As a dedicated reveller here in Jamaica as well as a section leader I sit awake at night sometimes and wonder, “what would make Jamaica carnival better?”
When I compare Jamaica carnival to those in Barbados and other islands I see that we have excellent value for money and fantastic fetes comparable with the best of them. The thing that comes up over and over in my head as the defining difference however, is the music.
Trinidad is the Mecca, and has defined the genre of soca music. But the most other islands with Carnivals have their own twist on that music as well. Barbados has their unique twist. Antigua, St Lucia, St. Vincent, Antigua all have their own twist to the music. Having unique music breaks the monotony of hearing trini soca OVER and OVER again and gives your carnival a sense of uniqueness.
So why doesn’t Jamaica have it’s own soca?
Jamaica also has its own genre of music (reggae/dancehall). Although it is different from soca it shows that we too have the creativity and know how to make world class music the way we want to.
I have heard of Jamaican singers doing pop, country music, hip hop, R&B and other genres. Why oh why have we not done any soca?
While making a uniquely Jamaican version of soca music is beyond my expertise I call on the powers that be to do take that plunge and start to carve a niche of our own. It can open opportunities and doors for many artists and help to grow our not so likkle but tallawah Carnival in Jamaica.
For my part I can promise the full support of Lehwego for any Jamaican track that is even half good.
I can think of some artists that should EASILY make the transition and who I know like carnival! I am also sure there are some new ones we would never expect.