca is a descendant of calypso. In the early 1970s, electric guitar and bass were added to the traditional calypso ensemble, and by the 1980s most groups were using synthesizers as well. The increasing sophistication of recording technology and the continued competition between groups directed the music toward a more complicated and thought-out musical style that focused increasingly on the musical sound rather than the texts. The suitability of the music for dancing, rather than listening, also became an important factor. Around 1970, the term "soca," meaning "soul-calypso," was coined to refer to the new, energetic, and disco-influenced party music. The rhythm is not entirely standardized, but its character is captured by a steady bass drumbeat against which a highly syncopated cymbal and snare drum pattern are juxtaposed. As in reggae, the bass line, also syncopated, is particularly important and is often the predominant instrument in the mix. Because of the competitive nature of the music, musicians often dress in elaborate costumes, incorporate a variety of gimmicks, and use stage effects to stand out among their rivals.

Soca Artists Highlights

David Rudder
David Rudder
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Eddy Grant
Eddy Grant

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Soca Album Highlights

Jamaica Ska & Other Jamaican Party Anthems
Byron Lee
Jamaica Ska & Other ...
Live at Notting Hill
Eddy Grant
Live at Notting Hill
Haiti
David Rudder
Haiti
Columbus Lied
Shadow
Columbus Lied
Roots Rock Soca
Black Stalin
Roots Rock Soca
Hot Soca Hot
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Hot Soca Hot

More Soca Albums

Soca Song Highlights

Title/Composer Performer Stream
Watermelon Man Byron Lee
Cockney Black Eddy Grant
Rally Round the West Indies David Rudder
Columbus Lied Shadow
Hot Hot Hot Alphonsus Cassell
Victory Is Certain David Rudder
Jean and Dinah Mighty Sparrow

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Other Styles in Caribbean Traditions